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

Dads With Daughters

Release Date: 04/08/2024

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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...

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More Episodes

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 and Shay. He emphasizes that each child is unique, showcasing distinct interests and needs. As a coach, Steve acknowledges the importance of engaging with his children's individual passions, even if they differ from his own. He underlines the significance of being a playful father, actively participating in activities that resonate with his daughters, thus fostering a supportive and understanding environment.

Parental Presence and One-on-One Time

The significance of one-on-one time with each child resonates throughout Steve's narrative. Given the demands of a coaching career and the challenges of raising four children, finding dedicated time for each child becomes essential. Steve emphasizes both physical and emotional presence, acknowledging that being mentally and emotionally available for his children is as important as being physically present. He shares the value of carving out time for individual interactions, aiming to create meaningful connections and memories with each of his children.

The Impact of Strong Family Foundations

An essential aspect of Steve's journey as a father is the strong foundation built within his family. He recognizes the immense support and understanding of his spouse, highlighting the significance of effective communication and shared responsibilities. Steve acknowledges the mutual respect and cooperation between partners, emphasizing the importance of showing love and support in front of their children. By fostering a strong marital relationship, he aims to provide his children with a positive example of love, understanding, and collaboration.

Work-Life Balance and Role Modeling

Balancing a demanding career in coaching with family life presents unique challenges, particularly during the football season. Steve discusses the importance of disconnecting from work-related responsibilities upon returning home, ensuring undivided attention towards his family. He underscores the significance of being emotionally available for his children, setting an example by expressing his emotions and demonstrating a respectful, loving relationship with his spouse.

Lessons from Steve: Presence and Love

Steve's journey as a father is a testament to the power of love, presence, and understanding. His experiences and insights exemplify the vital role that fathers play in shaping their children's lives. Through his dedication to being present, fostering individual connections, and promoting a strong familial foundation, Steve encapsulates the essence of fatherhood, serving as an inspiration for dads navigating similar paths.

As fathers, the lessons learned from Steve Steele's journey serve as guiding principles, emphasizing the significance of establishing strong relationships, fostering individual connections, and prioritizing presence and love in creating a nurturing environment for children. Steve's wisdom allows us to embrace the joys and challenges of fatherhood, reminding us that love, understanding, and presence are pivotal elements in nurturing and raising children to become strong, independent individuals. 

In conclusion, the wisdom imparted by Steve Steele provides invaluable insights into the multifaceted journey of fatherhood, inspiring fathers to navigate this path with love, dedication, and a profound commitment to being present for their children.

 

TRANSCRIPT

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, raising them to be strong independent women. Really excited to have you back again this week. Every week, I love being able to have a conversation with you, to sit down with you, to the Walk with you on this path that you're on to raise those strong, independent women that you want your daughters to become in the future. And every week, It is definitely such a great opportunity for me to be able to work with you on this journey because all of our journeys are just a little bit different. The way that we father is different, and that's okay.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:00:55]:
There's not one right way to father. We learn that every week through the people that come on the show, and I hope that you learn it from the dads that you are talking to in your own communities And that you talk to on a daily basis because it is important to have community, to build community, to the Create that community for yourself. Now every week, I love being able to have different guests on the show that are walking this journey in a little bit different way. And this week, we got another great guest with us. Steve Steele is with us today, and Steve is a father of 4. He's a teacher. He's a coach.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:01:32]:
He's doing a lot of different things, and his football team just won the championships in, in North Dakota. So we're excited about that as well.  And we're gonna be talking to him about the journey that he's been on with his kids, and I'm really just excited to have him here today. Steve, thanks so much for being here today.

Steve Steele [00:01:51]:
Thanks for having me on. Always great to talk about parenting and, you know, how we can make our daughters' lives as good as they can be.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:01:57]:
Well, I really appreciate you being here. And first and foremost, I know you have 4 kids and I love the the show by being able to turn the clock back in time. And so I wanna turn the clock all the way back to that first moment that you found out you're going to be a dad To a daughter. What was going through your head?

