How do you define the difference between being a present father and an engaged father? Which do you strive to be and why?
Whether you’re looking to deepen your connection with your children, seeking guidance on navigating divorce, or simply looking for inspiration and practical advice on fatherhood, this episode is a must-listen. Tune in to Great Dad Talks with guest Ken Gordon, and let our conversation guide you in becoming the engaged dad you aspire to be.
In this episode, you will be able to:
1. Discover the importance of actively engaging with your children, beyond just physically being present.
2. Learn about the role of time and the responsibilities of being an engaged dad.
3. Gain perspective on navigating unexpected experiences with your children and embracing the journey together.
4. Understand the impact of divorce on children and the importance of prioritizing their well-being.
5. Explore ways to engage with your children and support their choices.
Title: The Power of Being an Engaged Dad: A Conversation with Ken Gordon
Welcome back to another episode of Great Dad Talks! I’m your host, Paul Banas, and today, I had the pleasure of speaking with the incredible Ken Gordon, a passionate advocate for fatherhood and author of several books that inspire and empower dads around the world. In our conversation, Ken shared invaluable insights about the difference between being a present dad and an engaged dad, the challenges of divorce, and the importance of understanding and supporting our children’s choices.
Here are some key takeaways from our discussion:
1. Present vs. Engaged: Embracing True Fatherhood
Ken Gordon explained that being a present dad simply means physically being in the same house as our children, but being an engaged dad means actively and intentionally involving ourselves in their lives. To be an engaged dad, we need to turn off distractions like TVs, phones, and gaming devices to truly focus on our children. Remember, providing for the family is not the same as being an engaged dad.
2. Time is Crucial: Investing in the Relationship
As Ken pointed out, engaging with our children from a young age is essential. It’s not a matter of just doing things for them, but rather spending quality time together and actively participating in their lives. We must prioritize our children over other commitments and find ways to be present, whether it’s through shared activities, conversations, or simply just being there for them.
3. Understanding and Supporting Our Children’s Choices
Ken shared a personal story about his child’s decision not to pursue college and instead follow their passion for working with their hands and photography. He emphasized the importance of keeping an open mind and supporting our children’s choices, even if they don’t align with our own expectations. It’s crucial to have dialogues with our children, understanding their passions and desires, and providing guidance without imposing our own dreams upon them.
Key Advice from Ken Gordon:
- “Allow your children to live their own lives. Give them the choice to listen or receive your input, but understand that they are not bound by it.”
- “Establishing expectations of people, including our children, often leads to disappointment. Let your children walk their own paths.”
4. Navigating Divorce with Grace and Positivity
Ken and I delved into the complexities of divorce and its impact on parenting. Ken highlighted the importance of prioritizing the well-being of our children during and after divorce. It’s essential to openly discuss the responsibilities of fathers, the state of the marriage, choosing the right partner, and personal preparation for relationships. He emphasized the need for a holistic approach to divorce, considering factors such as finances, physical well-being, and navigating dating with children.
5. The Power of Engagement: Testing Our Knowledge
To truly connect with our children, Ken emphasized the importance of continuously testing ourselves to understand their likes, friendships, and interests. Knowing our children’s preferences and actively engaging with them helps to establish a deeper relationship. For example, allowing them to choose the radio station in the car can make a significant impact, showing our desire to connect and support them.
Key Advice from Ken Gordon:
- “Develop a test for yourself to know your loved ones better. Keep up with their friends, favorite songs, TV shows, or social media influencers.”
- “Finding ways to engage with your children, understand their likes and dislikes, and support their choices is the key to building a strong relationship.”
I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Ken Gordon for joining me on the Great Dad Talks podcast and sharing his invaluable wisdom. Being an engaged dad is not just about being physically present but about actively participating, supporting our children’s choices, and constantly learning and growing together. Remember, every journey is unique, and our children have their own paths to follow. Let’s embrace fatherhood with love, understanding, and unwavering support. Until next time, stay engaged, dads!
And make sure to check out Ken Gordon’s inspiring books on fatherhood and divorce, where he delves into the power of being an engaged dad, explores the love fathers have for their children, and provides guidance for navigating divorce with faith principles.
Stay tuned for our next episode of Great Dad Talks, where we continue to bring you inspiring stories, expert advice, and meaningful conversations about the extraordinary journey of fatherhood.
About Ken Gordon
Ken Gordon is a multifaceted individual with a diverse background and a passion for inspiring and empowering fathers. Hailing from South Carolina, Ken attended a military college where he developed discipline and leadership skills that would shape his future endeavors. Following his time in college, Ken felt a calling to serve as a pastor and went on to lead churches in both New Jersey and Charlotte.
As an engaged father himself, Ken understands the importance of being present in his children’s lives. He goes beyond the conventional definition of fatherhood, emphasizing the need to be actively involved and to foster strong relationships with his children. Ken believes that true engagement requires turning off distractions and prioritizing quality time with one’s children.