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Growing Together: Nurturing Mental Health and Creating Special Moments with Daughters

Dads With Daughters

Release Date: 04/01/2024

Doug Veal's Transition: Redefining Roles from Detective to Devoted Dad show art Doug Veal's Transition: Redefining Roles from Detective to Devoted Dad

Dads With Daughters

This week on the Dads with Daughters Podcast, we welcome Doug Veal, a devoted father and past Police Detective. In this episode we dive deep into learning more about Doug's journey and what he had to do to be the dad that he knew that he wanted to be. The Pivot to Parenthood  When Doug Veal discovered he would become a father, the ensuing excitement was matched by an awareness of his wife's heart condition. The joy of fatherhood came with a responsibility to pivot his focus from being a police officer to providing for his family during their medical journey. Veal's decision to take...

Recognizing Dads' Role in Raising Daughters: Building Bonds and Nurturing Independence With Sarah Maconachie show art Recognizing Dads' Role in Raising Daughters: Building Bonds and Nurturing Independence With Sarah Maconachie

Dads With Daughters

Fatherhood and Active Participation In this week's Dads with Daughters podcast we got to speak with , a mindset coach and author, the focus was on the importance of active fatherhood in raising empowered daughters. In our conversation, Sarah emphasized the need for dads to be actively involved in their daughters' lives and the significance of being present, supportive, and open in their journey towards raising independent and strong women. Sarah shared her experiences and insights from her own upbringing and her work in advocating for equal parenting roles. Her perspectives shed light on the...

Crafting Wonder in Childhood: Lessons from Gregg Behr and Mister Rogers show art Crafting Wonder in Childhood: Lessons from Gregg Behr and Mister Rogers

Dads With Daughters

**Seizing Accidental Moments** Fatherhood is an expedition without a clear map, each phase of our children's lives an uncharted territory waiting to be explored. On today's Dads with Daughters podcast we welcomed to discuss wonder and parenting. Behr, the executive director of the Grable Foundation and a father of two, reflects on the journey that began with trepidation upon learning he was going to be a father to a daughter. Amid fears and dreams, he emphasized his role in ensuring his daughters have 'outrageous confidence' in themselves. This emotional connection to fatherhood resonates...

Effective Fatherhood: 5 Stones to Guide Your Journey with Nick Adams show art Effective Fatherhood: 5 Stones to Guide Your Journey with Nick Adams

Dads With Daughters

In today's fast-paced world, the role of a father is evolving, and the importance of actively participating in one's daughter's life cannot be overstated. In this podcast episode, we have an insightful conversation with Nick Adams, a dedicated father of four and author of "." Through this discussion, Nick shares invaluable wisdom and experiences that shed light on the journey of fatherhood. His insights offer guidance on nurturing strong, independent daughters while navigating the complexities of being a father. Let's delve into the key takeaways from this engaging conversation. Fatherhood...

Bruce Chamoff's Journey as a Podcaster, Entrepreneur, and Engaged Dad show art Bruce Chamoff's Journey as a Podcaster, Entrepreneur, and Engaged Dad

Dads With Daughters

Embracing the Journey and Overcoming Challenges In a heartwarming conversation on the Dads with Daughters podcast, a seasoned podcaster and entrepreneur, shared insightful anecdotes about his journey as a father to his now 20-year-old daughter. As fatherhood is a unique and deeply personal experience, Bruce's revelations bring valuable lessons to the forefront, shedding light on the joys, struggles, and growth that come with raising a daughter. Welcoming Fatherhood: The Journey Begins It's not uncommon to feel a mix of excitement and bewilderment upon learning about pending fatherhood....

Cultivating Hope: A Dad's Role According to Jesse Bradley show art Cultivating Hope: A Dad's Role According to Jesse Bradley

Dads With Daughters

When discovered he was going to be a father to a daughter after having three sons, he knew this would bring a unique set of delights and challenges. Jesse emphasizes each child as a unique gift, advocating a tailored approach in fostering connections that affirm a daughter's persona, building confidence amidst the ever-present peer pressures. **The Power of Presence and Words** One-on-one interactions form the core of Jesse's parenting strategy, offering a safe space for his daughter to share her thoughts and feelings. He recognizes the formative power of a parent's words and presence, which...

