The power a transformed father can have on his family - an interview with Justin Foster - Father of 3
February 12, 2024
In Episode 94, I get the opportunity to interview Justin about his journey as a dad. He wanted so badly to have a deep connected relationship with his kids. He wanted them to grow up in a home free of yelling and fear. However, he discovered he didn’t have all the tools or the skills he needed to succeed at this goal. This is when he reached out for help and we started coaching. Listen in as we explore how he made the change and how it has transformed his family.
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Episode 94 Transcript:
Hello, and welcome to the art of raising humans. I'm Kyle.
And wait. Sara's not here. Oh, my gosh, this is the first time we've done that intro without Sara here. And the reason why Sara's not here is because we wanted to do something a little different today. So throughout the this year, what we're gonna be doing is kinda switching some stuff on the podcast Sara and I are still gonna be teaming up, providing a lot of great content for for all the parents that listen to us. But we really wanted to add some more value to you, and just some other helpful ways to support you and your family and your growth towards changing those dynamics.
So one of those is, we're gonna have a guest today. So we're we're gonna have a Dad, on the podcast a really awesome dad named Justin Foster. He's a dad. I've had the privilege of of coaching for quite some time now, and really wanna hear his story. But throughout the year we're gonna offer more of these kinda dads and moms and parents getting on here and talking about their growth as parents and also doing some interviews with other experts that are really gonna provide a lot of help and support for kids with Adhd and autism and all types of stuff. So I'm really excited about offering that to you. So let's jump right into it today, Justin. So, Justin, can you tell the audience who you are.
Absolutely Kyle. Thank you for having me on, and I'm excited to be able to spend some time with you, you know, this morning, but I have 3 beautiful kids. Vo is 8. Ellie is just turned 7, and I've got James, who's wild man. He's 4 married to, you know my partner and my soul mate, Mandy,
And it's been, I mean, that's the most important thing in my life. So I get to talk about that today? Yeah, yeah, I'm I'm really, really excited. So an 8 year old, a 7 year old and a 4 year old man, you are right in the middle of it, right? With all the big emotions, all the huge energy. I mean, it seems like it's nonstop, I bet.
Yeah. And there's, you know, there's nothing cooler than being a dad. There's nothing harder than being a Chad in terms of you know what it, what you have to rub up against in raising these kids. And truly it is an art form that I have not in any way perfected. But I've I've kind of been on this journey and gotten some help from you. And I've been grateful, you know, for the progress that we've been able to make on building our relationships. And I kind of have this this view
that you know, that's the most important and worthwhile and meaningful relationship I can ever have is with my kids, you know, and and it takes work. It takes skills. It takes tools. It takes, you know, kind of the right process.
And you know, it's it's a lot of fun to be able to like, not do it alone. And have you there in my corner doing it with me? Why, I love being there with you, Justin, so can you tell kind of what's your parenting journey been like? And then what was the reason? You're like, man? I need some. I need some help. What brought you to that point? So kind of walk me through kind of how it began, and then kind of where you finally said, I want to seek out some coaching.
Well, it it seems. You know, when you first become a dad, it's just this pivotal monumental shift in your life, right? And that, and the most meaningful moment, aside from my wedding night, was being able to hold, hold my firstborn Theo, and like looking at him, and just like complete transformation within what the most important things are to me.
And so there's just kind of this natural shift that happens when you become a dad that, you know, I think a lot of people just kind of figure out biologically, or I don't know what it is. But for me that was absolutely the case. It was. I was one way one day when I'm not a dad, and I'm like a different human being the next day.
And what I that that that that was a really pivotal moment for me, and I didn't realize like, Hey, this even gets better at with time. You know what I mean like this moment, and then and you don't. You can't imagine how you could have enough love for 2, and then you have. You can have enough love for 3, and and so that, you know that's been a lot of the journey.
But really it's been in the muck of it in the valleys of parenting that I felt like.
Especially as a modern dad. You know, I was just raised a certain way, Kyle, and and that was very much in a traditional house where you know this is kind of how you discipline your kids. This is how you respond to re adults. This is what it means to respect the adults and your parents in your life. And it was very much based on a positional and a sort of a structural belief system that this is just the way that kids are treated. And this is the way that adults should be treated. And there's really no questioning that. And I think we've grown up into this era where there's been a paradigm shift in the way that kids are seen, and a way that kids are treated. And as kinda like a modern dad.
