Being An Intentional Dad, Ep #14

Being An Intentional Dad, Ep #14

How can you be a more intentional dad? What do you need to be mindful of as you’re raising your kids? In this episode of Dads on Tap, Jayson French shares how his church family compelled him to be a great dad. He also shares some unique strategies he’s used—and is using—to parent his kids. 

Jayson is a true believer in the power of the local church and has dedicated 15 years on staff to the local church over 20 years at Christ In Youth as its current President. He's also a proud husband to Janice and father to their four children: Justin, Levi, Sydney, and Cylis.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Jayson shares more about his relationship with his dad [1:11] 
  • Learn more about Jayson’s wife and kids [5:53] 
  • How Jayson learned to be a great dad [8:42] 
  • Learn more about Christ In Youth [17:10] 
  • What frightens Jayson and what inspires him [18:33] 
  • What every dad needs to know about raising kids [20:22]
  • You have to choose your hard [23:16] 
  • Their five rites of passage [25:01] 
  • The lightning round [30:15] 
  • The best advice Jayson was given [34:26] 
  • Don’t complain about what you permit [36:18]

How Jayson learned to be a great dad

When Jayson was young, he was invited to a friend’s house to spend the night. He remembered the dad coming home and when they sat down at dinnertime they prayed over the meal together. He had no idea what they were doing. Jayson saw something in that family that transformed him. 

It took four tries for Jayson’s family to walk through a church door. But when they started attending church, they were welcomed. People invited them into their homes. One day, when he was burning their trash, the fire got out of control. Jayson’s mom couldn’t reach his stepdad. So she called someone from the church and asked her to get him.

That woman didn’t just call his dad. She called everyone she could think of from the church to show up and help out. His church family saved their lives. A healthy church family showed up for him his entire life. Jayson firmly believes that being part of a healthy church pushed him to be a good father. 

What every dad needs to know about raising kids

The digital age we live in masks a complex reality. Our kids have unparalleled access to resources at their fingertips. The access has opened doors to challenges that previous generations didn’t face, like social media. Social media introduces an intense pressure around image and identity compounded by cyberbullying and unrealistic standards surrounding beauty, ability, and talent. 

This generation is navigating a world more complex than it appears. Jayson emphasizes that we can’t just have one long conversation about the birds and the bees. Instead, it’s more like we need to have 100 one-minute everyday conversations.

Their five rites of passage

Jayson and his wife have set “five rights of passage” for their kids. When his kids turned 13, he took each of them on a bear hunt in Alaska. He’d give them 10–12 letters from people he trusted, people his kids could turn to if they felt like they couldn’t turn to him. They’d always take their call. 

When each child turned 16, they’d spend two weeks in a third-world country. Why? Because before they got behind the wheel of a car, he wanted them to understand and appreciate what they have access to. He wanted them to become an empathetic person with a heart for the broken.

When his kids turn 18, they’re asked to serve overseas for 1–2 months in a third-world country. His kids won’t get money for college if they don’t take that trip. Before his kids get married, they have an honest conversation with the spouse to find out what they want from and expect from them as in-laws. Listen to hear what #5 is!

The best advice Jayson was given

Jayson points out that you have to remember that your kids are joining a life already in progress. Your life doesn’t have to end. Jayson and his wife didn’t change their whole world. They continued to travel. They stayed out late when they needed to. You continue to live your life and bring them along for the ride. 

Secondly, Jayson points out that too many dads don’t know how to share an emotion that isn’t irritation, anger, or disappointment. You need to let your kids see pride in your eyes. They need to see you cry. They need to hear “I love you.” You have to learn to show your emotions. 

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