Nurturing Bonds: Joe Lee's Strategies for Raising Strong Daughters show art Nurturing Bonds: Joe Lee's Strategies for Raising Strong Daughters

Dads With Daughters

The Fatherhood Insider: A Gateway to Enhanced Paternal Engagement Dr. Christopher Lewis welcomes fathers to explore the Fatherhood Insider, a hub designed for paternal growth. Emphasizing the importance of active fatherhood, he encourages dads to utilize resources such as course libraries, forums, and expert advice with the singular goal of honing their fathering skills. Joe Lee's Remarkable Transition: From Monotony to Spontaneity Guest Joe Lee, a dedicated father, discusses his structured life and the unique activities he enjoys with his daughter. Be it practicing Taekwondo, computer...

Joe Cody Discusses IVF, Advocacy, and Raising a Daughter show art Joe Cody Discusses IVF, Advocacy, and Raising a Daughter

Dads With Daughters

Join us as we delve into the gripping narrative of on the Dads with Daughters podcast, where he shares his multifaceted life as an entrepreneur, advocate, and a devoted father.  Infertility Journey Joe retraces the trying ordeal that marked the beginning of his fatherhood journey—the quest for parenthood through IVF. He lays bare his family's emotional rollercoaster, marked by failed IVF attempts, a heartbreaking miscarriage, and financial strain amounting to $60,000. Grain Fertility: A Beacon of Hope Amidst the turmoil, Joe's expertise in health policy, coupled with his volunteer work...

Navigating Dad-Daughter Dynamics: Stories from the Ash-Shakoor Family show art Navigating Dad-Daughter Dynamics: Stories from the Ash-Shakoor Family

Dads With Daughters

Today's Dads with Daughters' podcast featured some amazing guests. actor, pastor and father, and his daughter . The discussions revolved around their experiences, highlighting the integral role of fathers in daughter's lives, and providing valuable lessons for dads everywhere.  **A Father's Protective Instinct and Balancing Parenthood with a Career** When Aqeel learned he was about to become a father to a daughter, he felt a profound sense of responsibility and protectiveness. He reflected on his initial desire to have a daughter and shared the powerful moment of witnessing her...

Steve Steele: A Coach's Journey of Love, Family, and Empowering Daughters show art Steve Steele: A Coach's Journey of Love, Family, and Empowering Daughters

Dads With Daughters

Fatherhood is a journey filled with an array of unique challenges and rewarding moments. In the Dads with Daughters podcast, guest Steve Steele sheds light on his personal journey as a father of four, offering insightful perspectives and valuable advice. From embracing the differences in raising daughters and sons to balancing work as a coach and family life, Steve shares his experiences and the lessons he has learned along the way. Embracing Differences in Raising Sons and Daughters Steve starts by highlighting the differences he observed in raising his son, Simon, and his daughters, Gianna...

More Episodes

Being a father is a journey full of joy, challenges, and growth. In a recent episode of the Dads with Daughters podcast, host Dr. Christopher Lewis welcomed guest Tim Cox, a father of two, to discuss the unique experiences and challenges of raising daughters. Their heartfelt conversation touched on various aspects of fatherhood, including creating special moments, balancing work and family, mental health, and nurturing unique connections with each child as they grow. Let's explore some of the key takeaways and insights shared in this insightful episode.

Creating Special Moments and Individualized Experiences

Tim Cox emphasized the importance of spending quality time with his 8-year-old daughter, especially with the arrival of her 3-year-old brother. He and his partner make a conscious effort to create separate and special experiences for each child, recognizing their individual needs and interests. This highlights the significance of fostering unique connections with each child and ensuring that they feel valued and cherished.

Engaging in activities that resonate with each child, such as playing games, being inspired by educational shows like Bluey, and sharing a love for music and creativity, plays a pivotal role in strengthening the bond between father and daughter. These shared experiences lay a strong foundation for building trust, communication, and lasting memories. It's a testament to the power of quality time spent with children, nurturing their emotional well-being and overall development.

Balancing Work and Family

The challenges of balancing work and family are a common concern for many fathers. Tim and Dr. Christopher acknowledged the difficulty of managing professional responsibilities while prioritizing family time. Tim, who works in social media for a university, expressed his struggles with finding a balance and not missing out on creating memorable moments with his daughter.

This resonates with many fathers who strive to provide for their families while also being actively engaged in their children's lives. It underscores the need for open communication with employers, setting boundaries, and making intentional choices to foster a harmonious work-life balance.