What was happening within me and I noticed at sort of the lower points is, I had this script that was running in my head, and I only had like one response to any given situation that wasn't working for me, or it wasn't ideal, and it was very much for me. High expectations, and I didn't know how to bring in, you know, support to have a more like balanced approach or response to, you know, situations that are difficult and these are everyday, basic, you know, kind of situations. The kids are just getting dressed and getting ready for bed.
How do we have a routine where they're gonna settle down. And and and I would notice myself slipping into this pattern in the script of the way that I grew up because it's like I didn't feel like I was equipped, and I didn't have the tools to be able to address. You know.
Address discipline in the way that I wanted to do it differently. Going forward. Does that make sense? Yeah, totally. And and I remember when I first met you, Justin, you were excited. I mean you. You felt like a change needed to happen. So you definitely were open and receptive. And you're like man. I think the tools on my tool belt are limited. And you're you're actually a guy who's actually pretty good with your hands. You're good at building things. So I think you. And to use that metaphor, it's like to to build something really beautiful.
You need to have a lot of tools, you know, like you're just, you're just walking around with a hammer and a screwdriver. You're gonna be pretty limited. And what you're doing. So so you, II think you came to me with this idea. Okay, II bet there's more tools. And I bet I bet Kyle could help me. But I remember some of your specific fears which I'd love you talking about that is, you know, you heard about things like peaceful parenting you heard about like gentle parenting, and there was kind of a new something in you, this dad thing. And he was like sound. So it sounded so weak and so like, so I know I know you were really you were. You were open. But you're also kind of like closed off thinking, I don't know if this is for me. Right?
Yeah. And and it was a wrestling match, because you know just the way that men, you know, behaved and acted, and fathers acted in the way that I grew up. Was you just didn't question your dad. You didn't question your grandpa. You didn't. You know.
There there was no there, really. The only tool was like a hammer, you know, or the foot being down. And and that's sort of how I was raised. My dad was an amazing dad and and we built a a great relationship. He's one of my best friends, but I wanted to have more tools in my tool belt, but I didn't know I didn't know how to use a screwdriver man like. And so you would tell me things like.
Well, here's a way that you could approach this that would be more effective, and it was because I had this script going on in my head, and I was just used to using the hammer in every given situation. It was very difficult for me to actually learn how to use these different tools like Number one, that they exist wasn't something that I necessarily believed early on, because it's such a powerful hold the way that you're, you know, raised to to just kind of lean into. You know that that script that's going on in your head. But the the other part is is just the practicality of look
when you're in that situation, and reflecting back instead of whipping out the hammer. If you get the screwdriver out, you can hold it like this, and you can do this, and you can kind of turn it.
And you helped me really break it down simply, step by step. On how I can approach this for me. It was I needed to bring more support into my expectations that my expectations, not they, weren't bad. It's just that they were not appropriate. If I wasn't providing the right level of support. And that's what I started to learn about. Yeah. Well, and also just seeing your strength as a dad, I think you and I both were raised in similar homes, and and I do find it amazing. Justin, as I switch and did added more tools, my relationship with my own dad actually became better.
If this wasn't, it wasn't like I got more judgmental and mad about my dad is. I realize he did the best with what he had, but I have more so I could do better right and my my own dad, I bet your dad would say the same. My own dad would say, man, if I knew which you knew I would have done it better, too. I didn't know anything like my dad did do better than his own dad, and I'm doing better than him, and then
that that that's that's the hope. But but you know, I remember you had a really interesting hang up that I remember in the time working with you. There was at first it was like, Okay, maybe maybe being a peaceful parent doesn't have to look weak and gross, you know. Maybe I can still be a man, and I don't have to become a mom to do this right. But you were really hung up
on, and I remember we had like almost like a whole one on one. This was like, Yes, sir, and no, sir, to you. That was the delineating thing. If I'm gonna buy into this, Kyle, I need to still believe that my kids have to say Yes, sir, no.
