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Embracing Fatherhood: Insights from Jacob Taylor, the Fairway Father

Dads With Daughters

Release Date: 11/20/2023

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In this episode of the "Dads with Daughters" podcast, host Christopher Lewis welcomes Jacob Taylor, also known as the Fairway Father, to discuss the journey of fatherhood and how to raise strong and independent daughters.

Christopher starts by emphasizing the importance of learning from fellow fathers and their diverse parenting approaches, highlighting that there's no single right way to be a dad. He introduces Jacob as the guest, a father of two girls, and expresses his excitement about their conversation.

Jacob shares his memorable moment of finding out he was going to be a father to a daughter during a C-section when he announced, "It's a girl." He describes the immediate and intense love he felt, a unique kind of love that he believes can't be experienced elsewhere.

Christopher reflects on his own experience of becoming a girl dad and the journey of raising his daughter, who is now a college freshman, and how time flies.

Jacob talks about cherishing everyday moments with his daughters, from engaging in their hobbies to answering their innocent and thought-provoking questions. He shares a touching memory of watching a sunset with his daughter and discussing the concept of God, which left a profound impact on him.

The conversation shifts to the fears associated with raising daughters. Jacob discusses his initial fear of not understanding how girls think or act due to growing up with all boys. He worried if his daughters would connect with him or prefer their mother. However, he soon realized the misconception, as his daughters developed unique personalities and strong bonds with him.

Jacob offers insights into building individual relationships with each daughter by adapting to their interests and personalities. He highlights the importance of spending one-on-one time with each child and adjusting the way he interacts with them based on their preferences.

Balancing various roles as a father is a challenge many dads face. Jacob emphasizes the need to make thoughtful decisions about hobbies and activities that align with healthy family values. He shares how he reconstructed his hobbies to include his children and create opportunities for shared experiences.

The term "girl dad" has gained popularity, partly thanks to Kobe Bryant, who celebrated his role as a father to daughters. Jacob discusses what it means to be a girl dad, emphasizing the responsibility of setting an example for how daughters should be treated by men. He advocates instilling self-worth, self-image, and the idea that being a girl brings unique opportunities and strengths.

Jacob's project, Fairway Father, is introduced as a platform to encourage fathers to involve their children in hobbies, particularly golf. He believes that golf teaches valuable life lessons such as resilience, dealing with imperfection, and maintaining integrity.

Jacob elaborates on the parallels between golf and life, citing examples of how both involve facing challenges, making mistakes, and learning to adapt. He emphasizes the importance of patience and integrity, values that golf instills and that can be applied to life.

Christopher shares his daughter's experience of joining the girls' golf team in high school and how the mental aspects of golf and teamwork can provide valuable life lessons. The discussion highlights the broader importance of getting kids involved in activities they enjoy.

The episode concludes with a reminder of the significance of actively engaging with children, fostering their interests, and being open to learning from them as they grow. Christopher and Jacob affirm that it's not just about sharing your own passions but also discovering and nurturing what makes your children unique.

The Fairway Father project aims to encourage fathers to bond with their children through golf and other shared activities, promoting not only quality time together but also valuable life lessons.

If you've enjoyed today's episode of the Dads With Daughters podcast, we invite you to check out the Fatherhood Insider. The Fatherhood Insider is the essential resource for any dad that wants to be the best dad that he can be. We know that no child comes with an instruction manual, and most are figuring it out as they go along. The Fatherhood Insider is full of valuable resources and information that will up your game on fatherhood. Through our extensive course library, interactive forum, step-by-step roadmaps, and more you will engage and learn with experts but more importantly with dads like you. So check it out today!

TRANSCRIPT

Christopher Lewis [00:00:06]:

Welcome to dads with daughters. In this show, we spotlight dads resources. And more to help you be the best dad you can be. Welcome back to the Dads with Daughters podcast, where we bring you guests to be active participants in your daughter's lives, raising them to be strong, independent women. Really excited to have you back again this week. And as always, I love being able to be on this journey with you. Every week we have an opportunity to talk with one another, to walk with one another in this journey that we're on, to raise amazing girls into society today, helping them to be strong and independent, and helping them to find the success that we want for them in life. Now, I say that knowing that there's not one right way to do it. There are so many ways in which we can father. There's not one manual, but we can learn so much from the men that are around us, that are fathering in their own ways, who are learning from other fathers around them and learning from themselves as well. And we can learn from them.