Nurturing Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health

Tim Cox's candid discussion about his daughter's anxiety and his own experiences with seeking help for depression sheds light on the importance of addressing mental health within the family dynamic. His openness in discussing anxiety and therapy with his daughter demonstrates the value of normalizing conversations around emotional well-being and seeking professional support when needed.

Moreover, Tim's journey towards seeking help for his mental health highlights the courage and resilience required to navigate personal challenges while also fulfilling the responsibilities of fatherhood. By sharing his experiences, Tim exemplifies the strength in vulnerability and the impact of prioritizing mental wellness for himself and his family.

Evolving Connections with Growing Children

As children grow, their needs, interests, and levels of independence evolve. Dr. Christopher emphasized the ongoing parental relationship as children mature, emphasizing the significance of adapting to these changes and nurturing evolving connections.

Tim's shared experience of deciding whether to prioritize his daughter's emotional distress over work underscores the nuanced decisions fathers face as they support their children's emotional well-being. This highlights the importance of being present, empathetic, and responsive to the dynamic needs of growing children.

Embracing Imperfections and Collective Learning

Tim's advice to other fathers to acknowledge their imperfections and learn from others reflects the humility and willingness to grow as a parent. Fatherhood is indeed a collective learning experience, and the willingness to seek guidance, connect with other fathers, and learn from different perspectives enriches the journey of raising empowered daughters.

In conclusion, "Dads with Daughters" continues to provide valuable insights and resources for fathers, encouraging them to embrace the joys and challenges of parenthood. Tim Cox's thoughtful reflections and experiences highlight the significance of creating special moments, navigating work-life balance, prioritizing mental health, nurturing unique connections with growing children, and fostering a collective approach to parenting. As fathers engage in these conversations and embrace the journey of fatherhood, they play an integral role in shaping the lives of their daughters and creating enduring bonds built on love, support, and understanding.



Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:00:05]:
Welcome to Dads With daughters. In this show, we spotlight dads, resources, and more to help you be the best dad you can be.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:00:16]:
Welcome back to the dads with daughters podcast where we bring you guests to be active participants in your daughters' lives, the Raising them to be strong, independent women. Really excited to have you back again this week. As always, every week, I love being able to sit down with you, to Talk to you to be on this journey alongside of you. Because as I've told you many times, I've got 2 daughters myself, and I the feel like I'm learning something every day, and I know that you have the same type of path that you're on. And we're at different phases in our daughters' lives, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from each other and we can't support each other along the way. That's why every week I love being able to sit down with you to be able to talk about issues that are sBeing a father is a journey full of joy, challenges, and growth. In a recent episode of "Dads with Daughters," host Dr. Christopher Lewis welcomed guest Tim Cox, a father of two, to discuss the unique experiences and challenges of raising daughters. Their heartfelt conversation touched on various aspects of fatherhood, including creating special moments, balancing work and family, mental health, and nurturing unique connections with each child as they grow. Let's explore some of the key takeaways and insights shared in this insightful episode.ometimes the Ones that are not that easy to handle or not that easy to talk about, but sometimes they're lighter issues or things that the We all just deal with in everyday life, but we kinda struggle through it. And I think it's important to Talk about these things to be able to have honest conversations about them so that we can normalize it the And allow for all of us to know that that it's okay. It's okay to talk about these things, to be able to the Engage with other dads about these things, and that's why every week I love being able to bring you different guests, different people with different experiences that have gone through either being a father to a daughter or have other resources or things that they are doing to support dads. Because we have to be able to ask for the help that we need when we need it, and that's why it's so important that we have these every week. This week, we got another great guest with us. Tim Cox is with us. Tim is a father of 2, and we are gonna be talking about Being a dad to a daughter and what that's been like for him. I'm really excited to have him on. Tim, thanks so much for being here today.

Tim Cox [00:02:14]:
. Thank you for having me. I'm very excited to be on this.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:02:17]:
Now I will be honest and say that Tim has been a part of the fathering together family for many years. He was one of the the Initial people that was part of our leadership team and helping us with our Facebook communities, helping us with our videos, and helping us to Doc. To really amp up the way in which we were telling our story, so I am excited that we that I'm finally getting him on the show. The And 1st and foremost, Jim, one of the things that I love doing is turning the clock back in time, and I wanna go all the way back to that the moment when you found out that you were going to be a father to a daughter.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:02:50]:
What was going through your head?