Steve Steele [00:02:12]:
I didn't find out until she was born. We didn't find out on any of our 4 kids. We had our our boy, Simon, first. He's 6 now. And then, our second one was was Gianna, and, you know, we we actually were kinda stressing about names. You know, we had 2 boys' names picked out when we got married, and we had no girls' names. So, so it was Kind of one of those, soon as they told us it was a girl, and then we met her, then, we kinda had to figure out a name. So we ended up going with Gianna, and we loved that name, and then we and we obviously

Steve Steele [00:02:39]:
Loved her ever since. And then, same thing on that third one then, with Shay. Shay's our our 2nd daughter, and then ended up with Seth as our 4th, our little boy. So we've got Boy, girl, girl, boy. And, you know, like I said, it's it's never been so much of a preparation in terms of it being a girl or a boy because we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. We just the a healthy baby, and, we're blessed to have 4 of them.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:03:01]:
So as you said, 4 kids. You started with a boy, 2 girls, a boy. Talk to me about what you've learned along the way and some of the differences you've seen in going the From being a dad to a son to then being a dad to 2 daughters and now a son again. So what have you had to do differently in the way that you father As you became a father to a daughter.

Steve Steele [00:03:26]:
I think, honestly, this is one of those things where your 1st kid and I think everyone kinda says this. Your 1st kid, you're You're trying to be ultra prepared in all these things, and then, yeah, you have the 1st kid and kinda regardless boy or girl, you those books don't really tell you a whole lot once you you're faced with, raising this kid. And and, you know, I think that was a really good thing for us to understand was that, hey, you know, no matter how well you prepare, the You you can't be fully prepared to to drive home from the hospital with that beautiful baby, and then going into having a daughter, you know, everything was just Little bit different. You know, I think baby wise, I don't know that there's people that'll say it's one way. It's it's a little easier to sleep or not easier to the based off of boy or girl. I don't know that we found that.

Steve Steele [00:04:05]:
But, you know, once they kinda got into that playful age, you know, once they get into the the 2 year olds and stuff like that, then it it's definitely been a little bit different. So I think our boy, obviously, way more right into sports wanting to be like dad and do all these things, and our our the was way more into princesses and everything else. And as a coach, being able to embrace that side and not just be like, well, no. You know, we're only gonna do this, the You know, I'm gonna go play with Simon because I like sports more, which, obviously, I like sports more than princesses, but but still being able to to just go and be the playful dad and and and do the the that she enjoys doing. I think that's been the hardest and most important part to keep tabs on, I think, as you get older.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:04:43]:
It is important. It's important to be able to the Be engaged in the things that, as you said, your kids are really excited about. And it may not be the things that you're excited about, But you can get them to be excited about the things that you're excited about in many different ways. And as you said, the Being a father makes you push yourself in many different directions, and you should be pushing yourself to be able to be engaged in that way. The Now you talked about the fact that your daughter does enjoy some of the girl things, some of the, you know, the Barbies or the dolls, the princess aspects, You know, things like that. But each of your kids is completely unique.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:05:21]:
Talk to me about how you've had to work the To develop those unique relationships with each of your children. Also, the fact that you have a role where, the Especially during the fall, you're gonna be really busy. So how do you build those unique relationships to make sure that your kids know the That you are engaged and you are connected to them individually versus collectively.

Steve Steele [00:05:46]:
That's honestly been one of the biggest Challenges, I guess, as we've had. 1 from 1 to 2, and 2 to 3, and 3 to 4 is finding that kind of 1 on 1 time. You know, I think everybody the In the mornings, it's mayhem. Everyone's running around, getting dressed, and all that, and bedtime can be kinda similar. So I think finding the times to do things that she likes to do, and, you know, with our 2 year old Shay now, kinda she's starting to get to that age where we're looking to do things that she likes to do now too, you know, because she can have her own interest At this point and then just finding the time to to do them whether or not you wanna do them. You know, I think that's a a common parent thing where you get so tired, obviously, with babies, Especially where you're used to not sleeping, and you obviously got your jobs and all that, where it can be tempting to just get home and and wanna relax, And kinda try and shut the kids out and be like, no. No. I'm tired.

