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ART EDDY

Episode 46 – The Art of Fatherhood With Art Eddy

Episode highlights

00:01:43 Guest Background
00:06:55 how it started
00:18:04 The importance of venting yourself into something
00:24:21 Why open line of communication is important
00:28:12 Benefits of the Internet
00:29:44 The key message and the reason why the book life of dad was created
00:48:27 The five biggest challenges that facing fathers in modern times
00:53:22 Connect with the guest

Links

Transcript

Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here’s your host, Darren Kirby.

Darren: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for Dad’s in their 40s who want to improve their health and fitness. This is Episode 46. And joining me on today’s show is Art Eddy from The Art of Fatherhood. Art has a passion for fatherhood and enjoys talking with other dads about fatherhood journeys. In 2019. Art and his co author John Finkel write the life of that book, Art has been a featured writer, podcast host and producer, as well as a host of Facebook live shows. His background is in radio and journalism. Art has worked in radio in New York City, New Jersey and New Hampshire.

Hey Art. How are you doing?

Art: Good. How are you doing, sir?

Darren: Yeah. Good. Thank you very much. Thanks for agreeing to come on to the podcast today. How. How is life? How are you coping in these crazy times?

Art: Yeah, we’re you know, we’re doing our part, staying at home, making sure that we’re social distancing and, you know, making sure the girls are following their home, their virtual class plan and all that. Our teachers are great. And I work from home anyways. But now, you know, my wife sometimes occasionally works from home. So, yeah, we’re doing good. We’re just, you know, plugging along. And I hope everybody ‘s listeners are staying safe and being well. And I hope you and yours are doing well, man.

Darren: Yeah, we are indeed. Thanks. Thanks for asking. So before we get into the episode today, can we get a better background on you and a life today, how you’ve come to start your own art of fatherhood?

Art: Sure. You know, it’s funny, I’ve talked to this. I’ve talked about this on many, many occasions where I’ve never thought I would talk in writing and doing podcasts about fatherhood. I wanted to get into Davian radio. And so in college, I went to Communications Routt and I went to U. N h. Universe in New Hampshire. They had some programs to get it like, you know, on their local radio station and some other things here and there. But New Hampshire isn’t a mecca for TV and radio and all that other stuff in the sense of finding an internship. So when I graduated college, I was doing some jobs here and there. And then when I finally got into radio in New Hampshire, we were moving.We’re moving to New Jersey. And thankfully, the head of the radio station in New Hampshire knew someone in New Jersey. 

So I started working there. And then when our daughters came along, we were looking like, all right, we don’t want to go to the daycare, who should stay home? And my job, my job in radio. It’s not the most secure profession. So we’re like, all right, I’ll stay home with the kids. And then it kind of trickled into working a podcast with some of the guys I used to work in radio with called On. And then I started writing for a couple other sites and then I was introduced to the guys over at Life of Dad and they wanted to do a podcast. And because I was a dad, they were like, hey, let’s do this. So it started there. So, you know, focusing on fatherhood. And then right now, the beginning of last summer, the ending of last year, I kind of started the art of fatherhood for many reasons. 

But I did it mostly because I wanted to see if I could start something from start to finish by myself and create a Website and all that good stuff. And so that’s, you know, that’s where the art of fatherhood came to be. So now a long, long answer. But that’s, you know, from radio to, you know, being a stay at home dad now where I’m at, you know, focusing on fatherhood. So you have had a fun journey so far.

Darren: Yeah. And it’s cool. And yes, it’s an interesting background, to be honest. I think it’s something I think much like myself, I never expected one to be talking about parenthood to TV in a podcast and three to actually turn myself into a bit of an athlete. So it’s strange how life takes us in the path that we go on. So just going back a little bit to the life of dad. So what was the basic premise on which, you know, the life that that is because he’s a massive community now, isn’t it, in the US?

Art: Yeah. I mean, you know, people look at it like, oh, wow, look, you have got like three million followers on Facebook and all that. But it took some time and it took some ingenuity and some creativity. Life of dad actually started. We always say this. And if people have heard me before the other, there’s a total of six co-founders. There’s Tom Riley, who is the actual founder, founder and two of his brothers in laws, Dan Mazars and Patriquin, and David Guest, who is a friend. And then Ryan Hamilton, who was the coder of the Web site and all that stuff. And he and I, Ryan, used to do the life of dad after the show. Tom Ryles and I did The Life of Dad podcast. And we were all of us would write about father. We would yeah. You know, work on Facebook. Like Patriquin was such a savant on Facebook. He started it. 

This is where like with him and the cheerio challenge, that’s where we got to. I kind of got our, you know, claim to fame where. Viral when, you know, former President Barack Obama was doing the cheerio challenge while a stuffed animal and when Retha Reese Witherspoon was talking about it and Stephen Colbert and Macklemore, like you knew like, all right. This thing has some legs. And Cheerios actually came to us and we did some stuff with them, too. So that’s where, like, I think the big, big jump on our platform came. 

And that was, you know, Patrick just that dude is a creative guy. But going back to the origins of  Life of Dad. So Tom Rial’s is his first child with his wife, Lucy. They had the daughter who had a congenital heart defect. And so to make you know, that time is all stuff going on. And he just wanted to make sure that everybody was, you know, and both sides of the family knew what was going on. So we created the Life of Dad blog.

And then after everything, you know, their oldest is she’s doing great. We always say when it’s her birthday, you know, another year of the Life of Dad has been celebrated as well. So it kinda started with that. And then we brought more people on. We know we shared a bunch of other dads sites, videos. And, you know, we just created this community. We have like subsect groups in our Facebook community. So, yeah, it’s I it’s it started off with, like, Tom in the hospital room and and it looks kind of like I was the last person to join the life  Dad Voltron crew.

If you think about it, like all of us, we brought something different to it and then we brought in other people. But yeah, man, it’s it’s it’s been a fun ride.