Tim Cox [00:02:50]:
I think I was scared. My daughter is the 8 years old now. I just turned 44 2 days ago. So I was you know, we waited a little later in life. I was 36, I guess, And I was nervous. My wife and I had decided that we weren't going to have children, and we were kind of enjoying our younger days with that. The And then we sort of you know, we had our nieces, and then they started to grow up.

Tim Cox [00:03:14]:
And then we were like, okay. You know, maybe we do want kids. And so we decided to have a Dyle, and it was definitely nerve wracking. I was trying to read every book I could find. I was trying to find everything . Possible every resource, talking to people. It was it was a a wild time.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:03:32]:
It definitely can be a wild time, especially the As you said, you know, there's no one right way to father, and there's lots of books out there. There's lots of resources out there that you can turn to and other dads that you can turn to as well. Now you talked about having some fear at the beginning of having your daughter. The What would you say has been or is your biggest fear in raising your daughter?

Tim Cox [00:03:57]:
Well, I'll go with my my first fear first after she was born, And we were getting ready to leave the hospital, and I carried the car seat upstairs. And I was like, how do I put this tiny thing the in this car seat and secure it safely. And the hospitals were like, well, we can't really help you with this because they wanna make sure that they're backed the up in case there was some kind of accident or anything, so they play it safe. And I remember that was we did all the parenting classes and everything like that, and the That was the first thing that I was like, we didn't talk car seats in the parenting class. This fluffy little kid with the big outfit and stuff on, like, how do we Titan and, you know, the car seat enough, and is this hurting the child and all this stuff. And, you know, at that point, I didn't realize that, like, you don't want anything puffy. Like, you know, my kids the Still don't use jackets and car seats.

Tim Cox [00:04:48]:
And so it was all those kind of things. That was, like, the first fear of being a dad or the first, the like moment of confusion. And I remember I was quickly YouTubing videos to try and see what to do with this car seat. And then but when I look at, like, the Big picture. I want to make sure that my daughter and I have a 4 year old son, almost 4 year old son also, the And I wanna make sure that they grow up to be good people, and I wanna make sure that they grow up caring about other people. And that's my biggest fear is what if I'm not doing enough to give them the tools they need to do that. And I think I believe I am doing enough for that, but that's the Probably my biggest fear in life is just what should I be doing better for my kids to make sure that they have everything they need to succeed?

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:05:37]:
So I think one of the things that many dads struggle with is, like you said, you want to raise kids that are kind, that give back, that are doing things the To allow for them to be a part of society in many different ways. Talk to me about what you are doing or the have done to be able to

Tim Cox [00:05:58]:
do just that. I think we try and read a lot of books that show strong female figures in the books, And we try and have our kids get them give them experiences that put them to give them the ability. Learn about the future and learn what it is to help people and you know? So I think those are, like, the kind of things that we do the most, But still that leaves you to that, am I doing enough? What could I do more?

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:06:24]:
And that's never an easy thing to know is the impact that that what you're doing now the And what that impact is going to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now. But the little things that you do the Step by step where you may not see an impact right away. You're setting the seed and you're letting it grow. And I think that that's the What's so important for fathers to do is to be consistent and to continue to do the things that you're hoping that they will do in the future. By doing that, as I said, it's planting that seed and it's allowing that to take root. And then as you said, reading books or other things, great concepts, great ideas. Now you now have 2 kids.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:07:06]:
You have a son and a daughter. And with each of your kids, you have to be able to do what You Can to build those unique relationships because each child is very different. Not only do they have different ages and different stages that they're at, That need different types of bothering in many different ways. What are you doing to be able to build that strong relationship the With your daughter.

Tim Cox [00:07:30]:
I try and I try and do things with her, and I think that's really important to do. There's a lot of the jealousy comes in, especially she's 8. He's 3. She had a long time with just mom and dad Until he came around, we would decided we only wanted 1 child for the longest time, and then we were like, well, maybe we'll have a second one. The And that's how, you know, there ended up being a spread out, which I think is the greatest thing is having that spread because she can be you know, help teach him also. So the things I'm teaching her, she's then teaching him. But, you know, we really want to try and make her feel special.

Tim Cox [00:08:12]:
So I'll take her somewhere to something that I won't take him. I'll do it during nap to make it easy. My partner does the same. She'll take our daughter to something. I think she's taking her roller skating tonight, and I'll stay home with Jude, my son. And, you know, so I think the big thing is trying to the Separate time and build out time for them to have you as just you.

