Modern masculinity; your Unique (Dad) Strengths; pattern-interrupts


  • Dad wisdom: not getting all recursive
  • New episode: modern masculinity (listen here)
  • Working and parenting with your Unique Strengths
  • Dad Joke

Not getting all recursive

There’s going to be a moment—sometime soon—where your kid reacts in a certain way that will trigger a reaction in you too; this stuff never happens in a vacuum. How you react in that moment will either interrupt or reinforce the pattern. So, let’s say they drop their ice cream and are furious at the injustice of it all—which is honestly a pretty relatable first reaction. Now, how do you step in? Or maybe the more important question is why: are you trying to deal with their feelings or yours?

As a personal example, some kind of primal fury erupts in me when my kid gets hurt. Which seems totally fine if we think about it in dramatic father as protector scenarios. Except, he mostly he gets hurt because he’s not paying attention and bumps his head or bangs his knee. Silly stuff but I’ve still got all of that fury. I don’t think that me punching a hole in the drywall is the kind of parenting that he is looking for. So, I have to step back and attend to my feelings for a moment so that I can come back to him with compassion instead of anger. What are your predictable triggers—and how can you interrupt those particular patterns?

This dad wisdom came out of our most recent discussion. If you are interested in taking part, you can book a quick chat with me here or reply to this email with your questions.

The Dad Strength Podcast: Alex Manley

Alex Manley is published poet and journalist, a senior editor at AskMen, and the author of The New Masculinity: A Roadmap for a 21st-Century Definition of Manhood

Listen to our conversation here

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Working within your Unique Strengths
Here’s a matrix we’ll be working on at our retreat this weekend:

The goal is to shift as much as you can from Quadrant 2 into Quadrant 1, pursue your hobbies (Quadrant 3 purely for enjoyment), and stay the hell out of Quadrant 4.

Why is this important? I can tell you that most people spend the majority of their professional lives in Quadrant 2 instead of Quadrant 1. Yet your skill in identifying your Unique Strengths goes beyond work and extends into your personal life. When and where are you at your most effective? Your most insightful? Your most energized? Figuring this stuff out takes real time but is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

Dad joke

I can tell when you're lying just by looking at you. I can also tell when you're standing.