Being a dad in difficult times—no matter the situation—isn’t easy. It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. David Metter faced an unbelievably difficult situation and instead of giving up, he did everything he could to hold tight to his relationship with his kids. In this episode of Dads on Tap, David shares what it looks like to navigate being a dad in the face of great adversity. His story will both shock and inspire you.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...
- A conversation with one of Slow Pour Brewing’s top customers [1:28]
- Learn more about my good friend and entrepreneur David Metter [8:47]
- David’s experience growing up without a dad and what it taught him [11:34]
- Being a dad in the face of great adversity [18:53]
- When David’s life ended up on Dateline [34:20]
- The most important things to focus on in difficult times as a dad [46:17]
Being a dad in the face of great adversity
David was married for 15 years before his marriage came crashing down. Toward the end of the relationship, he knew he needed to put his children first. He didn’t see a happy ending for their marriage but had a great vision of how he could be a good father to his four girls.
At the time, he lived in Maryland, which requires residents to go through a year-long separation before they’re allowed to officially divorce. From the first day of that separation, his ex decided to keep his children from him. She even moved them to Ohio. There were 3–4 months when he didn’t see his daughters. But he never gave up.
She finally told him he could see his twins to give them their birthday presents. When he showed up at the house, he pulled out their bikes and knocked on the door and she wouldn’t open it. He heard his girls crying hysterically inside. It was heart-wrenching.
Over the two years of their separation, she continued to do things like that. She told him he was a horrible father and that she’d never let him see the kids. On one particular phone call, she said, “You’re worth more to us dead than alive” and “You should just jump out the window.”
After he hung up, David fell to his knees and prayed. He heard God clearly say, “I have a way out of this.” David got up and knew he wasn’t going to give up on his girls.
Forging ahead when many would walk away
David spent every weekend in Ohio. He was there so frequently that the extended hotel he stayed at allowed him to keep personal items there. They even decorated his room before he arrived because they knew how important it was to provide a homey and comforting environment for his kids.
David always made the effort to be present and made sacrifices for his children. When David got remarried, he moved to Georgia with his wife, Loni. Whenever he had the girls in Georgia, there was no tension, drama, or angst. But that’s all they experienced with their mom.
After a summer with her dad, his oldest daughter refused to get on the plane back to Ohio. He had to make a split-second decision. He knew he could be arrested for allowing her to stay. When the police department showed up at his door, they saw that his daughter was in a better environment. The judge temporarily allowed her to stay and soon after, it became permanent.
David shares an unbelievable twist in his story that no one saw coming. Listen to the whole episode to hear the full story!
The most important things to focus on in difficult times as a dad
David learned a lot from parenting his kids through difficult times. Namely, that your kids see and hear everything. They’re always watching and learning from you. So if you fail and make mistakes, apologize. They’ll see that you’re human and that you’re trying to build a relationship with them. Secondly, over-communicate with them. It’s okay to be transparent.
David sees the values that he and Loni have embedded in their children in the decisions that they’re making, the relationships they have, the schools they attend, the jobs they seek—every facet of their lives. Everything connects back to how you navigated difficult times and were present for them as their dad.
Discussion Questions: What’s going on in your life that feels intense? How can you make sure that you are staying engaged as a dad and doing the right things to put the relationship with your kids first?
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with David Metter
Connect With Scott and Dads on Tap
- Email me at Scott@DadsOnTap.com
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Audio Production and Show Notes by - PODCAST FAST TRACK