Christopher Lewis [00:01:14]:

So every week, I love being able to bring you different guests, different people that are fathering in different ways that you can learn from, that you can take and be able to see what works, what doesn't work, and incorporate some of those things into your own lives. Today we've got another great guest with us. Jacob Taylor is with us, and Jacob is known as the Fairway Father. We're going to talk about what that is here today, but he's a father of two girls, and we're going to be talking about that as well, of course. And I'm just really excited to have him here today. Jacob, thanks so much for joining me.

Jacob Taylor [00:01:53]:

Oh, thank you for having me. I'm excited.

Christopher Lewis [00:01:55]:

I am excited to be able to have you here to talk to you about the journey that you're on. And one of the first things that I love doing is I love turning the clock back in time. So I'm going to go all the way back to that first moment when you found out that you were going to be a father to a daughter. What was going through your head?

Jacob Taylor [00:02:08]:

Oh, man. So we actually kind of went a nontraditional route and decided not to find out what we were having. And so the moment that I found out was actually in the operating room, we had a C section, and I actually got to announce to the operating room, it's a girl, and just soaking that all in with the realization of, like, this is real. I am a dad. This is my little girl. It was just incredible. I always tell people it's a type of love that you can experience anywhere else because it is an immediate, intense, full on love. Other relationships, you fall in love, you get to know them, but as soon as you see that little face.

Jacob Taylor [00:02:52]:

It is, I am all in. I will do anything for you no matter what. And it's only gotten better from them as well, which is just amazing to even say out loud and comprehend that.

Christopher Lewis [00:03:05]:

I'm smiling because of the fact that your journey in the start was very similar to mine, because we didn't find out as well. And we ended up in the emergency room doing a C section. And I got to say, the doctor is like, tell us what the gender is. So I'm looking and I'm like, oh, it's a girl.

Jacob Taylor [00:03:25]:

Yes.

Christopher Lewis [00:03:26]:

So, yes, I remember that very vividly. And that daughter is now a freshman in college, and the time goes by very fast. And as you said, for you, it's gotten better along the way. And your daughters are still young, but you've had those experiences, you've had those memories that you've been sharing with them so far. What would you say has been your most memorable experience that you've been able to share with them thus far as a dad?

Jacob Taylor [00:03:51]:

I think just having them involved in the day to day life, the hobbies, and just some of their questions that they ask at times, just the innocence and their questions kind of makes me stop and think through things I've never thought through before and just experience sunset differently. Probably one of my most cherished memories was watching a sunset with my daughter, and she was sitting there looking all around and asked me, did God make all of this too? And just seeing that go through her mind and getting to have that conversation with her was one of my favorite memories I think I'll cherish forever and has just again changed my outlook on every sunset, which is pretty cool.

Christopher Lewis [00:04:37]:

It's cool. And I think in becoming a father and becoming a father of daughters, there's some fear that also comes in there. I talked to lots of dads, and there's fear that comes with that. And it's not just fathers of daughters, but it's just being a father in general, too. But there is something to being a father to a daughter that I hear a lot of dads say that there is some fear there. What's been your biggest fear in raising daughters?

Jacob Taylor [00:05:00]:

I think my biggest fear, so I grew up in a household of all boys, brothers and cousins, all boys, so didn't really know how girls thought or act or anything until I got married, met my wife and got married. And so just the fear of will I be able to connect with her? Will I have anything in common with her? Or is she only going to be with Mommy? Is she going to want to do things with Daddy? And obviously, as my two girls gotten older, I've realized that is the furthest thing from the truth.

Christopher Lewis [00:05:30]:

So having two daughters at different ages, you have to build those unique relationships with each of them because the personalities are different and they're different people. So talk to me about how you build those special bonds between each of your daughters to allow for them to have those unique experiences and those unique bonds with that.