Darren: Yeah. I mean, he said super fascinating. Some of the stuff that goes on, on the Facebook page is really interesting. And the community is pretty active. So what do you think it is that’s kind of cool is, you know, people like you, people like me that want to write about fatherhood. What do you think? Are we a period of time where it’s more acceptable to be a dad or or what do you think is.

Art: That’s a really good question. I think, Darren, like, you know, I think we all have kind of seen our kids as Muse’s, right? There are certain things like I remember the first article I wrote at Life. Her dad was called Kids Are Like Velociraptors. It was just because, like, I always think like I’m always like I’m a geek and I always, like, use movie references. I think, yeah, pretty much all guys and women do if they’re into movies and watch and stuff. Right.

So there’s always like someone says something, you look around the room or see if someone else got that, like inside joke or movie reference or whatever the case may be. But I wrote about fatherhood, not that I felt like fatherhood needed to be promoted at all, that other stuff. I was just sharing, like because I started working for Life of Dad. I was like, all right. Yeah. I just want to write about what I think fatherhood means to me and sharing some fun stories.

I  think as I,  as you and I and other people were in this space, we realized. We saw this trend of my dads being the second class parent, right? Yeah, well, there was cause there was, you know, the idea of deadbeat dads or single moms or whatever the case may be in commercials or, you know, he’s not that he’s a live person to care about this.

But Homer Simpson was always like the W dad who, like, backed into fatherhood, does weird things. But in the end, his kids know that they love him, even though they make fun of them during the show, whatever the case may be. But we want to show that there’s more than that, right. There’s more than a buffoon, dad.

So I think the more and more we saw that calling, we wish that I started focusing on articles more balik. I actually wrote an article where, I mean, I’m a creature of habit. So before this whole pandemic, I’d always go grocery shopping Friday morning after the kids would go to school. But when they were with me before they went to school, we would go shopping on Fridays. And one woman, the deli counter, another customer, she’s like, Oh, you’re so nice letting your wife have the day off. She likes, you know, just enjoying our time off. And like, I could have been in there like I know some guys. And that’s fine. Like take the stance, put the soap box on. 

But what are you talking about? I’m a stay at home dad. I was just like, yeah, she’s having a great time because I didn’t I didn’t need to know, but. But the funny thing was, is the lady that was the deli associate, she knew that would come in all the time. And so she just smiled and she kind of gave me a wink like way to go, like not handling it. Like you handled it well.

So then I just wrote an article where I was like, all right, I just want to let you know, other dads know that, you know, it’s okay to, you know, show that you’re just you know, they’re as much as the mom. Right. And there was one article where I again, I don’t know why all of our grocery stores, but again, I was shopping. I was wearing a Life of Dad’s sweatshirt. And the guy’s like life, dad. What’s that about? I kinda explain. It’s like I was like, so why are you doing the shopping? Where’s your wife? I was like, what? Like what? Like what? 

So it was just like there’s certain things around. Like right now I’m going to get on my soapbox and talk about, like, certain things that people need to know about. So if something happens or I, a friend, you know, I experience something through a friend and ask like, hey, can I write about this. But, you know, I talk about humor. I try to build up fatherhood where I’m not, like, tearing anybody down or like trying to, you know, create like, this is my platform.

This is but I just want to show dads all around that are doing good. Like, you know, I’m glad that we’re connecting. So people understand, like there are a bunch of dads striving to be just as good as moms. And it’s not like, yeah, I know what you call it’s not a competition. I just think that, you know, for me and my wife, we have a great balance of, you know, we know. And if I go if I have an interview with like you would like, you know, the kids need help. My wife’s like, don’t worry, I got this. If they need help with their homework assignments over the case, maybe, and vice versa.

She’s on a call or a meeting. I’m like, you know, I got this or I got lunch with them at noon because you have a call at noon. Right? So, yeah, you just know, I think in society we see, like, you know, one spectrum or the other. But I think most of us around the world live in that middle where things are quite normal because you have a spouse that cares just as much about their kids as you know your spouse does. So I think it’s there, but I think it needs to be promoted for fathers as well. So, again, long answer, but I hope I gave you the right answer.

Darren: Yeah, no, no, I think he’s fine. And I think he’s interesting, isn’t it? Because it’s almost like it’s this stereotypical system that we’ve all been filtered into. Right. Say Dad’s got to work. Moms might stay home or moms might have a part time job, but moms do the groceries. Yeah. And ninth too often the case and Dad’s do the other stuff right. And it’s almost like it’s a bit of an ego to a bit of testosterone thrown in there as well, isn’t it?

And he’s like, how minute you’re a guy and you want to see my wall? What’s that? It’s almost like you come from another planet, right? Yeah, I think it’s crazy. We shouldn’t be like that. And I think I think the other side to it now is that with the advent of people talking way more about men’s mental health, I think the whole kind of discussion, really, if you like, around men, around dads is becoming more common. Right. Because if you take you back 10, 15 years ago.

Dads, you know, they kind of went out with their friends and they might have drank beer or into bars . And, you know, the testosterone fueled kind of conversations around you guys call it football, we call it, or you cause Carafa from soccer and they talk about that, but they don’t talk about their feelings. And they would never talk about maybe cooking that kids dinner or doing recipes and stuff like that. So, yeah, I completely agree. I think this is a fascinating people’s reaction.

Art: But I just to kind of go with that Darren, I think you’re spot on because I’ve written articles about my wife where, you know, there’s that guilt that, you know, women feel like if they’re not home and they have a career, again, with me, with having two daughters, I want them to see that any man or woman can do any role. Yeah, because there are those  Stereotypes just let it go. I’m very proud of my wife and what she does and what she’s accomplished. And I’m glad that, you know, my daughters have a strong role model with, you know, with my wife. 