Steve Steele [00:06:30]:
I wanna do this, or I need to do that. And really just putting that aside and putting the kids first and doing whatever it is that they wanna do Because ultimately, that's how they're gonna know you care and that you love them because you're, you know, the I think they probably still understand. Okay. He's tired. Maybe he had a bad day at work or whatever else. If you're willing to put that aside and and and do what the kids wanna do, then they're gonna understand that you love them and care for them and and ultimately that they're important in your life.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:06:53]:
So one of the things that I'd be interested in learning a little bit more about for you is as you you you did start with a son. You've moved into being a father of 2 daughters. And what have you found so far has been the hardest part for you in being a father to a daughter?

Steve Steele [00:07:10]:
I think the hardest part in a lot of ways is Probably, you know, when they choose things, it it is I mean, again, I I like the Disney movies. My Little Pony is a is a very big favorite of the girls right now, and Super Kitties. And And there are just some shows where I mean, it's it's hard to to want to be interested in some of them. And, you know, the books, we're really big readers, you know, with our family. I think that the Both are that was another big thing that my wife and I were very important on is trying to make sure that they've read a 1,000 books by kindergarten. They have a program here at our local library that all of our the Kids have now done. And then, you know, it really allows you to learn what they like and kinda see the different interests that they have through what books they choose at the library.

Steve Steele [00:07:48]:
And My Little Pony's just kinda been one, and, Fancy Nancy is another one where the girls really, really enjoy those, and, you know, obviously, again, it's you you read sportsbooks or my son's into Star Wars, and Those are a little bit easier for me to get into when you're reading to them, but really just diving in and and making it being goofy, being silly, and And and kinda making sure that you're having just as much fun reading those books can be a challenge at times. So finding the ways to to kinda let yourself out of that box of What you feel like you might enjoy, and and just being goofy and and having fun with the girls the way that they need to have fun too is is been a challenge, but it's something that I think's Been very rewarding for for both myself and my daughters.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:08:26]:
Now as a coach, in a lot of ways, you are a mentor, you are a dad To many other people in many different ways and how you have to work with the people on your team to be able to get them to the Accomplish what you're hoping for them to accomplish and to work together. How has being a coach helped you In the way that you father.

Steve Steele [00:08:50]:
You know, I would almost argue it's the opposite in that, you know, really having kids has has made me a better coach. Just in that sense that, you know, I think the the the schematic side of of coaching is is something that you're gonna get from from playing that sport or whatnot, and obviously, from your coaching mentors and all that kind of stuff. But, you know, when you have your own kids and and you You have that love and that caring that it's you really can't understand until you have your own. I mean, then all of a sudden when you're coaching kids, you're you're coaching other peoples. You know that what they love, and they've loved forever, and will love forever. And I think that really kinda changed my my mentality of a lot of ways, and I think that's changed, the My philosophy of coaching a little bit just in that sense that it does make you really focus on the person first, and focus on the good kids and giving them the experience that I would want for my own kids. And, you know, I think that my kids are are fortunate.

Steve Steele [00:09:37]:
They get to be around the team a lot. You know, all season long, they they're ending up at practice the here and there. One's at one thing, then the rest will be at practice or or vice versa. And the the kids love having them around, and I think it goes both ways in the sense that they also See me being a dad, and understand that, hey, I'm a football coach, but right now my kids are here, and we're not just gonna leave them, and they're gonna be equally as involved as the everybody else because they're here right now, and, you know, some of the the kids do great jobs having fun with our kids, you know, whenever they're at practice, and managers do an awesome jobs with the kids. And the All of our other coaches have kids too, and a lot of them are at practice. So it's a very family friendly atmosphere and, you know, something that I hope benefits the kids as they Obviously, graduate, go on, and and then have families of their own, but also something that I think really benefits our own kids.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:10:22]:
Let's talk a little bit more about the That life work balance because I think that that's challenging for many dads. And as I said, you're a busy guy. You've got a lot of things going on, especially during the football season. And, you know, you're gonna be pulled away from your family in many different ways. And with kids being young, that's not always an easy thing to understand. So Talk to me about what you've had to do to be able to have that balance, to be engaged in that way that you want to be engaged even when you're being pulled away the In that fall term where you're in that football season.