Jacob Taylor [00:05:52]:

Yeah, I think it's important, especially as the second one comes along because now you're splitting attention whereas the first child it's a lot easier because they are your sole focus all the time. And so I found it easier with my first daughter to have connections because I'm always with her, always one on one. And so when the second one came along I really make more of an attempt to have just one on one time with her and then finding things that she enjoyed more than what my first daughter enjoyed. They're different personalities completely. My first child is very intuitive and very serious and wants to learn and wants to know about every little thing whereas my second daughter is just goofy and fun loving and she just wants to run around and wrestle around and laugh and play and she doesn't need to ask questions. And so changing how I play with them has really helped connect with both of them.

Christopher Lewis [00:06:48]:

Now, as a dad you wear many hats. There are the things that you do for fun but there's the things that you do to be able to sustain the life that you and your family have. Whether that's some of the things that you're doing with Fairway Father or if it is the professional job that you have, the hobbies that you have within your life. But to do all of those different things, you have to balance and you have to find some type of balance. So talk to me about balance. How do you balance all of those different things to be able to stay engaged and present with your daughters?

Jacob Taylor [00:07:28]:

That is a tough one. Being a dad can bring on a lot of stresses that honestly you're not prepared for. Always tell people whenever they're looking to start that journey of becoming a father that you really find out how selfish you are with your time. And it's a big adjust because now all of my decisions impact my children. So the things that I choose to pursue impact my children. My hobbies that I get into impact my children. And so I have to be really diligent on choosing Hobbs that my children can participate in hobbies that are healthy, that I want my children to maybe follow in or to emulate or to have lessons from. And so that's really how I've had to kind of reconstruct.

Jacob Taylor [00:08:14]:

I could go out and hang out with the guys every other night and bar hop and do this scene. But is that really healthy for my girls to see and to have daddy away from them doing those things? Or is it healthier for me to get into a hobby such as woodworking that I can take them out in the shop and actually show them I'm doing and teach how to use the tools. And golf, I can involve them in that for it. They can ride in a cart with me. They can go to the range with me. I can teach them how to do those things. So I think reconstructing my hobby was the biggest thing for me to be able to still participate in their day to day lives and just having that selflessness with my time of realizing that I may have to miss out on a couple of things. And that's okay if it means spending more time with them and being more involved in their lives.

Christopher Lewis [00:09:04]:

You and I got introduced to one another through a tweet that you put out there. And I responded to it because you were talking about being a girl dad. And I saw a picture of your daughter and you and golfing, I guess for you, girl dad has been kind of a hashtag that's been out there for a number of years now. I kind of came into the light with Kobe Bryant and then went from there for you. What does being a girl dad mean?

Jacob Taylor [00:09:31]:

So, for me, I think being a girl dad brings in this added responsibility when it comes to being a father. I need to lead in a way that shows my daughters how they should be by a man. So I want to emulate how any man in their life should treat them. I need to walk that out with my wife. I need to walk that out with how I treat them, how I speak to them. I will not raise my voice to my wife or to my children if that's not what I want them to expect from other men in their life. I think I also need to really preach self image and self worth, unfortunately. I know a lot of women struggle with that.

Jacob Taylor [00:10:12]:

Being in the field that I'm in, I've studied that quite a bit. And trying to instill that you are worthy, that you have worth, that you are special as a woman, I think that's really a message that I have to carry. And then showing them that you have so many great opportunities because you are a girl. Because you are a woman and there are so many wonderful avenues for you, be it academics, sports, Hobies, whatever they want to choose to do that you don't use it in spite of being a woman, that you get to pursue this because you are a woman. You have special abilities that men, most men do not have that makes you so special. And so I think that's really kind of the drive that I have with being a girl dad is just raising them to be proud of who they are.

Christopher Lewis [00:11:04]:

I've mentioned a couple of times the hobby, the passion that you have for golf, and that you have a site called Fairwayfather. So talk to me about Fairwayfather.com and what you've created there? Why did you decide to start this platform and what are you trying to teach other dads through this?