Tim Cox [00:08:36]:
So they're not this the forgotten child or they don't become jointed with their sibling at all times so that they still feel special to you.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:08:45]:
And are there Specific things that you and your daughter love to do together that are special just for the 2 of you?

Tim Cox [00:08:52]:
Yeah. We do. We both play a lot of Silly games. Even just the game Marco Polo typically done in a pool. We play in our driveway. The She always cheats, but it's okay. Suddenly, you know, she'll, like, well, they all freeze, and then you have to, like, walk towards the person with your eyes closed. And somehow, she the Always finds me, and she just says I'm bad at it.

Tim Cox [00:09:14]:
But we do stuff like that. You know, she loves playing. One of her favorite shows is the show Bluey, which the is one of my favorite shows too, and I think every parent of a young child that's watched that show loves that show because it's so real. The And we play games from that show that we learn, like Shadowlands, where you can only step on shadows, and we go for walks around the block. She really likes the music, and we've played guitar together. She's not quite there of knowing what she's playing, but she likes to the Make it up, and she likes to make up lyrics to songs. And me being a musician, and I've played in Torden bands and played in bands the My whole life up until the pandemic, basically, was when I kind of took a break from music. You know, it's fun to see that creativity from her the where we have just like a little kid drum set, and she will sit at it and start playing.

Tim Cox [00:10:08]:
And sometimes, like, that is a perfect drum beat. The So we have these kind of, like, little things that that we can share that Jude, my son, isn't quite at the age to the Be able to I mean, he bangs on the drums, and he actually does decently on drums too. But he's obviously a 3 year old little tornado running around. The So, you know, my daughter and I, we love to kinda do all these things together that's just kind of us.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:10:36]:
It is important, especially when you have kids that Door. Vastly different in ages, and there is that gap. As you said, your daughter had you in her life first, So being able to make sure that there's not animosity there, and we had the same we didn't have as large of a gap, but between our oldest and our youngest, . There always was a little bit of separation, a little bit of animosity that was there that our oldest ended up Dom. Losing that 1 on 1 time in her mind in some aspect, even though we still did many things together just the Between her and us, but it does make a difference, and you have to work hard in that regard. And being a dad is never easy. What would you say has been the hardest Darts. For you in being a father to a daughter.

Tim Cox [00:11:23]:
I think the hardest part is probably trying to balance work and life the and time with her. Work obviously takes up a lot of time. Days, I feel like, you know, from morning when I make her breakfast . When I, like, kiss her good night at 9, it's the entire day is is done, and we're kinda running around, and there's all sorts of activities. . So I think it's finding ways to chisel out time to spend is important, and I'm not the best the At work life balance where I do social media for university, and I am sitting there and I will the host things at night, like, 11 o'clock at night. And I'm don't always have the best ability to just, like, turn off and be with the the family at all times, but I'm I really try hard to do that. And I think a lot of dads have that same issue, and I think we're all Doc.

Tim Cox [00:12:20]:
Kind of in the same boat, and a lot of times we'll, you know, act like we're always able always there, you know, because everyone puts the best the Image forward on social media, but we're all in kind of the same thing saying, like, okay. Did I do something with my daughter today? Did I give her a the special moment that she will remember. And I think the biggest thing I try and do is just make sure that that exists. For example, she gave me a book the For my birthday, we celebrated it last night because girl scouts was the night before. So I waited a day for my birthday, and she gave me a book of the top ten reasons I have the best dad. The And the book is adorable, and it shows all sorts of things like I love you because you help me when I get hurt. The And she drew a little picture of me putting a Band Aid on her. She loves when I play with her, and the picture was me as a horse on the ground with her jumping on top of me and the Riding me around.

Tim Cox [00:13:14]:
And these are the kind of things that I do, and a lot of times I'm very tired, but I'm like, there's gonna be a day that she doesn't wanna play. And one of the saddest things to think about and I carry her around all the time, and she's 8 and I'm £65, and I'm carrying her everywhere I go the When I can or I put her on my shoulders or any of those kind of things. Because as dads, we have to realize there is going to be a day. That you put your child down, you put your daughter down, and you never pick her up again. And it's heartbreaking to think of that. And I can't even . Imagine that day coming, but it's getting closer and closer that she still wants me to comfort her.