Steve Steele [00:10:54]:
Yeah. You know, I think this is probably the most important thing, and by no means am I remotely perfect on this. I know I can always be better But, you know, finding ways to disconnect from your phone. I mean, I think that's a huge and important thing where, you know, especially, again, in the coaching world that you're gonna go home, and you're gonna get text From parents and kids and players and coaches and everybody else with questions, some of them are important questions that that need to be answered, some of them are not. I think the the most important thing that we we're trying to do is just put that phone on do not disturb until the kids go to bed. Whenever I get home, it's, you know, hey. This is their time. I've no my time at work.

Steve Steele [00:11:26]:
I've spent my time at practice. So the kids are gonna go to bed at 7:30, 8 o'clock. They're still young. So if you get home at 6, the giving them that dedicated 2 hours is important. You don't want them to see them for the 2 hours a day that you get to see them where they're seeing you on your phone. So really just making sure that when I am home, the My attention is on them. And like we said, we're trying to find the 1 on 1 time. You know, usually, we kinda let 1 of them stay up after bedtime of the rest of them to kinda spend some of that 1 on 1 time

Steve Steele [00:11:51]:
Just so that we do get some every week, but, you know, otherwise then once they're all in bed and everyone's happy, then you can try and get back to the phone and and answer some of those questions if they're there.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:12:00]:
Talk to me a little bit about a lot of times this goes down to this goes down to the fact that you have to have a strong foundation the in your family to be able to support your kids and allow for your kids to be able to see that strong foundation too. You talk about the fact that you and your wife are working hard to be able the connect and to help your kids to be strong, but you've got young kids. And having young kids definitely can cause a lot of stress too. And while you're trying to create those strong relationships with your own daughters, you also have to maintain a strong relationship the Inside your family with your significant other. So what have you had to do to be able to maintain that strong relationship with your spouse even when it's stressful, When you're busy, you're being pulled out. When you've got the demands of 4 kids that are all needing something a little bit different. Yeah.

Steve Steele [00:12:52]:
I mean, first and foremost, I mean, my wife's a champ. I mean, she's Know the right way to describe it, but nothing would function without her. Coaches' wives are so heroic in what they do and and being able to the the household when we are gone for those extended periods. And I think the important part is then recognizing and and celebrating that and then understanding, hey. There's gonna be days where she's had a bad day at work or Dads with She's not feeling it, and and you've gotta be able to put pick up that slack. And, you know, and I I think we do a great job of communicating for the most part. Obviously, that's a Doug.

Steve Steele [00:13:20]:
A huge part of all relationships in life is communicating and having the correct expectations, and that can only be done through communication. But then, you know, just again, not being afraid to ask help. Thursday night or a day that we're having a tough time, then communicating that and understanding that, hey, it's okay. I'm gonna have to pick this up, and that's okay, because, you know, there's gonna be the days where that's me and She's gonna do the same thing for me, so I just think that's probably the most important part. Is again, just having that complete open communication, and, Dom. Making sure that we're always on the same page of what needs to happen and what our needs are as spouses for each other.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:13:52]:
So important and definitely something that's not always easy, But you have to keep communicating. You have to keep talking. You have to make sure that you're on the same page because as your kids get older, they will test that, the And they will definitely put kind of make you kind of go 1 to 1. I've had that happen many times where the One of my well, my daughter will say, well, mom said this, and I go back to mom and mom says, I never said that. That's not what I said. So we always have to personally, in our family, we always have to go back and we have to check-in and say, okay. Did you really say this before I answer my daughter? I'm going to make sure about that. Now we always finish our interviews with what I like to call our fatherhood five, where I ask you 5 more questions to delve deeper into you as a dad.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:14:37]:
Are you ready? Yes. The In one word, what is fatherhood?