So it goes both ways. Like, I feel bad for the women who want a career. Still want kids. But just, you know, there’s double standards everywhere. And of course, because of stereotypes and double standards, hopefully. You know, Darren, you and I and other dads and moms are just kind of breaking those ideas like. No, just because it works for like the 1950s and 40s and hundreds and all of stuff doesn’t mean it has to work right now.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. I definitely agree. And I think we all in many ways are as advanced as we are as a human race and technology and everything else. If we look at the way that we behave in a kind of a family unit in society, we are still very much stuck back in that kind of 1940s, 1950s kind of way of life only.

Art: Oh, exactly. And here again, everyone finds themselves at different points of their life. Right. Some kids, you know, right away, I think now more than ever, you see kids being more open to who they are, believing in their identity. Right, because there’s more access to me like, oh, if you see something like a colleague, again, just with these podcasts. Right. Like you see like there. And I can be like, oh yeah. 

This is something that you just said about others. I can agree. All right. It’s not just me. Right. As much as you at times want to be that rock, whether you’re a man or a woman. Right. I’m independent. You want some uniformity or just like to see some. Oh, Darren feels the same way about this. Sweet. I’m not the only one. But I think that in high school, I think junior year I started like having this is for me, like I hope my kids kind of do around the same time. Like, who cares what other people think. Right. Like I. Yeah. Like, I moved around a lot as a kid, especially my earlier years. And then I lived in New Hampshire from like seventh grade until college.

But like the first few years of living there, I was like trying to fit in and try and do whatever. And then, like I realized junior year, I was like, forget this man. I had like three good friends and of course, like some good acquaintances and a lot of people that I would like, you know, laugh and share jokes with at school. But like, after a while, I didn’t care if I was like the cool crowd, the idiot crowd. I didn’t give a crap. And like, I just felt like the more and more as you get older, it’s like, who cares what anybody thinks? If you’re doing something positive, you’re creating a positive influence in the world and you’re not hurting yourself or others. Do not care what other people think. 

And if you have people that you care about that might think like, why are you doing this? Sit them down and have a normal conversation, say where you’re coming from. I think the art of conversation is gone now because a lot of people try and wage war on social media in 140 characters or not get your point right?

Darren: Yeah, definitely. I think we can definitely all be brought up and I don’t know where it comes from. It is this thing that oh, be careful what so-and-so thinks. He’ll be careful what they want. But when I think when you get to a certain age he’s almost like when I got to 40, it’s like I don’t really care anymore what anybody thinks. And, you know, it’s almost like you kind of throw off the shackles, isn’t it? Well, you know, I’m going to do it. And the funny thing is, it’s like you say, you know, and even now if I tell my family and in a Pooka set up, why do you need a podcast for? You know, it’s almost like, that’s a young person thing. That should be you shouldn’t be messing around with that. You know, you should be doing normal adult stuff right there.

Art: Darren don’t do a podcast if you even think about starting a tick tock. We’ve got to sit down.

Darren: Well, it’s funny you say that because my kids have just introduced me to tik tok. And oh, my God, is that addictive? That thing is addictive. It’s crazy. But but. Yeah. But the other thing you said there earlier is it is around the internal conversations, Right. So the internal conversations that I have that you have about manliness, about being the father, about, you know, being the man of the house, every other guy on the planet is having those same conversations. But it’s only I feel it’s only now people are starting to actually admit and come out and say, yeah, you know what? I have those doubts. I have those conversations. I have that feeling of perhaps not being enough or not delivering enough to the family. But he’s crazy that he’s only coming out now. Right.

Art: For sure. And again, I think there is that suck it up mentality or rub some dirt on it or like, you know, boys don’t cry mentality. Right. And yet women can’t be strong. And if you see a strong woman, whether it’s physical strength, emotional strength, mental strength over the case, maybe I think women have been all 3s have strength in all three areas, not just now. But I think, you know, the way you think society has like you know, since the dawn of time, it was always like a male dominated era. Right. And now it’s like more and more. And the funny thing is, is like you see for anything, if someone disagrees with you now or someone has, like, this idea that, like, men can share their feelings and you need to like. You know, like I’ve got to show my male bravado. I got to be more like Randall. It’s like, no, you don’t like everyone. There’s strength in knowing your limits, their strength and knowing your fears. And I think that there’s stereotypes for a reason.

I get it. But hopefully more and more alike I look at our kids’ generation and, you know, eventually, like the next generation, like you grab our grandkids. And also, if I want them to not worry about someone’s color, gender preference over the case may be, again, like everyone. I think sometimes I am too concerned with what everybody else is doing. Like, yeah, I find it very amazing, especially nowadays with everything that’s going on. It’s this whole thing that is affecting the world. Is pandemic. Right. 

People are still complaining about pointless things. And I’m like, why wouldn’t I care about this right now what? This person’s lifestyle is not affecting you. So because this person came out and said that, you know, they are failing as a father and they try to find their kids, I go, the guy’s a sissy. It’s like, really? Yeah. No, like your show again, mental health is like if you don’t I’m not a doctor. I’m not a psychiatrist, psychologist. 

Whatever the case may be, even if you don’t have an outlet, you can have someone you can share your thoughts with and just, you know, even just vented out maybe to yourself or maybe sometimes I might you know, my podcast is therapeutic. I’m guessing your podcast is therapeutic because you could actually just, you know, go off on what you’re thinking with your guests and to share things.

So I think now more than ever, because more and more people are speaking out on all different kinds of aspects in their life, especially men and what it means to be masculine, the different forms of masculinity. Yeah, I think thankfully that’s happening because it’s OK to be different. It’s OK to be you and just embrace your own faults, your own strengths and weaknesses, because that’ll make you who you are, right?

Darren: Yeah, definitely. Hundred percent I think is so important to let kids know that it’s okay to be themselves and it’s okay to cry. Is okay to show emotion right. More I guess. Go I don’t, I don’t have girls so I don’t know. But I guess girls are more inclined to, you know, am on the emotional side and display their emotions whereas boys will display it, but they will display in different ways what I say might display in anger and stuff like that, like they feel they can let it out. But I think, you know, unless we as parents take on that responsibility to show and demonstrate to them that it’s okay to show your emotions and it’s important that you let it out and don’t keep it, it just makes for better around a person.