Tim Cox [00:13:56]:
She's daddy's little girl, and it drives my partner Crazy sometimes because she's always like, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy. But I'm loving it, and I'm trying to just remember that I need to make the Time for this because I don't know when that time is over.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:14:14]:
And it will be over before you know it or at least I'm not gonna say completely over. You're not gonna be able to carry your child eventually because, you know, they do get the Larger, and it becomes a lot harder to do that physically. But that being said, you'll always be her dad, . And you'll always have that connection. So doing what you can now to build those strong relationships and to connect with her now the And show her that you are always there for her will still continue even after they leave the house. I mean, I've got the My oldest is at college and but we still stay connected, but it's in a little bit different way. And as they do get older, you have to take the cues from them. I'm not always the best about that, but it is something that you have to be willing to do.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:15:05]:
My oldest has gone to college, and She is about 11 and a half hours away from our house, and we had to set up parameters of the How our relationship would continue and listen and try to follow her lead. And I'm sure that as she the Gets older, that's gonna have to continue because when she gets out of college and moves to the next step, more and more, they're going to not need everything that we have Offered them as a young person, but they will still need us in some ways and will come back to us the Because of that for some reasons. So I say those things just to say for all of us as fathers, there's going to be these the Times, these ebbs, these flows, these things that are going to be these seasons that we go through, that our kids go through. And some of those seasons, you will need. To be more involved, and other times, you won't have to be as involved, and you'll have to take a step back. And that's not easy, and you the just have to know that it's not going to be easy, and I can tell you that 20 times, 30 times, 40 times. And you may still find that the You're still not prepared. And that that's okay, but it's just something to be aware of.

Tim Cox [00:16:19]:
And I think that's really important too, you know, because You know when they do need you, what you're able to do. For example, this morning, I put her on the bus and drove to work. And when I got to work, which is like a the 25 minute drive or so, I got a call from the school, and she was crying on the phone that today was stuffy day, And she forgot to bring her stuffy to school. And in in 3rd grade, it's the year that the teachers stop communicating with the parents as much, And they try and teach the kids to do it, so we didn't realize that it was stuffy day. And I had to kinda make a decision where I was literally . Into my office, and I'm like, do I continue on, or do I turn around, drive 25 minutes back, pick up Sniffers, .

Tim Cox [00:17:07]:
And bring sniffers to the school and then come back to work. And that was, like, the kind of thing where I was, like, you know what? I was, like, I this is important to her. The She's clearly upset about it, and I'm gonna bring that to her. And it's kind of the thing is where she gets bad anxiety about things. She gets all these kind of things where . She's afraid of getting sick, so she'll just tell us she's sick and not go to and try not to go to school. And we ended up putting her in the therapy for these kind of things because it's important to to catch something early and have her start working out the feelings now while she's younger. Because the While not having a stuffy at school is not fun, she's probably not the only kid that forgot it, but to .

Tim Cox [00:17:51]:
Then, you know, get really upset into where, like, I knew she wasn't gonna be able to feel good through school without having the Stuffy. That's where I had to decide. Okay. I need to go and do this for her because we're working on this and with her anxiety, and that's Something that's gonna be important.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:18:08]:
You know, that just kinda shows I mean, there is a point in time where you do have to decide. And like you said about, the There's things like this where you have to make a decision. Is this a learning moment moment, or do you actually the Come back in, and we'll say save the day to bail your child out of something that they probably should have told you up upfront the and told you about. But there's going to be those times where is 3rd grade the time to do that, or is it more 6th the Great. Well, you know what? You need to learn about this, and you need to be able to. So those are things internally that you have to struggle with and figure out as you along. And there is that learning that happens as your kids get older, and you're going to learn so many things. And I think that that's important.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:18:53]:
I think it's so important that you're willing to the Open yourself up to learning and being willing to know that you don't know everything and be willing to the Reach out or find resources. As you think about the experiences that you've had as a father, how has that resonated with you that you've had to take that step the to be willing to learn.

Tim Cox [00:19:15]:
It was tough and easy at the beginning. Easy because I knew I had to learn, but tough because I've always kind of felt the Proud I was able to do things on my own or figure things out on my own. And every day is just I'm learning something new every day, and especially with having the 2 children who are very different people. My daughter is gets anxiety and she's s. Nervous about things, and she's very lovey and gets hurt constantly whether it's really hurt or not hurt or just wants an ice the hack that happens where my son is completely wild and is not one that gets hurt and is just the Runs around the house like a tornado, and you have to learn how to navigate this journey with 2 very different Children. And what I do for her may not be the same thing that I would do for him, and it's not necessarily a learning point the For either of the kids, but just knowing how they will handle it. Like, he had stuffy day to stay at school too. He has a stuffy at the School.