So there, I think there is some truth to to the positional part of being a parent. Right? I mean you. You have a title, but you have to earn their respect is what I started to learn from you. And and the way that you do that the next step is to build a relationship. So so what I experienced was a lot of it was humbling to do this because and it wasn't
like, okay, here's all these tools. And we're, gonna do you know, a whole session on exactly how to use these tools. It was like, you kinda need to put yourself out there and be a little bit more
vulnerable with your kids. If you're gonna be able to build a relationship. So let's think about and reflect on why it is that you yell at your kids and have these false kind of set of expectations what's going on there? And you helped me realize
that I was actually afraid. I was afraid that my kids were gonna be grown up and not listen to, you know, authority authoritative figures in their life, and and that was way more about me than it was about them, you know, and once I started, II started with
the practice of giving options instead of putting them in a corner. And that was really helpful, because I would just say, Hey, you can either, you know, put your Pjs on right now, or we can go brush our teeth. Which one do you choose, and give them the authority. Yes, to be able to do it. And that was easier for me to just move from. Okay, there's one option. It has to be the one that I picked in my brain to. Now I'm gonna respect you
and and give you these choices and kind of be
You know your guide in terms of making these decisions the way that I wanted to go. And then the second thing that I learned is that if I messed up, and I did yell at the kids, or I did, you know, kind of get into my own
script and lower brain. Then I needed to. I need to repair that I need to find a way that I could genuinely repair that. And what I realized is that when I do that that's more about me. It's all about me, really, and my fear, and not about them. And I told them that just straight up this is
when I yell at you. This is what's going on inside of my my world, and you know I'm sorry, but that's never about you. That's always about Daddy.
And so that started to build the relationship differently. So good, yeah, and just. And what I love about that is, I know the reason why we talk a lot about that. Why encourage Dad to do this? Because
I want to limit just the crap.
And I'm putting on the kids right that the goal isn't to never yell. The goal isn't to be this perfect parent who's constantly in this great space in their prefrontal cortex. You're gonna mess up and actually just like with almost anything in life.
It's about what you do when you mess up that that's actually what makes the difference. And and every time you and I mess up Justin as Dad's, you know, as parents every time we lose it on them, and and and we go back and we repair it, and we work through it to help better understand what was
happening in us and into them. We. We end up teaching them how to do that with themselves, too, because you don't wanna have these kids who have these expectations? That they have to be a perfect kid, that they can never mess up like mistakes are welcome. Bring them right. Well, it's like it's kind of for me. It became the material to.
I didn't know that this was actually happening, and I kind of feel like you were like.
you know, you're just you weren't giving me at all. But you're kind of inviting me into this process and helping me to see how it's through the weakness that you get the strength. So going back to being the man's man or the dad who, you know, doesn't you know peaceful parenting is, you know, just a a really cop out way of demascul parenting is, it's it's about
the skills of negotiation. And what negotiation is is finding a middle ground between things where it's not win, lose. It's win, win for everybody. And I think of that. I'm a business guy. So I kind of. Think of that. But but really, if you wanna build a relationship like both your spouse or something you're constantly negotiating, you know, in that the O, the outcome of that negotiation should be never like tit for tat. Brass tacks back and forth. It is
better for you. It's better for me. It's better for the kids. It's better for me, and everybody kinda levels up when you when you find that middle road and it is a middle road, I mean for me. I was tending to be more on the side of
more judgmental, you know, again, higher. It's more critical. And it's like you're you're not listening, you know, if you type of thing.
But other folks can find themselves going, I think, on the other side of this, which is just very permissive, and that sort of thing, and and what we're trying to do is just find an optimal place as a parent. I feel like where option a third third option. That's in the right smackdown in the middle of that where? And I love like you said in the business world, which you're a very successful businessman, Justin, and I think a lot of dads can relate this to that, many of them.
or that, you know th they'll read something about peaceful parenting or gentle pairing, whatever, and they'll be like, oh, gross! But then they'll go to like a conference with their business, and like Oh, wait! They're teaching great managers to do this. The best leaders are leaders who look for win wins. They're not looking for, lose, win or win, and who wants to work for the boss who's always winning. And you're losing that sucks right? And then what I think is cool
is as you're doing that with your kids, Justin, you're act. We're actually raising kids who want win wins with us, too. So then, when by the time your little 3 kids are teenagers. they're thinking in relationship to you and Mom
how to win win right instead of going like a lot of teenagers. Almost all the conflict is they have been trained since they were little on how to do win lose scenarios. So they're really good at making sure like, Hey, you've been winning a lot, Mom and dad. But now I'm a teenager, and I'm gonna stink and win now.