Art: Oh, one hundred percent. Yeah. And I think another thing, too, where, you know, you kind of mentioned like, oh boys, we’ll do this to girls to do that. Like I think there is, you know, again, even though I’m saying everyone should have their own, you know, way of life and thinking, oh, it’s I think there are some tendencies just the way boys and girls are and men and women are made up. Right.

There’s going to be certain. Yeah. But on the flip side, like when someone says like and again, like I when someone is like, oh, you have a girl. So it must be a little bit easier now like I’ve always liked people said like, oh, you have girl girls. So when they’re toddlers and you know, you know child children, they’re going to be easy for you. But just wait. So they’re, you know, teenage because that’s when the war starts. And for me, it’s like, okay, let’s just take a look at that for a second. Right. Let’s let’s break it down to this again. The stereotypes where girls like will be emotional and all that other stuff. And again, like maybe guys in high school aren’t sharing their feelings and were told, like, to keep things bottled in.

But one of the things like I’m always looking at guys that I’ve interviewed who have kids that are older than me. Right. Well, I see sometimes there are those too stereotypical like, you know, posts on social media. I’m like, oh, my gosh, you know, teenage daughter. Right. I get that. I understand that. But I think one of the things in any relationship is communication and understanding where that person is coming from. And I think, yeah, Arendt’s back, you know, maybe our parent generation and back or, you know, our grandparents and so forth back in the day was like, kid, you’re complaining about, you know, your friend and you know you and your friend having a fight. I got to pay taxes. Shut up. This will be that thing. Shut up. Like, don’t worry, it’ll be over. 

But like, we have to realize what they’re, what they’re caring about, what is in the main center of their universe, in their world right now. It’s their friends. It’s creating identity. It’s learning who they are. Right. So I have found through interviewing dads that have kids older than me, it’s like not don’t just hear them, listen to them or don’t just listen to them, hear them. Right. And I got to realize that, you know, I used to do before me and like, I don’t worry about this will pass. You know, when you get older, you have to worry about, you know, medical payments and all these other stuff and car bills. I was up, but then, like, I stop doing X, I’m like, wait a minute, they’re still coming to me with something that they really care about. And if I just pooh-pooh it, they’re not going to come to me anymore.

Right. And as they get older, they’ll have more ways to communicate with friends, whether it’s a phone or their, you know, online or of the case. Maybe you don’t lose communication. Communication is key. And so for me and my daughters, my wife and our daughters, we try and just be open and honest. We’ll talk about things. And even though it feels like you won’t talk about something. No. All right. 

When you want to come, you know, come and get me. And then 15 minutes. I can’t talk to your dad, Mike. Yeah, sure. So I think I just know I kind of went off. I’m just saying boys will be boys and girls will be girls. I think that to me is kind of a myth. And don’t prep up for or don’t prepare for a stereotype just because other people have experienced it look deuced like as most people do research my puts the best cable service to get or better phone tracking an iPhone. So I get a Galaxy X and people like the Door of research. And I know like you again, this is like a catch 22 because you might want to read books about parenting or, you know, the how to or like, you know, so you’re gonna become a dad or the guide to pregnancy. Take those all in but don’t feel like that’s gospel. Just take all of that stuff in, pick and choose what it’s gonna work for you and bring it in. But I think for me, communication is keen understanding where they are and putting yourself when you are their age and understanding the issues that they’re having.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. I think. Because then to pick up on the point you said about, you know, boys and girls being different. The funny thing is what everybody wore around me, at least anyway, they say, oh, you know. Your daughter’s gains or set the thing that’s going to change. And you go, you’re gonna have trouble with those boys being equally changing, right?

Yeah. Hey, guys. PBT, they’re going through a similar change. But because I guess I don’t know what it is, really. Why why it is, you know, pushed on the go so much. But, you know, you still have struggles with boys. And, you know, the other thing is when I find that when they cut when kids come to you about a problem that they’re having, you know, often there’s an underlying thing that they’re not happy about. But because of the way that, you know, depending on their age or how they’ve developed or how they like you say, the communication is in the family. They don’t really know how to verbalize it and they don’t really know how to get it out. 

So I think, like you said, you know, as long as you have that, clear understanding that there’s an open line of communication and you can talk about anything, can you know, kids won’t often just blurt out that could because like I said, you know, they won’t know how to necessarily explain it, verbalize it. They won’t know what their feelings are necessarily. So I think the communication thing is, is, yeah. Is really, really important. But then, you know, then you get the other thing. Now, like he said, in terms of technology and if we don’t have these lines of communication in and if they don’t understand there’s a child that they can come to their parents.

This is the way. And I think it goes off track and that’s when they go online. Right. And then they can disappear off down rabbit holes in groups and people befriending them and all that kind of stuff. So I think that’s another thing to consider.

Art: Oh, yeah. And one hundred percent in my again, my daughters, they have they have ipads and of course they’re, you know, on their laptops, working on their schoolwork, but they don’t have phones yet. And. My sixth grader, she’s like, well, one can get one. And before we’re like probably eighth grade. Right. But like for many.

I want them to come to me with questions that say I have all the answers and they haven’t, you know, like it’s my way or the highway, but like I want them. I feel like there’s some innocence lost. Like every generation grows up quicker just because of the environment. Just my opinion. And so one of the things that my wife and I are in agreement, actually, there’s a family that we’re really good friends with as a daughter, the same age. And we’ve almost created like a pack. Like you had no phone until like eighth grade, because we feel like there is that sort of innocence in like when they’re and when they’re hanging out together, they’re hanging out and they’re playing. They’re doing stuff they want. 