Tim Cox [00:20:21]:
He's in preschool. He has a stuffy there for nap. And I don't know if kids were bringing other ones or not, but I was like, you know what? Let's just . Not send him with 1 because then it's 1 less that needs to be washed, and we think he'll be fine with it. So I think the biggest thing is just the Knowing that you don't know everything and that it's okay to make mistakes. I make mistakes all the time. And there's the Times I wish I could go back and change what I said or what I did, and I let frustrations get out sometimes. And that this past

Tim Cox [00:20:53]:
Year I've tried to take a better look at my own mental health, and I finally talked about depression to my doctors. I Doc. Got on some medication and all these kind of things are taking care of myself to know That I can make myself become a better father. And when I mess up, that, you know, it's not the end of the world, that . I just need to own up to it, and that's also being honest with my kids where sometimes I'll say, like, hey. I wish I didn't say that, or, hey. I wish I the I was able to do this with you. I'm just being honest with them is extremely important to to my own growth.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:21:31]:
Well, talking about mental health, and I know that you said that the You kind of have focused a bit more on your mental health. Why did you decide that that this was the right time to do that, and what did you hope to do with the The journey that you started.

Tim Cox [00:21:45]:
I think it was one of those things where I mean, it certainly got worse over the pandemic. I don't remember and and And also that is we had our son right at the beginning of the pandemic to where that was a whole different thing. You know, they I Doc. I was almost not gonna be allowed to go to the hospital, which I wrote a chapter in the 1st Fathering Together book about that issue. But one of those thing, it kind of, like, creeped up on me more,

Tim Cox [00:22:10]:
and then I decided, like you know, I started feeling like I wasn't myself at all times. Doc. And sometimes I would be just sitting there washing the dishes at night, and I'd start feeling like I'm a failure. Like, I can't even explain the things I was feeling. And then finally, like, I was going to the doctor and I, you know, had my regular physical, and I was just like, this is kinda going on. I don't feel Doc. Suicidal or anything like that, but I do feel depressed and down and to the point where I didn't feel like I would do anything to myself, But I didn't necessarily care if something happened to me.

Tim Cox [00:22:46]:
And other than you were, like, you want to make sure you're there for your kids, but There came point where I was like, there's stuff going on that I'm just kinda moving through life, and it's just stressful. And and it was it was a huge Docs changed by having that talk with the doctor, being honest with myself that this was something that I should bring up, and now Still working on it and still have those days where you just feel exhausted or worn out. The kids are fighting, and you are just like, I can't even Do anything with us anymore. I just need to, like, go lay down or something. But it's happening far less because I feel like I've finally taking a step in the right direction.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:23:25]:
Now taking that step in the right direction, you also are showing your kids Something about taking care of yourself. What kind of conversations have you had, especially with your daughter, about the Some of the things that you I know that you said that she has struggled with and how what you're doing, and Doc. It may impact her in many ways in the future.

Tim Cox [00:23:48]:
I don't think she knows about depression or anything like that yet. She has anxiety, . But we have tried to show her that, like, it's totally normal. A lot of kids have it. A lot of kids go to therapists the for this. And she's it's okay to have big feelings, basically, and not understand how to fully grasp the what you're feeling and talk about what you're feeling. And so I think we just this year, all this started this year of us making this decision to the have her start going to therapy every week, and it was just one of those things where we know that if we have the opportunity to look at this the at this young age and be able to do something about it instead of waiting until it's older. And part of the thing with that may have been that I the understanding that, like, I what I was going through.

Tim Cox [00:24:39]:
My partner understands what she's going through, and those kind of things that were like, you know what? Like, the Let's find a way to help our daughter learn to deal with these feelings before that becomes something.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:24:52]:
. That's so important, and it's important to be willing to put yourself out there and be willing to understand when you need help. And I don't know that every man is willing to admit that, and instead, they internally kind of say, Nah. I can handle it myself. I don't think that I need help. I I can man up and push through it. And that sometimes comes with fatherhood too, the Dad, there is a lot of dads that kind of are like, I don't need help. I can figure this out.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:25:23]:
I don't need to ask for help. I've always said that You've got a community of people that have been fathers that are all around you, and there's no reason why you can't go the to your neighbor, to a friend, and be very open and honest with them and say, you know what? I'm struggling with this. And have you ever dealt with this? Or . If you did, how did you deal with this? Because I'm having a lot of problems, but that's not easy. And it's definitely not something that is the Innately put into the personalities of most men that you're willing to be vulnerable in that way. So I commend you for taking that step for yourself, for your family, and being willing to put yourself first the In some ways, to be able to also put your family first because you knew that you had to focus on yourself to be able to be the dad that you wanted to be the and the husband that you wanted to be. Now we always finish our interviews with what I like to call our fatherhood five, where we ask you 5 more questions to delve deeper into you as a dad. Are you ready?