So I'm gonna do what I want. And so it's gonna be a win lose. I don't know how to do it. But when you teach them that not only does that help your relation those later years, but then when they become adults, they they'll they'll want bosses who do that. They wanna create businesses that do that which
benefits the entire world. You know it's awesome. And yeah, and if you can be in a negotiation with your parent and and and feel invited into that. Then you're gonna be able to negotiate better with your friends, with your teachers, with your boss and and and figure out how to create those situations. And one of the things that I realize
like I had this guy inside of my head, and as part of just how I was brought up where I was like
this shouldn't be a negotiation. Kyle. You know what I mean like, what? What? Negotiation? Yeah, and so and and but what in reality is is that it? It should be a negotiation because they want that. And you and I realize that I actually want that. And what I realized was, you helped me realize this. My kids really do want to
have a good routine. They want to follow, you know, through with doing some of the chores they want to work on. How do I empty the dishwasher to help the family? And you know, I it's it's really boils down to some beliefs, some critical beliefs. And I mean that technically critical beliefs that had to eventually shift. And once I shifted those.
That's where the tools really started to become meaningful for me. And it it took some work and some time to get to where I those things were running pretty deep inside of me. But once I started to feel like, Oh, you're not hijacking the situation. And you actually do you know. Wanna do these things and be helpful all of a sudden. The kid is doing things like the dishes without me even asking. And it's crazy. And it's like it just blows me away that
once I stop this resistance win, lose kind of dynamic. Then there's a flourishing that automatically almost starts happening. And because think about it, Justin, the flourishing is this, like, when I used to work with teachers, I was, you know, school counselor. For a while
teachers would say this, I know parents say this, too. II haven't said it, but I think it sometimes where I'm like. Well, I've gotta win this, you know, when you get in those, pastor, I've gotta win this. And I would tell the teacher if you win. Do you know what happens to that kid that kid loses and you end up just having a kid who's a loser in your class, right? And really, in our parenting stuff. When we keep doing these win lose things where we keep using our powers, Dads, to say it's my way or the highway. And we win.
You start to raise a kid who believes they're a loser.
and that's not what you want to do. So would think about when you do the win. Win. Now I walk away, and I'm like, I'm I'm a winner. And then the kids like, Wait, I'm a winner, too, both winners. And then what I noticed was, it made my marriage like that, too.
Then then then, then, with my wife, I noticed early on that lots of times in our discussions I was trying to win like I was trying to win our arguments. I was trying to like outsmart her, and it was hurting my marriage. And so, as I did this more with my kids. It actually made where I didn't want to do that with my wife, either. I wanted to win win with her, as well, you know.
Yeah, yeah, that's beautiful, man, absolutely. Can I see W. Was the change harder or easier than you do expected? So, Ma, making the shift you talked with this big shift you make it. Was it harder, easier?
It's been a process and the hardest part is has been to.
there's a challenge in using another, a a a tool that I haven't used before. And so what's made that easy is listening to you be able to say like, in this situation. I was with my Ellie. You know you have a daughter named Ellie, and this is what I did, and this is how I said these things, and so I would try on some of those things. I would try to make them my words. And
but the hardest part has been the change of belief.
Yeah. And and and but once I could
maybe submit to this idea that if I can allow myself to show weakness to my kids right? And then I can see this relationship start to flourish, and everybody all of a sudden gets stronger. Then it there's just something to that process, Kyle. I don't know how to describe it, or anything else that that's the real catalyst
for for transformation happening. And and so that's hard. It's hard to, you know. Give up our beliefs. It's hard to, you know. Try to see from a different perspective. And yeah, I'm not gonna say that that's been easy, but it's been the most worthwhile thing you know. I quit my job in 2020 to be home with my kids more.
and I wanted to do this real estate thing and achieve some level of financial success so that I could buy back my time to be with my kids. And Covid happened in 2020, and I was like home with my kids, and it was some of the most beautiful times. And I gotta say, you know, there's a lot of suffering going on, and and and you know I'm cognizant of that. But for us we have a farm. We have, you know, kind of family compound, and we were just home.