They could be talking or creating like a craft or of the case may be using it. When they hang with other people, they’re like, oh, it’s like, oh, you want to, you know, videos on YouTube. Like, all right, I get that’s like instead of maybe watching me and you’re doing that. But like, I’ve walked into rooms, whether it was my cousins, nephews over the case maybe who were younger than me. And they’re all like hanging out there talking to each other, but they’re talking via their phones and their texting or my what you guys all doing is texting each other. Like my mind. Like you’re in the same room, what are you doing?

So again, like when you mention the rabbit hole, like there are so many things that kids are gonna be, you know, inundated with where it’s like. It’s a lot of stuff to comprehend. And that’s what I really want. Mike. Yeah. We’re gonna hold on and like, just search on the Internet and have fun with it, right?

Darren: Yeah, it is tough. I mean, it is very tough. I think it’s particularly tough when you have the older sibling who is his reach, you know, whatever milestone you said that they can have, whatever technology they can have, then you get the youngest sibling who’s constantly biting at your ankles like you say, when can I have it? When can I link like that? You know? And it’s that that’s another challenge of trying to explain to me why they can’t have it. You know, they just think you’re being restrictive. Right. But you need to kind of try to explain to and without scaring the living daylights out of them. Why are they not having this technology right now?

Art: Oh, 100 percent. Again, like, I think, again, this is where communication comes up, where you’re explaining why you’re doing it right. And you don’t want to scare them because there is plenty plenty of benefits to the Internet and the connectivity. And I get that like facetime, especially now more than ever. You know, let’s face time with family and friends. I would you know, my kids are doing facetime with their friends just so that they can have, like, a virtual hangout. Right. And so I get that. 

But again, as you know, I explain it especially to my older one. My youngest, as she gets older, will do the exact same thing. But it’s just kind of like, all right, there’s a lot of dangerous things on the Web, not that we don’t try to do. It’s other people we don’t trust that we don’t like. No, we’re see I mean, you look at games like roadblocks and like all these other things and you see like even if the parent was right next to the child playing, like, all of a sudden someone hacks in and they start by showing you things, whether it’s like porn or of the case, me being like, do kids really need to see that?

Darren: No. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. I think, you know, it depends on the right. At some point they would understand that. But you it has to be at the time. It’s right for them to be bad to deal with stuff like that emotionally, doesn’t it? I think that’s that’s the thing. Yeah.

Art: Something again, think about like if kids got a phone in like fifth or sixth grade and they have access to anything. Right. And I’m like, oh yes. This is the way things go. That’s what you do to someone. Oh OK. It is really what you do. No.

Darren: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah it is. Yeah. It’s because they believe everything they see on the Internet and that’s the other challenge, you know, particularly with YouTube and stuff like that. And they say only YouTube is with the calls and the houses, the money and all the rest of it. And you end each trying to get them to understand, you know, they’re doing that. So you watch it. So they have achieved their objective. Right. But he’s trying to get in to understand the details behind it. And I find that particularly challenging with the boys. So when you see it, life dads, they created the life of that book. So what was that? What was the key message and the reason why the book was created?

Art: Sure. So the Life of Dad book was actually kind of just a second part of the life of dads or the podcasts that I would do every week. Right. With, you know, notable people, notable dads like Mark Hamill, Shaquille O’Neal, Mark Cuban. It was just people that like I thought were, you know, interesting. And I’d love to hear their take on fatherhood. Right. So everyone, even before this podcasting thing or whatever the case may be, people don’t like, oh, you should write a book like all the different things you do ever since and radio and then also the different trips you’d go on for media events like I was starting with like her dad. 

There’s other sites I was writing for. And so, like Crown Royal would like to send me to the NASCAR brickyard, the brick Brickyard 400, and like I would go there and do all these things. I was just like me, you know, and everyone’s like, how do you do this? I like what’s going on. Some people like Morning, my good friend. Brian is like, you’ve got to write a book. You have to write this book. All right. It’s going to be OK. And then one of the guys that came up to help us out, life, dad, John Finkel, has written many books.

He was like, have you not read this book yet? I’m like, you’ve been talking to my friend Brian, because he’s been pushing it. And my wife’s been pushing to write a book and I’m like, whatever he’s like. But there’s so much good content right here. And so the main idea was just coming from the life lessons that these guys would share about fatherhood. And we put it into the book and we kind of like broke down who we wanted to put in the book. Yeah. And then we kind of created different categories, whether it’s like learning something, you know, teaching your kids something or the values you’re doing or just life lessons you’ve learned as a dad. So we kind of broke it down like three to four sections. 

And then again, John Finkle, the coauthor, like he just like he was the captain of the ship. And he was like, I’ll let you know. So it was, you know, crowds and my material. He and I would like to go over the books and we will be talking with Simon Schuster Slash Adams media. We go back and forth writing the book and all that stuff. It was really cool. I mean, it was something where I never thought I would do. I did it. And now it’s like I got a book at Barnes Noble. My kids and my wife were very proud. My family was proud of me. Yeah, a lot of people are like that and people purchase the books. It was really cool to get that feeling, but it just actually came from the, you know, the love and joy in the effort that I put into the podcast.

Darren: Yeah. Nice a source and say in terms of it’s interesting, like because my perception is that, you know, when you see these nice movie stars or stars, parents and stuff like that, you often think that they have these perfect lives. Right. And they are perfect parents. So what is it kind of some of the big key learnings that you learn from interviewing these guys?

Art: Yeah, I always mention this bowling ball, one of the kings of comedy. I think you’re a blue collar comedy or a blue collar comedy tour. Again, I kind of mentioned this earlier where just like listening to your kids, like he said, you know, don’t just, like, listen to him and be like, yeah, you know, you’ll you know, just you’ll you’ll be fine. Like, listen to your kids. They will want to. And if you do that, they will want to communicate and chat with you and talk with you. And there’s a picture that I had for the article where it was him and his son, Mike, sharing a beer. 