Jacob Taylor [00:11:22]:

Yeah, absolutely. So Fairway Fathers is a new thing that I recently started earlier this year. And the purpose of it is to encourage other fathers to involve their children and their hobbies in their life and particularly golf, because I see that as such a great avenue, especially for young children, for young girls. I think there is just so many opportunities in that game. I think golf instills a lot of important morals. I think it instills character. It's one of the sports that you can hide yourself. It's one of those sports that really uphold integrity.

Jacob Taylor [00:11:56]:

Integrity is such a big part of the game and so I think there's a lot of values that can come out of that game. And so my goal with Fairway Father is just to encourage fathers or parents to get their kids out into that game so that they can learn lessons and also want to involve the fitness side of it, the nutrition side of it, setting healthy habits and lifestyle choices in front of your children and walking through that with them. Because making those choices are difficult at times and it's not always the easy thing to do, it's not always what you want to do, but you owe it to your children to walk that out with them. So Fairway Father is just kind of a way that doing carriage to help people understand how they can get into the game of golf and how they can get into other hobbies and lead their children through those things.

Christopher Lewis [00:12:45]:

So you mentioned the fact that you see a lot of parallels and things that can happen in the sport of golf that parallel life and parallel things in life that you're hoping to teach your own daughters and that you're hoping that other fathers can teach their children as well. Talk to me about some of those things that you have found as someone that has been in the sport and that enjoys the sport, but now that is trying to instill that in your own daughters. What are some of those life lessons that you're trying to impart?

Jacob Taylor [00:13:17]:

As we watch the pros play right now, it's coming to the close of the season and so really good tournament. We're watching these guys that are professional, this is their life, this is their livelihood, this is what they do every single day. And when you look at their scorecard, very often you see a perfect scorecard. You don't see a birdie on every hole, you oftentimes see bogeys. So even the best guys make mistakes and that's kind of the same way of life. We can do everything exactly right. We can go to the most, see the school. We study as hard, we can make all the great test grades, we can set up our 401 the best way that we know how to, all of these things that we can work on.

Jacob Taylor [00:14:04]:

But something may still happen. Can hit a sprinkler head. And as ball launched 30 yards over the green, and life works like that, too. You may have a car accident on the way to work that now you don't have a car. You may have an injury or sick that sets you back, and you may lose your job because of it. And life happens like that. There is no such thing as perfection in life. And I think golf really teaches you how to handle whenever something comes up like that, you kind of have to brush it off and move on to the next shot.

Jacob Taylor [00:14:37]:

So same thing with life. Someone gets thrown in your face if you sulk over it. Your next decision is probably not going to be as good, and then your next decision is probably not going to be as good. Or you can adjust your mindset and say, okay, this happened, it stinks. Here's what I'm going to do better next time. Here's what I'm going to change next time. I think golf is just a great life teacher. A lot of patience can be taught through the game of golf.

Jacob Taylor [00:15:04]:

And again, like I said, integrity is in the game of golf. And so I just think golf has such a great parallel with life if we really study the game and consider our life while we're out there playing the game.

Christopher Lewis [00:15:15]:

So talk to me a little bit about your kids are still young, and you've got what, four year old and.

Jacob Taylor [00:15:22]:

A two year old?

Christopher Lewis [00:15:23]:

Two year old. So teaching some of those lessons is going to be in kind of those incremental steps. What are some of the things that you've done so far, especially with your four year old, let's say, that have started to help her to understand some of these concepts.

Jacob Taylor [00:15:40]:

I think as kids, especially, they want to do it the right way the first time because they see maybe Daddy hit the ball and he hit it really far. Well, when I hit the ball, it doesn't go very far or I miss whenever I swing. And so you kind of have to teach them to laugh through their failures. Do it again, try again. Oh, wow, you hit it further than last time. And so I think putting it into perspective is really helpful when it comes to life lessons of it's not going to be perfect, and Daddy doesn't expect you to be perfect. Daddy is not perfect. Daddy does not expect you to be perfect.