you know, locked up together, and that was a beautiful thing. It was also like a really hard thing, man, because II found myself up against my limits of
you know my relationship with my kids where I would feel like I'm getting worn down by the end of day because we've been together all day, and I don't have any tools but the hammer at this point, and I knew I just needed to get help from somebody to kind of figure this out. And and so
I had this idea. And in business for me.
it's really great, because, you know, there's just certain things that you can do that are proven that will work if you work them right? And so it's about inputs and outputs. It's very utilitarian by nature, but but with family, you know, it's it's it's not as straightforward when you're building a relationship. And and because there's so many deeper things that I don't know about that are impacting
our interactions. And so it took me, you know, really kind of
leaning into this process of trying to be a more peaceful dad and and making that important and failing in order to kinda see some of this fruit. And you know that's hard. II just I I'm not gonna make light of it, but it gets easier. The more I was open, the more I was open to the change happening and and a different perspective.
And like, I said, it's kind of like watching the plant grow, you know, it's kind of like, okay, you're helping me mend the soil and and like, plant the seedling and give it water. But then, in the springtime, when the plant grows into this big old bush, with all this fruit, you just step it back and be like, oh, that was a miracle. I can't believe that just happened, you know.
Yeah, that's awesome. Man. Yeah, II what would you say? I guess what I'd add to that I'd say what I heard you say, and what I was feeling, too, was, I think, a hard part for us was just trusting
that we're not screwing up our kids, trusting that like we'd never seen cause for us. We'd never seen anybody do this. There was no families that we know parenting this way, and and you know where we're where we live right now, Justin, in Oklahoma it was spanking was the norm, you know. Ii grew up in a home where you got slapped. If you talk back right, these guys. So I'd actually never known anybody who had grown up and didn't get spanked or put in time out.
and so Sara and I would routinely be like, are we screwing up? And so like, though I love your. A metaphor of the plant is, we just start seeing all this beautiful fruit start to come off of the of the tree, and we started to see what they started to grow and become. And then we're like, Okay, okay, we can trust this. These other. Tell you, Kyle, when you were telling me like what to do, how to do it, and challenging some of my beliefs.
I was like, I was really resistant, like you were saying, and then stuff would happen. And and and all of a sudden, you know, it becomes super easy to put my kids to bed, because I just kind of shifted my perspective the way he did, and I'm like, Dang it, it works. I can't believe this works. You know what I mean like it's it's
II was almost put off by the fact that all my energy that was going into this trying to force the situation was for not, and if I were to just stop resisting and did this. Then it just works beautifully, and that's kind of that's exactly what happened. It's a surprise. I was surprised, you know by.
Well, wait, wait! That makes me. And then the more you energy you do, resisting, the more energy you have to keep doing. It's crazy, cause you actually, as you resist the kid, the kid just gets stronger and stronger, and their ability to resist you. So as they become teenagers, that's why it's just so like, Oh, my gosh! That! But by then people are definitely wanting help. But it, man, at the age your kids are at, this is, you know perfect. So hey, I wanna ask you, what what advice would you give to a parent who's seeking out coaching? Who's saying like
parent coaching? I didn't know this even existed. What? What? But they're they're on the fence. They've heard about it, you know, and they're kind of going. Huh? Is that the step for me and my spouse. Or maybe it's a dad going. Maybe this is the thing. Maybe I'm like Justin. I need to. What advice or encouragement would you give to them about the benefits of
well, you know, coaching for me is about getting a specific result that I want to get in my life. So the way that I approach you know, if I wanted to have a coach
is I wanna find somebody who is successful in the area that I wanna be successful in that I need help in. And so you want to find somebody. And and Kyle, you've been there for me, meeting where me where I'm at and kind of showing me. Here's the next step. Here's the next level to kind of step into in your relationships.
and I think that people are more than willing to invest in coaching and things like I do like for investing, or business or real estate.
But the best, the best thing I've chosen to invest in in terms of my time and my energy and my resources is parenting, coaching by far, because it goes back to what I said before, it's the most meaningful relationship you can have in your entire life.