And like, you know, that’s the conversation right? There could have been just fun, fluffy stuff, but there could have been some serious stuff there as well. Right. And then Mark Hamill, the guy, of course, who’s known for a Luke Skywalker and the voice of Joker in the animated series of Batman and stuff, but like big fan of his work, of course, being a Star Wars Gigha, who’s hearing him say, like the one of his biggest accomplishments is still having a great relationship with all of his three kids. He’s like, you know, I could have been someone who was a decent father, whatever the case may be. But he’s like, I cherish the fact that we all three have a great relationship.

And that to me, it’s like sweet. Like, who doesn’t want to. Who wouldn’t want that? And that’s something where, like, I. This is my goal, too. Like when my daughters get older and they go to college, I want them to be able to come to my wife and me and just talk about anything or share their, you know, their concerns or their dreams or aspirations. So I’ve you know, this they’re like we feel very lucky because we’re almost reinforcing our fatherhood through our work. Right. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So it’s like, you know, I’m using the stuff I’ve learned through radio, through, you know, the entertainment world and just writing and all these other things through school and all that. But to me, what I’m learning to be, I’m learning to be a better father from talking to other dads, you and all these other great guys who are just like, all right, they are you know, they’re sharing their thoughts. And there’s certain things I’ll agree with. My parents do this with his kids. I’m like, oh, I think I should do that, too. That’s a really great idea. Right. So you’re almost putting this, like, puzzle together of father and you just kind of using the knowledge of other dads to make yourself a better dad?

Darren: Yeah, definitely. You know, I think it’s that that away and it’s that consciousness, you know. You’re saying he’s got a great relationship with these three boys. You know, that doesn’t happen by accident. You actively have to go out and pursue that. And all I just feel and I don’t want to talk out of turn, but I just feel that there’s so many parents and obviously I’m looking from the outside in that don’t do that right. 

They will argue that every parent wants a great relationship with their children. But how many parents actively go out to pursue that? Right. Take, for example, encourage communication, sit down. Having one to one time with them. Right. And just talk about them. Well, you know, I don’t like what you said. I don’t dismiss what’s going on in their world. Actively speak to that and encourage it. And I just feel that there is not you know, I don’t think that there’s enough of that, really. The guys on.

Art: One hundred percent agree, yeah. Again, I don’t think you’re speaking out of turn, you’re just there. Again, I’m not going to call people out, but there are certain times where you’re like, what’s going on here? Like if sometimes I feel this may not be the case, I’m maybe judging and probably not the best thing to do is judge someone else who if you don’t know the whole story, but you just wonder, like, yeah. Do they really want kids or they just did it because they’re keeping up with the Joneses. Right. Like was that the reason why? Like in some people I can’t even know. I’ve told people I’ve said this to me directly, but I’ve heard and things like, yeah, I was a terrible father. I got to, you know, maybe I should have been a dad. I was like, okay, like now you admit it. But that’s like the kids. Twenty nine years old now and it’s like, all right, what did what did your impact or less only not impact due to their life and their identity. Right. So yeah. Yeah. I think. You can, you know, do all of the things, but then, like you really want to be a dad or a parent, like it takes time. If you really care about something, you will put the effort in. And again, not speaking to the people who have two jobs and need to, like, keep the lights on by working out two jobs.

Not saying that at all. Hopefully the kids will see. I think they do because kids are very perceptive. And I think kids in my know if you’re being authentic or if you’re being fake. And I think it might sting at certain times where if a kid who is dealing with a parent or a single parent or just parents that are like have to work just to keep the lights on, it might seem that they might not be at their baseball game or dance recital for an hour. The dance practice rubber case may be. But as they get older, I think, Darren, you and I like I called my parents one time when I was just recently out of college. I just called them up. I said thank you. And they’re like, oh, my, for everything, for oil changes, for the car, for the dentist, you know, the things you pay for, like my wisdom teeth pulled out. Like, I just like so I came back. I saw, like, a medical payment. Of course, when you get on your own, you know, making the most money. Right. So you just keep in mind you’re like, wait, I have to pay this thing. So I think kids will see that if you really tried in your own way and you really cared, they will get it and they will see it. But if you’re just mailing it in or phoning it in, they’ll know.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. And I think I think the important thing I’ll say to make, you know, is you and I both not saying that we’re amazing, panel. No, we’ve got this nailed because, you know, no one in the world is good at anything now. Right. And it’s all kind of you’re constantly evolving. You’re constantly learning. You’re constantly adapting.

I think, you know, for me personally, what I’ve decided is I want my voice to be the best versions that they can be. And in order for them to be that all I have to be the more I sound a bit we were a bit cliche, but, you know, they lead by example so much. And if I’m a complete also or whatever, I’ve got one ear and my life out of balance. You know, they’re probably fun about that, you know, and you can kind of see for other families as well.

Art: Yeah, definitely. I agree. And I think, though, to where you have. You know. Yeah, I mean, we could just go on this topic for a while. I yeah, I’m gonna say I definitely agree. Yeah.

Darren: Awesome. All right. So in terms of Yossi, you mention you work from home and stuff like that. How does kind of family time work, you know, around it work time? And how does your fitness work as well?

Art: Yeah. So I know, I didn’t start lifting weights or anything like that until college, like some of my roommates or I start living on campus like, hey, you wanna go to the gym with us on my bike?

I would just like playing basketball, my friends and all the other stuff. Yeah. Yeah. I might have lifted weights here and there, but it wasn’t like a constant thing. But in the gym. Junior year is like, all right, let’s, you know, go to the gym with you guys. And they taught me how to work certain machines and all other stuff. And then after college, I had like a gym membership would go there. And then slowly but surely I would probably you know, when my first order came around, I would run here and there. And I actually was.

Well, because through the radio station, we had a guy that was advertising a five K and he was like, Hey. Years ago, you know, Coachella’s I was like, I’ll train and I’ll do it. I’ll do it also. This stuff with you was like, All right, cool. So like, I ran a five K and a pretty decent amount. And this is the guy who wasn’t a fan of, you know, running around and like, you know, doing my cross-country or track or anything on those lines. 

