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#18 – Jason Kreidman – On Empathy and Dad University

Ryan interviews Jason Kreidman. Jason is a father of two and is the creator of Dad University.

Jason’s Bio: Jason Kreidman is the founder of Dad University, an educational company dedicated to helping dads gain confidence in their parenting. Through his course, YouTube videos, podcasts , and social media he offers advice on father’s communication, work/life harmony, discipline, mindset, and more.

Topics:

  • About wanting to become a dad
  • Most challenging part of being a dad
  • The importance of patience
  • Relationship dynamic changing with your partner
  • Having empathy and how important empathy is in our lives
  • Don’t take things personally
  • Teaching children to be empathetic
  • Using the word empathy when teaching
  • Don’t say “I’m proud of you”
    • Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dPgIrc_UmM&t=379s
  • Focusing on improving yourself
  • Jason’s meditation practice
  • Cutting out alcohol
  • Why start Dad University?
  • What is the future of Dad University?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daduniv/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daduniversity/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DadUniv

Website: https://www.daduniversity.com

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dad-university/

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#17 – Nick Ponari – The Experience is Other Worldly

Ryan interviews Nick Ponari. Nick is married and is the father to a 7-month old son. 

Nicholas Ponari is an accredited angel investor and entrepreneur from Montreal, Quebec. Nicholas has been involved with funding tech start-ups for 4 years and has taken advisory roles in the context of finances and operations for various tech startups across Canada. Before getting into investing and the startup community, Nicholas started his career in the healthcare sector having worked on new cancer therapeutics, vaccine platforms, surgical robots and other experimental products. Today he is spending time as a full-time dad while sparing some time to work on data science projects, mentor new founders and finally getting around to doing some of those Coursera courses that interested him a while ago.

Topics: 

  • How long have you been a dad?
  • How was pregnancy?
  • Mom’s are superhuman
  • What Nick does for a living
  • How has becoming a dad changed Nick’s life.
  • How has the pandemic changed parenting?
  • Advice for new and expecting dads

Nick on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickponari/
Nick’s website: https://www.ponari.ca/

***

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Face Adversity

Becoming a father has come with challenges and those have been far outweighed by the incredible amount of love and happiness that my daughter has brought to our lives. I tend to shy away when I need to face adversity. I have typically looked for the easy way out of things that are difficult or at least sought the path of least resistance.

In becoming a father, I saw myself as the dad who would always be there. The protector of our little family and the provider. The one everyone can rely on whenever they needed. I think I’ve modeled my view of a father very much on my experience with my dad.

I have learned so much since my daughter was born just three short months ago. It already seems like she’s been in our lives forever. I think that is mostly due to the sheer emotional investment we’ve put into raising her and getting to know her. Seeing this little person grow and develop right in front of your eyes is absolutely astonishing. We’re already putting away clothes that she used to float in.

There have also been difficult times fuelled by a lack of sleep. Everyone can be more on edge and I’m most often the guilty party. Reframing situations and embracing meditation have helped. My experience with a lack of sleep goes back years so it has not been totally new. The hardest part, by far, is rejection.

It’s easy to understate just how reliant an infant is on her mother. Especially when exclusively breastfeeding. Yes, there are ways to incorporate the father into feedings like supplementing with formula or by pumping but those are easier said than done. As an example, pumping doesn’t work for everyone and in our case, it doesn’t draw nearly enough milk for one feeding. Aside from nourishment, breastfeeding is also a soothing activity for the baby. It creates a bond and a sense of safety in the arms of her mother.

My bond with my daughter has been incredible. She often settled more easily with me in the beginning and I truly value any time with her. She also enjoys bouncing around on my knee and when I make funny faces for her. Her smile melts my heart every time. Recently though, calming her down has become a very difficult task.

There’s some research that I’ve come across saying that infants do find more comfort in their mother’s arms at a certain point in the first few months of life. It’s totally understandable when looking at it from an objective point of view. This father, though, is far from objective when it comes to his daughter. It can be absolutely gut-wrenching to have her in my arms, wailing and being unable to sooth her. It makes me question every quality I thought I possessed to be the perfect father to my daughter. It’s an unbelievably scary feeling.

Having a partner there to bring you back down to earth is invaluable. In the moment, I find myself wanting to just run from the situation which has always been my modus operandi. It likely doesn’t help that these fits happen later in the evening after a full day. The best advice my wife has given me is, “sleep on it.” And sleep I did. I find it also helps to workout.

Looking at the last week of inconsolable fits from an objective point of view, I can see a total of 6 hours of difficult times surrounded by phenomenal bonding opportunities with my daughter. Yes, bath and bedtime have become difficult. I cannot let such an insignificant amount of time taint the entire experience.

Instead of running and hiding, I should face this adversity head on with the courage I hope to pass on to my daughter. I have to embrace that not everything is going to be easy. These are the same words I know I’ll be telling her the first time she hesitates to do something that seems too difficult.