And the reality is is that it just takes work, that there's some tactics. There's some tools. And then beneath that there's some beliefs that you can work through, and you can have your kick. You needed to like. You can have
the a vision of what it? What kind of father and parent? And you know, couple, that you want to be, what kind of family you want to be. But you have to work at that, and
no, we shouldn't be doing that alone, man, I mean, we should be reaching out to people who can help us on the journey, especially in this modern kind of age, where, you know, parenting has really shifted and and as dads and as moms, we're trying to figure out, okay, what's this new parenting style look like? And how do I really build a relationship that's optimal, you know? And so
submit to the instruction and take the action and be willing and open, you know, to to invest in an area of your life that you know, for anybody who's listening to this podcast. Is hands down the most important area of their life. That's awesome. Justin. Many times when Sara and I were really trying to get the vision of what does this look like to raise kids in a home like this?
And and really, to be honest with you, it's been better than I ever imagined, but early on it was like I said it was scary, and there's so many times where, since we had access to great mentors to great coaches in regards that Sara Sara and I would be like, what should we do in the situation? And Sara would say, I think we should do this like, no, that's crazy. You can't do that like that's not gonna work. And we'd have this back and forth. And then, Sara be like, let's just contact this person and see what they say. And of course.
to our our listeners, they don't need to be surprised. Almost 100%. That person agreed with Sara. So they would. Typically, yeah, yes, what Sara was saying, if that's the way to go. And and that would typically then something that could have really been a rift in our marriage that could have really been this like it could have caused a lot of issues, a lot of conflicts instead, it just brought us closer together, because then I would listen to this coach. I would come back, tell Sara what they said, and we'd be like, okay. And it helped us
be able to implement it with some confidence. Right? Because cause like, it does seem like II, when you were talking about even the whole choices thing. I remember one of the simplest things we did, and just trusting this, and I remember being like an Aha moment was, you know, Abby just wouldn't go to sleep. It was like 30'clock. She was like 3 years old, and never in her life had she said no. When I told her it was time to go to bed, and when she said, No, I did exactly what most dads will do, and I'm like.
who do you think you're talking to? My first thought was like, Oh, this is when this starts. I can't let this go on. I've got to squash this now, because it's gonna be a problem when she's a teenager. Right? So I'm already thinking about. So I was like, you're going to bed. And I remember getting really big and mean and loud, and she went to bed, and part of me felt, you know, victorious because I won that battle.
and but then the next day. You know what, Justin? She did it again the next day. Wait a second. I thought we dealt with this. Don't you like? Okay, okay.
this is not working like this is 2 or 3 nights in a row, and even though I did, I was victorious, I kind of felt like crap like I didn't like. I didn't like that. I was at that time like a 30,
3, 34 year old man, intimidating a little 3 year old girl right? And so I was like, I gotta figure it. So I'm like, Okay, fine. I'll do what these people say. I'm gonna I'm gonna respect her autonomy believe she has a free will. I'm gonna try to guide it. And so I walked up, and I remember I just said, Hey.
time to go to bed. She said, no, and I said, How do you wanna go to bed? Do you wanna go to bed like this or like this? And she's like, No, you wanna go to bed like this or like, and then I get give a different. And finally, I remember I said, You wanna go to bed like a ninja or like a jedi. And I remember she goes, what's a jedi? And I'm like, you know what a jedi is so like, honey. Get up like you gotta light, save. And we went back and we're like. And she was laughing, and she went to bed.
and I felt great. And so it's it's so great. And and I really resonate with, you know, my wife is
an amazing mom, an amazing parent. And she, you know, she has a background and working with kids. And so she has all these tools like in her tool belt. Right? And as a dad, you know, I felt I just felt like I have the hammer. I have the one tool, and and then but in our marriage, you know, especially kind of in this new family that we're trying to build where I'm at home a lot and everything else. We really didn't. The vision is not okay. You take care of the home. And then I'm gonna go to work.
The vision is we're doing this together. It's way more kind of equal between us and how we're doing parenting. At least that's what we thought, but I'm the ill equipped one, and so.
But but my wife would say certain things and say certain things in certain ways where I just didn't connect with it, and then you would tell me the exact same kind of thing.