But, you know, there were different phases of me through my health and working out now with my kids before this pandemic, they would go off to school. I’d quickly hit the gym Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Obviously, we’d be doing stuff like we’re going to hike here and there on a certain weekend or if we’d be outside playing. I get my exercise or just mow interactivity that way. But Monday through Friday will be like cardio. Monday, Wednesday. Friday. Tuesday, right now I actually teamed up Bowflex and they actually sent me a machine. So like I, I it was it came at the right time. I guess I’m gonna say, because I think it’s dumb to say the right time during a pandemic, but like yeah, I wasn’t going to the gym or shut the gyms down. I had a machine where I like. Yes, I would probably be running if I didn’t have a machine. Right. 

But in the comfort of my own home, I’m able to work out, get a really good workout in that I have some weights at home. I’m lifting out. So not only is it good for me, but my kids will see what I’m doing. And then like in the afternoon, after they do their classes Monday through Friday, we spend like half an hour, forty minutes outside in the backyard doing gym class. Whether I have them yet sprints in the beginning, some jumping jacks and we play a game and then I have them do some other physical stuff just to keep them motivated.

And I actually recently started my wife doing intermittent fasting last year and I just started doing it at the beginning of this year that I’ve seen. I’m tired when I should be, if that makes sense. I get night, I’m staying up and there’s a lot of things that came with me. Like I actually had my appendix blown up. Okay, I was going for a run and I went the time I saw, I felt something like, Oh, what is that? It was right at the beginning of my run. Oh, my guy should be fine. And then like I run for a two and a half mile run over the case may be. I kept on having issues. So like I realized that after this thing, like they had to do some major surgery too. And I’m good. Yeah. 

But like I’m like, all right, I should probably stop drinking this and stop doing that and doing a little bit more healthy thing so I could be there and for my kids. So not only am I trying to work out and trying to stay fit and my pants are like, I feel good because everyone’s like I’m wearing sweatpants, all the other stuff. Now, am I on this pandemic? Might well, I’m intermittent fasting. I’m not eating that much. I only if my, you know, new to six or seven.

Yeah. And like, you know, the weekends will be a little bit different, but I’m not like, you know, eating ice cream at midnight on a Friday night. Right. Like I might have occasional drinks with my wife or the case may be. But like Monday through Friday, I’m not really Sunday night through Thursday night. I’m not drinking any alcohol at all. So stuff. So like I realized, as you get older, you can’t have those, like, you know, college party nights where you’re drinking two nights.

Yeah, no pizza late night. And all of a sudden you go to the gym, you’re like, yeah, like you start realizing like, man, I got some extra weight around me. What’s happening though at forty I think was a good time. Starting intermittent fasting and just watching what you eat and drink and how you eat is huge. I know. I appreciate that, sir.

Darren: Yeah. Yeah. And I definitely I think I think like you say, when you get to my magic number of forty, you know, you kind of I don’t know what it is really, but for me at least, it was like, well, you know, I kind of didn’t expect to be where I was at when I was fourth in terms of my physical health and all the rest of it. And and, you know, you then start to look at the back end of your life. Thank you. And you kind of want to be around for the kids, grandkids and all the rest of it. And, you know, I. D Fallston and I do a weekly 36 hour fast as well as one just because of the medical benefits from it. And because your body guys reprices prices of autophagy and what that does is it clears out the dead cells that we have in the body and regenerates our new mitochondria, which is basically our engines.

Art: So that means that you can take science class in high school. I appreciate that.

Darren: With a term. That’s fine. You can have that one for free. Yeah. I mean, it is interesting how a lot of people have jumped on that on the Intermittent fasting and their reasons for doing it. But yeah, I mean, there’s this science to back it up saying, yeah, that’s fantastic. So in terms of like your family nutrition stuff and your girls, they, you know, they are aware of why you’re doing what you’re doing. And Intermittent fasting and the diets and the hassle. Rest of it.

Art: Yeah. Again, with women. With girls. I want to make sure that they don’t think that their body is everything. Right. Like, I know, there’s that fine line where like, ah, you want take care yourself, you want to be active.

But if you want to have dessert, like again going back to John Finckel, he and I were talking about stuff. In the end I do a Facebook live show and we’re talking about something. And he brought up the fact that he doesn’t have kids and doesn’t have dessert until like Friday and Saturday nights. Those are the nights. Right. And I adopted my kids. Right. What? Because, like, we were given, like, you mean for me to like. Oh, yeah, sure. You can have a small on a Tuesday night, like, why not after you finish your meal. 

And then it was like, you don’t really need to do that. Right. So once we kind of cut that out and even, you know, especially now we’re home like, oh, can we do this on my bike? They wanted to bake brownies like two days ago. My it’s Tuesday night doing like, no. Yeah. And they’re like, what am I? We can make the brownies Thursday or Friday and then you can have them over the weekend and all that other stuff. 

But I’m like, we need to stick to this. And then when they saw not only me, because I’m usually the one that is making breakfast with them and I usually would eat with them and they’re like, why aren’t you eating like Mike? I’m doing this like, well, my youngest doesn’t really like certain meals or like just doesn’t like to eat sometimes, like it takes her forever to eat.

She’s like, oh, can I start then I’m like, no, you need to eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yay for me as you get older. I said, Mom and I are doing this for, you know, for health reasons to make sure that we’re only taking the calories we need. And it’s been helping me, too, because a lot of people again, you and I work from home. We don’t like we, I mean, granted, like, if you are in an office, they might have a snack bar here and there. Yeah. 

And where you work. But for us, it’s like I go downstairs, like, check out my cats or feed them or do something like, oh yes, we have muffins. I mean my wife bagels, I’m like down on glass milk and it’s like now I don’t do that like you know, it’s an hour away from, you know, lunchtime and Mike. All right, my body is fine. Like the first few we have intermittent fasting. Took me a little bit like I again, went grocery shopping on a Friday. I went to the gym, came there like everything smells delicious. Sort of like, wait, it’s only nine. I can’t even subquery like three more hours. I get used to it. And I think your body’s kind of telling you stuff. We’re not just like your physical weight and like your, you know, like how you look.