She is just an infant. She is relying on instincts. Her instincts tell her that the one who feeds her is best for soothing her. I need to do the same and rely on my instincts and set my emotions aside. She is my daughter and I must care for her and protect her. If that means handing her to my wife and watching out for both of them, then that’s exactly what I’ll do. I won’t run. I will make sure she learns that she can sooth in my arms as well.

Writing these words helps to clear my mind and see things more objectively. I’ve always valued writing for that exact reason. I’m also writing this because I don’t think enough people speak about this stage in infancy. Sleeplessness is often the topic of conversation. I have never heard another father discuss the sense of rejection he felt during the early stages of becoming a father. I hope this helps to broaden the conversation.

 

 

#16 – Doug Sweet pt2 – Trust But Verify

Ryan interviews Doug Sweet for the second time! Doug is a father of two girls, age 10 and 12. Doug is an officer in the US Army. He has been married to his immensely patient, and thoughtful wife for 17 years. Together the family shares a love of the outdoors, travel and adventure. 

Doug currently works as an Officer is the US Army, serving as a Cyberspace Operations Officer. He and his family have had the chance to live in Texas, Germany and Virginia over the course of his career. 

Doug works hard to balance the demands of his career with his love of the outdoors and his desire to always “be there” for his family. 

Topics:

  • Rules governing screentime in their household
  • Providing a phone to his daughter and when was the right time
  • Communicating information before it becomes urgent
  • Conversations around sharing content and sexting
  • Youtube kids
  • Where devices are kept
  • Pushback on the rules and Doug’s approach
  • Showing that the parents respect each other
  • Never going to bed angry
  • Dinner time
  • Turning Survivor into life lessons
  • Planning the AT thru-hike

Doug on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dsweet2379/
Doug on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglasmsweet/
***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast. 

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#15 – Doug Sweet – Never Give Up

Ryan interviews Doug Sweet. Doug is a father of two girls, age 10 and 12. Doug is an officer in the US Army. He has been married to his immensely patient, and thoughtful wife for 17 years. Together the family shares a love of the outdoors, travel and adventure. 

Doug currently works as an Officer is the US Army, serving as a Cyberspace Operations Officer. He and his family have had the chance to live in Texas, Germany and Virginia over the course of his career. 

Doug works hard to balance the demands of his career with his love of the outdoors and his desire to always “be there” for his family. 

Topics:

  • Why join the military?
  • Never ruling out having kids
  • Nervous about bringing kids into the world
  • Communication being so important in parenting
  • Division of the workload
  • Love languages
  • Doug’s deployments overseas
  • Keeping in touch while away
  • Having a positive attitude during the pandemic
  • School in the fall
  • Doug’s plans for retirement and hiking the AT

Doug on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dsweet2379/
Doug on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglasmsweet/
***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast. 

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit daybydaydad.com/sponsor-form/and fill out the form.

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#14 – Damon Dietz – Stay Enthusiastic

Ryan interviews Damon Dietz. Damon offers very important perspectives as a single dad and in trying to ensure his kids are active. 

Damon Dietz is a writer, filmmaker, and professional speaker, who shares his knowledge of finance, health and life from the perspective of a divorced dad over 40. He is a father to three amazing kids, and thinks dads are kick-ass, even when the rest of the world thinks we’re idiots.

Topics:

  • Raised by a single mom
  • Couldn’t wait to be a dad
  • Births of his children
  • Labor story
  • Not feeling an immediate connection to his kids during infancy
  • Separation and divorce
  • Being amicable during the process
  • Activities with the kids
  • Hiking
  • Introducing a new significant other
  • Calendar sharing and reminders for the family

Damon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/damondietzblog/
Website: http://damondietz.com/

***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast. 

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#13 – Damon Sumner – Marry Up

Ryan interviews Damon Sumner. Damon is married, a dad to three kids and a professional comedian. 

Damon’s Bio: Damon Sumner has been bringing laughter to people’s lives even before he held a mic on a stage. He has continued to hone his craft and every time he touches the stage, he delivers hilarious stories about his upbringing, and witty, high-energy observations of everyday life. Since starting standup in Atlanta, Damon has shared the stage with numerous headliners, like Iliza, Brent Morin, Todd Glass, Sarah Tiana, George Wallace, and so many more. He can be seen on EPIX’s “Unprotected Sets, Prime Video’s “Indie Life” and heard on Sirius XM’s “RAWDOG”. He co-hosts the hilarious podcast, “Forth and Ten” and runs shows all-around the ATL. In 2012, Damon toured China for a year and was a part of the team that opened the first full-time mainland comedy club in China, Kungfu Comedy Club. Damon has also performed in illustrious comedy festivals around the U.S. including the Dallas Comedy Festival, Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival, Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival, Hell Yes Comedy Festival and was a semi-finalist for the American Black Film Festival’s Comedy Wings Competition, sponsored by HBO. If you didn’t know, he’s about to become your new, favorite comic.