But you would also have more of a dad feel, you know, so more of a dad feel is being more playful. Being a little bit more like the ability to be joking or something not making it a big deal, and then when the kid feels like you're not making it a big deal, then they can make light out of it, and they can laugh.
and that's like a dad move, I feel, you know. And so so I've learned that I've learned how to go, not not resist the resistance, but to go with the resistance in a way that is playful. It's helpful. It's, you know, useful. But it is from a masculine energy, you know it's it's not from a feminine energy. And there, there's a certain vulnerability to that I've embraced
that's been good for that to happen at the same time. So there's nothing wrong with if you want to build a good relationship leaning into that vulnerable site, it sucks
to tell you the truth, but you know, that becomes really, I think, the catalyst for this kind of change to happen. Well, and I think to that point, that's what was missing a lot of with the old school parenting. It was not only a lack of tools, but a lack of vulnerability.
Yeah. And being vulnerable was not okay. It was not safe. Yeah, like I think you would say, maybe my grandparents, they, their parents, never apologize to their kids, not once in their life. Right? And my my dad and I started to really develop a great friendship when he initiated some form of vulnerability. But that was more towards
you know he was my hero, and he could do no wrong up until a certain point I realized, oh, you got some chinks in your armor, Bro. You know what I mean, and and and and now when you, when you, gonna you know, basically
show that early on, it's actually good, they th, it's good for the kids, I think, for them to be able to see the chinks in my armor because it helps us to build a real authentic relationship even earlier. And that's very. I mean, I didn't know that I didn't know that you could do that with like a 3 year old, you know. I thought, okay. Later on. You need to see Chinks and I can share those things. But no, that's so good. Cause some, dad. Well, yeah, when they're 1314, we'll do. But no, you're not dude. That's not gonna happen because you haven't been doing it
all that time right? And then the kids gonna be like this are. This is like a really weird conversation like, I don't really wanna have this. But you're making me think I almost wanna like
call some of the coaching I'm doing with dads and stuff like ninja dads, you know, like Jedi Dads Jedi, the Jedi Dad coaching right. But but II hope for all the listeners who are listening. This and this kind of first kind of testimonial, or or kinda like first interview of a parent that we've helped. I hope what they're hearing is the just the reward of you being able to switch
from one certain type of viewing like how how you envision parenting had to be, and and and all of a sudden your mind expanded and your your ability to picture what it meant to be a dad didn't have to look like.
However, your wife was doing it right now. It had a lot of similar some of similarities to it, but it had a different energy to it a different thing, and that your kids needed that like like they'd actually didn't want you to just check out. And they didn't want you to come in screaming your head off, either. But they did want you, and they wanted you fully engage right? And so so I hope the listeners are hearing. If if that's something that you're thinking, man like I'm I'm a dad, and I've never heard of this right? I definitely need
help in in trying to be that kind of dad or I'm losing my kids, my relationship with my kids.
And I need some help. I hope today you were encouraged to know there is. that's right. And and so, if you're interested in that, I'd love for you to reach out to me at Kyle Wester, at parentinglegacy.com, and I'd love for you just to say.
Dude, I need that. Let's try to do that right. And and and I think, Justin, you have been so fun to work with. It's been so awesome because you're such a smart person. You're so talented and creative in so many ways. And sometimes, though, it's just funny, and I know I can be about this in other ways. You would come to me with these issues that you thought were really big, and I'd be like, Oh, yeah, that's easy.
Yeah, totally. It is. So it's such a small shift can go a long way. And it was cause you cause you were so close, and you didn't even see it. It was just like all I need to do is tweak this, or say this differently, or approach that differently right? And and then that makes the change completely. The whole situation changes right. And that's true, like, you know, in business and real estate, and all the stuff that you're good at is like you just make a little tweak, and you you tell somebody. Oh, just do this, and I'll send Bam
all of sudden the money starts to come. The success is there. It's fantastic. Right? Yeah, absolutely.
I ka, can I share his story real quick? One of the kind of wins that highlights this peaceful, parenting ninja. Dad approach, you know. And I don't wanna overemphasize, you know that it's always just through falling over yourself like there. What does success look like, you know, with tying this together? Well, I had a an instance where my 8 year old was at school, and he decided to change something on his test.
And so he kind of told the teacher, and told us his parents that he, the teacher actually got this correction wrong, that he got it right. But he had actually gone in there and kind of changed it so he could get, you know. Yeah, he is. And so we don't care for kids. Get a right like at all. But lying is a big deal. Cheating is a big deal, and so I had some moments to kind of reflect on. How do I actually come in here and approach this?