Jacob Taylor [00:16:14]:

And so I love golf because there's just so many little lessons like that of we can practice really hard and we still mess up, and that's okay. That's the fun of the game. That's what makes the game fun, is the ball doesn't always go straight. And if it doesn't go straight, well, guess what? We get to go find it and hit it again, and we may see something really cool over by the water that we wouldn't have seen whenever we were in the fairway. And so just trying to make things fun, making golf attainable, making success isn't getting the ball in the hole for them. Success is making it three holes while still being excited and still being engaged.

Christopher Lewis [00:16:51]:

Now, you've been doing this for a little bit of time, and like you said, it's newer, but what kind of responses have you been getting from other people as you've been sharing this content out with them?

Jacob Taylor [00:17:00]:

I think I've gotten some encouraging responses from other fathers, and I think they've been encouraged to get their children involved in the game. A lot of times, golf is seen as an adult game or an older adult game. A lot of times we see a bunch of older men and women out on the golf course, and you never see children out there. And if you do, it's usually frowned upon, or they're in a cart playing on an iPad, and they're just there because Daddy had to watch the kid today, but he wanted to go golf. So I think a lot of fathers have been encouraged, it's okay if I take my kid out with me to golf or even to the Chipping Green or if I have a golf simulator, I can get them out there and hitting balls or out in the yard. And I think father has been encouraged by that, and I think it's hopefully emboldening them to take them out more and changing that narrative of kids are in the way kids are allowed. Wow, this is a great opportunity to teach the kids the game that we love so that the game continue to grow. I know the hashtag growthegame has become really popular lately, and that's what we're trying to do.

Christopher Lewis [00:18:11]:

I love that, and I think that I've seen in my own daughter's life. She joined the girls golf team when she was going through high school herself. She had never picked up clubs in her whole life and then decided, one day, hey, I'm going to go join the golf team. And I was kind of like, okay. And she had been a soccer player for many, many years, loved playing soccer, but there were things about soccer she didn't like, too. And one of the things she said about golf that she really loved was that it is a team sport, but it's all about mentally where you are. And you have to be mentally ready, personally ready to play a good game to then be able to support the rest of the teammates that are trying to mentally be ready to be on their game as well. And there's a lot of parallels there to life.

Jacob Taylor [00:19:06]:

Absolutely.

Christopher Lewis [00:19:07]:

So I really appreciate you sharing that, because I think that there's a lot of opportunity there for people to be able to whether it's golf, whether it's tennis, whether it's pickleball, whether it's whatever. I think what I'm hearing you say, Jacob, is the engagement piece. Getting kids active, doing things with you as a father, that's the most important piece. As you said earlier, maybe it's woodworking, maybe it's whatever it is. But if your kid is able to actively be involved with you, not only are they going to learn from you, but they're going to love that time together. I talk to fathers and daughters, and sometimes the daughters will tell me about the fact that they're the biggest Green Packer fan is because she and her dad would sit down on Sundays during football season. They would watch, and that would be the way that they bonded, and then that ended up rubbing off on her. And that doesn't always happen, but there are things like that where you have those bonds, those things, and sometimes you have to step back and figure out, okay, what is my daughter really like? What is she into? And how can I get into that too? Because it's not just, let's share everything that I like, but what does she like and get into that too.

Jacob Taylor [00:20:36]:

That is super important because I think it also gives your children a sense of their opinion matters to you whenever you do that, whenever you let them kind of lead. And it's a good chance for you to learn something new and grow in.

Christopher Lewis [00:20:48]:

That definitely is the case. And there's going to be many times in life as your child grows that there's going to be that ebb and flow, and you're going to have to be flexible and allow them to take the lead at times. You're going to take the lead at times, but especially as they get older, you're going to have to let them take the lead a lot more of the time because otherwise they're just going to pull away and then everybody gets frustrated. I've been there, I've done this.

Jacob Taylor [00:21:14]:

Listen, I'm taking notes now.

Christopher Lewis [00:21:16]:

We always finish our interviews with what I like to call our Fatherhood Five, where I ask you five more questions that delve deeper into you as a dad. Are you ready?