Tim Cox [00:26:28]:
I am ready.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:26:29]:
In one word, what is fatherhood?

Tim Cox [00:26:31]:
I'm gonna follow what we've been talking about, and I'm gonna say learning.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:26:37]:
When was the time that you finally felt like you succeeded at being a father to a daughter?

Tim Cox [00:26:42]:
I think that there's different times where You feel that way, but just hearing some of the sweet things that she does where if she sees a the kid not playing with anybody. She's the one to go up to that kid and say, hey. Do you wanna play with us? And, like, you know, that's where I remember there was something like that, and my Doug. Wife and I, like, we looked at each other, and we were like, yes. We did this. Like, we succeeded here because she cared more about someone else the who wasn't involved in something, and I think I wanna say she was in kindergarten or 1st grade when that happened. And it felt really good to know that the She is a caring person, and we're teaching her the right way.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:27:24]:
If I were to talk to your kids, how would they describe you as a dad?

Tim Cox [00:27:27]:
I believe they would probably the Talk about me being funny. That was one of the pages in her book that she wrote about me because I try and, you know, make them laugh. I'm goofy. I try and be as the fun of a dad as I possibly can.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:27:41]:
Who inspires you to be a better dad?

Tim Cox [00:27:43]:
I think that's my father. He has done so much for me. Me. He's my stepfather, but he's my father in my mind. He's been in my life since I could talk, since I you know, they've been married since I was 5. The And he's such a great dad, and he's such a great papa to the kids that an inspiration for me to the Try and strive to be like that and also while being my own person at the same time. For example, the other day, my daughter, she has the spray paint chalk, and she asked if she could spray paint a couple, like, rows of bricks on our house by the garage. And knowing it's chalk, knowing it's gonna come off, I was like, I the I don't know if my dad would've let me do this, but what does it matter? Yeah. Go for it. And we now have some pink bricks on Firehouse by the garage. And it's not to say, like, he let me do a lot of the Fun Things. But those are the kind of things where I'm just like, you know what? It's not gonna hurt anything, and I'm just going to do it. So I try and also take the What I've learned from him and then add my own goofy touch to it, which he's also a very funny person too, which is probably where I get it from. But I think that's kind of where I get my inspiration.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:28:50]:
Now you've given a lot of piece of advice, things that you've learned along the way with your own the Kids. As we finish up today, what's 1 piece of advice you'd want to give to every dad?

Tim Cox [00:28:59]:
I think the biggest advice is we're all human. We all make mistakes. No one's perfect. A lot of times on social media, people put out the most perfect version of themselves, and you have to realize that We're all in this together, and that's kind of where I think being involved with fathering together and all the the Dads that I became friends with from the dads with daughters groups and everything, I've really learned, hey. We're all doing this together. Doug. We're all learning, and you have to always be open to becoming a better version of yourself even when you think you're the perfect version of yourself.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:29:38]:
Well, Tim, I just wanna say thank you. Thank you for being here today, for sharing your own journey, and for being vulnerable with us and the Sharing some of the highs, the lows, and everything in between of the things that you've experienced with your daughter, and I wish you all the best.

Tim Cox [00:29:53]:
Thank you so much. It's very exciting to be on this, and I really appreciate you asking.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:29:57]:
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 the that will up your game on fatherhood. Through our extensive course library, interactive forum, step by step road maps, the and more. You will engage and learn with experts, but more importantly, dads like you. So check it out at fathering together .org. 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. Dads with Daughters is a program of Fathering Together.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:30:39]:
We look forward to having you back for another great guest next week all geared Doc. To helping you raise strong, empowered daughters and be the best dad that you can be.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:30:49]:
We're all in the same boat, Don. And it's full of tiny screaming passengers. We spend the the We give the lessons. We make the meals. We buy s. Presents. Bring your AK because those the Kids are growing fast. The time goes by just like a dynamite blast. Calling astronauts and firemen, the Donnie. Be the best dad you can be!