So I sat down with Theo, my oldest, and I asked him, I said, Hey, what was it about this that you felt a need to erase that and then change it? And he kind of shared his feelings about that right, and I just listened to what he had to say without any kind of judgment. I didn't say in this house. We don't cheat in this house. We don't lie. That's what I wanted to say, and I would have. I would have been punished and grounded in a certain way where it was like a heavy handed top down approach.
and I told my son a story, and I told him.
you know. Theo, when I was
about to right before I met your mom. It was before you were born. I got in trouble.
and I told him, man, II went out and I had a drink, and I actually got in trouble by the police after I had a drink when I drove home.
I was at in order to kind of amend for that I had to go and had to do community service.
and I was faced with an instance where I could either tell my boss the truth, or I could lie about that. and I felt like I should tell my boss the truth.
And so, even though I had gotten in trouble.
and I went into my boss's office and I told him, Hey, I got in trouble. Here's what's going on. I have to do this community service. I'm not going to work the hour, be able to work the hours that I need to work.
And when I went and did the community service. I did it at the church where your mom worked.
and 6 months later, after I met your mom actually quit my job and we got married.
And you're here today because I decided to tell the truth in that in that instance, and that you don't know what gifts you are gonna get. If you decide that you're gonna tell the truth like there's a blessing in store for you when you tell the truth. And so what you're gonna do is you're gonna go to your teacher tomorrow and you're gonna need to be. Tell her the truth that you change this right. And that's really really important for you to learn how to do.
And so we practice. How do we tell the truth? How do we kind of confess? And it was a big deal to feel. This is very appropriate balance of the father who is like. In that moment I was a dad who was
you know, saying, this isn't the right way and kind of calling that out that was using my stuff and my failures. Yeah, able to emphasize like how you can. You know, it's okay to make mistakes. But this is how we're gonna be the type of men who repair those mistakes and move forward. And so I think it's that's tying together this idea, the vulnerability. And, you know, kind of meeting people meeting your kids where they are and and not being afraid to lean into that.
because it's really kind of the stuff that makes this work. Yeah, more than anything else. If I can add, though, an important piece to that is, some kids by 8
wouldn't even be open and receptive to that story if they assumed Dad was gonna come in and just harp on all the bad things I did right. If they assumed Dad was gonna come in, be scary, be mad, be all you know, shaming, the Kid would close off, and he might kinda listen to the story. But be like, I guess the point of the story is, you don't like me. But instead he was able to be open to recipes like, Oh, Dad's
gonna help me with this. Yeah, I've made mistakes, too. And the reason why I believe that is because Dad has done that many other times when I made mistakes he didn't come and just try to be a hammer. He came and actually tried to help me learn
how to learn from the mistake. Right? And I love I you didn't throw out, you know, with the consequence of this, is, son, right? It was just whatever you're gonna use. It said it was like, Son, let me help you. This is actually a moment. This is a really cool moment. And actually, it's a cool moment that maybe Theo will never have to experience what you went through right because he learns this moment at 8, rather than learning this moment in his twenties.
And I. So I share that story because there's no way that I would have ever shared that story with my kid and been in that situation and approach that situation that way if it wasn't for our sessions together and working through some just really basic things for me. And II just. I'm so grateful for it, you know, and and those are. There's just really gym moments, and and it's not perfect in our house at all but
it's better than I could have imagined before I started working with you. So II think you could start when I talk to you now, I could see you see the path. You see that there, there isn't like, yeah. But is this gonna work? It's just like, okay, how do I? How do I get that? I can see the path. How do we go down that path? Right? It's much different conversation. So Justin, I wanna say, thank you so much for being so vulnerable and open? So other parents could share cause. I know so many people listening
are feeling the exact same thing, and they maybe they feel hopeless or they feel confused, so they don't know the direction to go, and so I hope they feel a sense of like oh, there is a way there is. There are other people doing this, and they're finding that path forward. And there are families like ours where we're doing these things, and they are flourishing. And we're not. We're not making that up like it's for real. So thank you so much for your time. And if you're
listeners, we may be putting this on Youtube on video. I don't know. We'll see. So if you want, you can see me and Justin talking, we haven't done any of our podcasts yet on video. But this may be the first one, and I know is longer than normal. But I think it was very beneficial. So thank you, Justin, have a great day.