Jacob Taylor [00:21:24]:

Yeah, absolutely.

Christopher Lewis [00:21:25]:

In one word, what is fatherhood

Jacob Taylor:

Journey

Christopher Lewis:

When was a time that you finally felt like you succeeded at being a father to a daughter?

Jacob Taylor [00:21:33]:

I'd say whenever my daughter saw something on TV that a boy was doing, and she looked at it and said, well, Daddy, I can do that too. Even if I'm not a boy, I can do that.

Christopher Lewis [00:21:44]:

Now, if I was to talk to your I'm going to say your four year old, because your two year old might not have a lot to say. Maybe you never know. How would your daughters describe you?

Jacob Taylor [00:21:54]:

I think silly would definitely be a word that would come up. I think she'd probably describe me as snugly because we love our morning snuggle together. My four year old and I and I think she would say strong because she knows that daddy works out and she loves coming out there with me whenever I work out.

Christopher Lewis [00:22:17]:

Now, who inspires you to be a better dad?

Jacob Taylor [00:22:19]:

I'd say I had fantastic role models in my life. My dad was a great dad and my mother was a great mother. But I think the person inspires me the most is my wife. My wife is just an amazing mom. I mean, just leads by example really pushes me to be a better person. And so seeing her, she actually stays at home with our girls. We're able to have her stay at home with my daughters. And so just seeing the effort that she puts into day to day life with my girls and how much she's able to teach them and just every day it seems like when I come home, they've learned something new and they're so excited to share it with me.

Jacob Taylor [00:22:57]:

And then just seeing how well she loves on them, even in times of frustration and times of stress, she just does a great job of still being lovable, being patient. And I take a lot of lessons from her and I think that really pushes me to step up and be a better father.

Christopher Lewis [00:23:14]:

You've given a lot of piece of advice today. You've shared a number of different things. What's one piece of advice you'd want to give to every dad as we finish up today?

Jacob Taylor [00:23:23]:

I would say take into account the actions that you're doing today because it's going to have generational impact. You're not only affecting your daughters, but you're affecting the next generation as well. If they choose to have children, they're going to take a lot of lessons that you've taught them and teach their children and that's going to be passed down the line. Be diligent in the choices that you make and the lifestyle that you live. Choose them over most of your lifestyle habits and you're going to see a lot of fruit from that because they are future. Going out, hanging out with friends, going out on the town like that is not your future. Your future are in the eyes of your little girl.

Christopher Lewis [00:24:02]:

Well, Jacob, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for all that you're doing to engage with fathers in fairway father. I'll make sure that people have the link, but if you're trying to find it, it's just easily fairwayfather.com. You can find it there. But I just want to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your journey today, your continual journey today. And I truly wish you all the best.

Jacob Taylor [00:24:27]:

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me on. I really appreciate it and this was an awesome time. I really, really enjoyed this.

Christopher Lewis [00:24:33]:

If you've enjoyed today's episode of the Dads with Daughters podcast, we invite you to check out the Fatherhood Insider. The Fatherhood Insider is the essential resource for any dad that wants to be the best dad that he can be. We know that no child comes with an instruction manual and most dads are figuring it out as they go along. And the Fatherhood Insider is full of resources and information that will up your game on fatherhood. Through our extensive course, library, interactive forum, step by step, roadmaps and more, you will engage and learn with experts, but more importantly, dads like you. So check it [email protected]. If you are a father of a daughter and have not yet joined the Dads with Daughters Facebook community, there's a link in the notes. Today.

Christopher Lewis [00:25:19]:

Dads with Daughters is a program of fathering together. We look forward to having you back for another great guest next week, all geared to helping you raise strong, empowered daughters and be the best dad that you can be.

We're all in the same boat and it's full of tiny screaming passengers. We spend the time we give, the lessons we make, the meals we buy them present and bring your A game because those kids are growing fast. The time goes by just like a dynamite glass calling astronauts and firemen, carpenters and muscle men get out and be the one to down be the best dad you can be be the best dad you can be.