But it’s also true. I think it’s a mental thing, like I’m able to go to bed. I’m not staying up at night and, like, losing sleep. And I used to, you know, average like six hours of sleep. Now I’m getting like seven and a half and my arias is where it’s at. So my girls see it. And not only do they see my actions, but I’m also talking to them, explaining why I’m doing it and why they still need to eat breakfast.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. I think yeah. I think he’s really important that, again, you know, it comes back to communication, explaining to the kids why you’re doing it, because instantly they think, you know, eating because of weight loss. And, you know, explain that. My youngest said to me, well, what can I do to enforce it? I’m not. Do you know why you are a nine year old boy? You need to be eating, you know, the whole nine year old son.

Art: Like, does he not like to eat like my nine year old daughter?

Darren: Well, I mean, they say it’s funny, like you say that what they pick up on. Right. So they think, oh, that’s doing it. So it must be good. Yeah, I want to get involved. But then they need to understand that where they’re at, you know, the terms of development and stuff, say, oh, what would you say are the five biggest challenges that facing fathers in modern times say, wow, I feel I feel like there’s a lot of and like answers I can give you.

Art: But yeah, I think one of things we talked about was stereotypes. Right? Like, yeah, there is that idea we have to be the main breadwinner or you have to, you know, lead with an iron fist. My kids and my wife joke around like I’m the sheriff. Like, if I go to a media event and I’m away, my wife has a little bit more relaxed. But like I always think, like schedules are good because when you get older, you’re gonna have a work schedule. You can have all these other things, right? Yeah. Like, you got to kind of balance that, like and I’m not saying I rule with an iron fist, but like I’m saying like, I just kind of go with the schedule. Right. So I think your stereotype of like. You know, the crystal dad, who might just have a scotch in the corner and like, you know, will say like, hey, pipe down your mom’s set. So I think that’s one of the biggest things. Right.

To time now more than ever, because we’re connected to our jobs with phones and with this or that. Time management is key not just with family, but just your own personal life as well. 

There’s got to be not only the dad, Darren, but the independent Darren and an independent art and the dad art, where it’s like in, you know, husband art, husband Darren, where you are giving and being there, you’re giving time and being there for your family and your spouse. But you’re also finding your time. Right. Yeah. And luckily for me and you, I think podcasting is kind of that hobby slash relief. I love Legos with my kids. We do like photography with toys and stuff in the backyard and all the cases maybe. And I might just do that by myself sometime.

So, yeah, I think time still likes stereotype time pressures to live up to other people. Like, again, keeping up with the Joneses, right? Yeah. Battling technology in the sense of like again, like we’ve talked about, there’s good tech and there’s bad tech and there’s good innovations, bad innovations and kind of weeding through that.

And then I’d say the fifth one. Who? I guess for me, it’s like the unknown in the sense of like, say, the unknown. It’s kind of like everything that’s gonna be surrounding your kid. Now, more than ever, because there’s more access to things that I might blame things to the technology thing. But just in general, where I think there’s more.

There’s good influences around your kids and experiences, but there’s also going to be now more than ever a bad influence and bad choices that they can make. Not just because, I mean, if you give them the tools, the talent and, you know, you teach them well, you know, hopefully they’ll make the right decisions. We all meet again. We’re not perfect. We’ve all made mistakes. There’s stupid things I’ve done where I’m Mike. Thank God I’m alive. Right. But like, I think the unknown and the worry of the unknown, because there is that balance where you want your kids to grow up independent. But, you know, you almost want to give him a big hug and be like I’m here with you as you navigate through the world. But that’s a detriment as well. So it’s kind of I know the fifth one’s kind of a weird category or label, but the unknown is because I think well, for me, that’s one of the things I worry about.

Darren: Yeah, I think I think for me it’s like it’s almost like the game changes in AA from, you know, when we were younger tech and the access, the connectivity that they have now, you know, we were able to make mistakes. And you know what? They can be catastrophic mistakes. And you and any in some ways, I want the kids to make mistakes because that’s how they learn. But you want them to be able to do it in a way which doesn’t mean it’s like a serious, detrimental mistake. But like you said, though, if you bring them up, I think with the right grounding and the right values and the right morals, yes, they’re going to make mistakes. But you would like to think that they’re not going to be life changing, catastrophic mistakes.

So, Art, before we wrap up, what do you feel like? I should have asked you that. I didn’t ask you.

Art: Wow. We talked a lot. I think I think you have a great show. I honestly think, like the conversation we had with my father kind of went in different places and places that other dads and parents will appreciate and see where we’re coming from. I always think, like, again, like I appreciate the question, but I think I think he has all the right questions, man.

Darren: Awesome. That’s fantastic. So how can people connect with you Art? You know, you’re obviously all of social media as you’re very active on LinkedIn as well. So how can people connect?

Art: Yeah. You can find me LinkedIn an arteddy. You can find me on Twitter @Arteddy3. Instagram there is the @artoffatherhood. And then there is the @artEddieL.O.D. And then there is my website, ArtofFatherhood.net. Of course was lifeofdad.com. But Twitter and Instagram and my site are a father of artoffatherhood.net that is where you can kind of reach out and do stuff with as well if just want to like reach out to me personally also.

Darren: Oh man. Thank you very much for your time. And I look forward to speaking to you again soon. And stay safe.

Art: Appreciate. Thanks for having me on your show, sir. I hope you guys. I hope you have. The show is awesome. I think what you’re doing is fantastic. And I hope a lot of dads are taken from what you’re putting out there, sir.

Darren: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

Thanks for listening to that, Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe. And I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review on I change all the things mentioned in the upside. We’ll be in the show. Nice and a full transcription. He’s over at Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast.

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