Steve Steele [00:14:40]:
Love.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:14:41]:
Now when was the time that you finally felt like you succeeded at being a father to a daughter.

Steve Steele [00:14:46]:
This last weekend, we took our girls, again, trying to find some of the more 1 on 1 time and my wife's turn, and and we took them to Disney on Ice. We kinda had the girls go there and the boys go somewhere else, and we kinda put this together, obviously, kind of as a little family trip where we did some things, but really hearing them talk about it afterwards and just seeing that the raw, unbridled, the excitement from them, Docs Really just one of those things where, you know, that there is and then obviously, you know, from the wife understanding that, you know, seeing some of the pictures she got to take and and hearing her recollection of everything. I mean, that's what it's about. You know, you created some special moments that weekend, and it's as much as, you know, I wanna be involved, obviously, in all those moments, it's Equally important for my wife to be able to have those same moments with our daughters. So just very recently fresh in my mind, one that comes to mind and Very, very special weekend.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:15:35]:
Now if I was to talk to your kids, and I know not all your kids are talking right now, but if I were to talk to your kids, How would they describe you as a dad?

Steve Steele [00:15:43]:
They call me a coach, and they call me goofy. You know, I think, very, very rarely. I get trouble from mom too from being goofy at times. I'm definitely not a strict disciplinarian. I'd say I'm very, very fun and and kinda goofy around the kids a lot more than I am. If I'm getting after them, then they know that the The lines have been crossed, and they need to settle down because I'll I'll play with them just about as long as they are allowed to play.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:16:04]:
Now who inspires you to be a better dad?

Steve Steele [00:16:06]:
Honestly, my parents, I don't know that I could have asked for a greater example in life, both of them, really. I mean, they sacrificed so much to give me at least the opportunity to No. Every single interest that I had. I think I was interested in sports. I was interested in music. Whatever it was, I mean, they made sure that I was able to try it despite Despite all the challenges that come along from that from their end and just seeing the example they set of of what a loving marriage and couple should look like, just something that again, I I know it's benefited me in my own life, Just a constant thing to look up to and and hope that I can live up to.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:16:36]:
Now you've talked about your own experience. You've shared some advice that you have learned along the way. As we finish up today, what's 1 piece of advice that you'd wanna give to every dad?

Steve Steele [00:16:45]:
I think so much is be present even not just physically present. Be mentally and emotionally present. It's okay to cry in front of your kids. You know, it's okay for them to see you, experience the emotions that you have. And then just again, I think the other important part that I don't know that I really touched Your relationship with your wife, you know, or or your spouse is is what you're showing them love is. You know, so I mean, if you want them to obviously be looking for that relationship someday, it's it's your job to kind of also show them what a man should look like in a respectful Marriage. So, you know, I think that's another important part.

Steve Steele [00:17:19]:
So I think those are the kind of the most important things that I hope I'm getting across to my own kids.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:17:24]:
Now, Steve, before I finish up today, if people wanna find out more about you and your coaching and your team or anything else about you, where's the best place for them to go?

Steve Steele [00:17:34]:
Yeah. We've got our football websites, TFrigsfootball.weebly.com, and that's got all of our football info. My email is [email protected]. Again, always always happy to to the Talk about being a dad or talk football. They can't do too much of either one.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:17:54]:
Well, Steve, thanks so much again for sharing your story today. I truly appreciate it, and I wish you all the best.

Steve Steele [00:18:00]:
Thank you very much.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:18:01]:
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 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 [00:18:59]:
We're all in the same boat, the and it's full of tiny screaming passengers. We spend the time. The the Bring your a game because those kids are growing fast. The the goes by just like a dynamite blast calling astronauts and firemen, the Carpenters and muscle men get out and be in the world shoes. Domino. Be the best dad you can be!