Topics: 

  • Becoming a comedian
  • Living in China
  • Favorite venues
  • Phase when children learn to wipe their butts
  • Don’t rush through phases
  • 8am Rule
  • Parenting in quarantine
  • Create a safe communication space with your children
  • Dinner table is screen free
  • Worst parts of having kids video series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvvUIOLB-3A
  • What he is optimistic about
  • Advice for new and expecting dads

Damon Sumner on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/damonasumner1
Better Dad on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy2KUvaohll8RQ8gRV9XyeQ/featured
Damon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/damonjr2/
Better Dad Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/better_dad/
Website: http://damonsumner.com/

***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast. 

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Being an Active Dad & Teaching Your Kids About Activity

Guest Post by: Damon Dietz

There was a time in my life that I would eat an entire pizza. Yep, eight full slices. That was in addition to a 2-liter bottle of diet coke. I thought that I was saving calories by opting for the diet version of the soda. SMH. My poor eating habits were the main reason I was fat, out of shape, and weighed 330 pounds. 

Things all changed for me once I had my first child. I decided that I needed to make a lifestyle shift, because if I kept on living the way that I was living I was going to drive myself to an early grave.  I wanted to be alive and well for my family. Having kids changed my life in more ways than you can imagine.

Well, a lot has changed since then. I have three amazing kids now. I have recently divorced, so I am raising my kids as a single dad. And I have lost over 130 pounds in total. Even though things changed, one thing remains constant… the importance of being an outstanding father to my kids. 

Here are my top three tips for being an active single dad and teaching my kids the importance of the physical activity. 


Lead By Example

Each morning when I wake up, I head to the designated workout area in my home and I perform my 10-minute stretching routine. Then I proceed to do a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise (usually strength training or the rowing machine).  The great thing about this routine is that my kids expect it. So, either one of two things happens. 

First, sometimes they join in. This is the best-case scenario, and while it doesn’t happen all the time, it happens regularly enough. My daughters love to join in on my stretching session and we often share some laughs at my lack of flexibility. My son thinks he is a master of doing pushups, so we all have lots of fun when they decide that they want to be a part of the exercise session in the morning. Alternatively, they leave me alone, The kids know that my exercise time is important to me, and it doesn’t last very long. So, for 30 minutes each morning, if they choose not to join in, they tend to themselves.


Make Physical Activity Fun

Hiking is an important part of my life. I enjoy the outdoors and the reprieve that hiking gives me from the stresses of life. So, I bring my kids hiking with me whenever possible. Hiking is a great way to stay active, but it doesn’t necessarily feel like exercise. I keep the family hikes shorter, and of course, I plan accordingly (bring kid-friendly snacks, plan frequent stops, and play some games along the way). 

What if you don’t like hiking? Well, you can plan any number of fun physical activities to do with your kids. All sports are great outlets for kids to expend energy and get the activity that they need. Soccer, basketball, baseball, swimming, tennis, volleyball, frisbee, gymnastics, and so much more!!


Play, Play, Play

If you find the idea of planning or organizing a sporting activity to play with your kids daunting, then, don’t plan, just play! Playgrounds, riding bikes or scooters, swingset, tag, & hide and seek are just a few of the activities that can give the kids the physical activity that they need and you can have fun while doing it.


Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the ways that I have found to implement into my daily life as a single dad to be active and teach my kids the importance of physical activity. I don’t ever want to push physical activity or exercise on the kids because then they will learn to resent it. Instead, I focus on leading by example and including them in activities that may be fun for the whole family. The more you incorporate physical activity and exercise into your daily routine, the more your kids will learn that exercise is the norm, rather than the exception that is only done once in a while. Now stop reading, and go outside and play with your kids!


About the Author

Damon Dietz is a writer, parenting coach, and professional speaker, who shares his knowledge of finance, health, parenting, and life from the perspective of a single dad over 40. He is a father to three amazing kids and thinks dads are kick-ass, even when the rest of the world sometimes thinks we’re idiots. You can get his best selling resource guide, for FREE, today only: 5 Free Activities To Help Dads Instantly Connect With Their Kids.


#12 – Jacob Birmingham: Be There

Ryan interviews Jacob Birmingham. Jacob lives with his wife and three kids in the great state of Texas. When he’s not swimming in diapers, he works as an animation artist, and storyteller. Jacob is also the cofounder of the Daddy Up App. We have a great conversation about becoming a dad and discuss the difficulties that their family went through for the birth of their second child. Jacob is thoughtful and talks about his drive to always be present with his family and encourages dads to be the same. 

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If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast. 

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#11 – Luis Turcott: “Warden and Inmate”

Ryan interviews Luis Turcott. Luis is a young, first-time dad to one son. He is also a sales professional who works from home and travels frequently for his job. We discuss everything from a difficult birthing experience to juggling working from home while his son is home full time.

***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast. 

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