A guy in my coaching program came to us wanting to improve his dating life… but also wanting to improve his parenting skills as a single father. We’ve coached quite a few guys on being better fathers now (which is deeply humbling for me and the other coaches, given we don’t have kids). It’s been an incredibly beautiful experience seeing how the same philosophies we cover in our content – honesty, treating others like they’re on the same team as you, having a winner’s mindset, etc – works even better when it comes to being a father and raising amazing kids.

(I did a recent interview with one such father – Andreas – who benefitted a ton from our coaching when it comes to being a better father and raising his son into a strong, capable legend.)

Anyway, this father I’m referring to – I asked him a few questions on one of our coaching calls, and he gave some amazing answers – below is the unedited copy-paste of his responses. For any of you guys out there who are considering having kids, or who know you want to raise a family some day – this is an inside look into what fatherhood can be like, particularly when it comes to love and loving your kids.
(Goes without saying, but I obviously have his permission to share all of this.)

I find this guy’s answers so incredibly insightful; and a bunch of other coaching clients have told him they’re grateful for him sharing all this, especially given a lot of them plan on eventually becoming fathers too.

1. Do you feel like becoming a father has given you a deeper understanding of love?

Yes, 100%.

I never loved anyone in my life like I love my kids. Not my parents or any of my past partners. I remember my first “love” in high school, probably the most I’ve been in “love,” I used to think about this girl all the time, most thoughts revolved around us being together and doing things together. But w/ the kids, I don’t even necessarily “need” to be around them, I just want what’s best for them and I just want them to be happy. I don’t “need’ anything from them, I don’t need their company or them doing something with me or for me to get my love, there’s also no jealousy, it’s a complete one way direction of love.

Of course I “want” them to love me and show me love and spend time with me and that feels great, but getting love from them literally never comes up in my mind, I only think about giving them love.

2. How has being a parent shaped your concept of “love”?

Now when I fall in “love” with a girl, it will be a similar love that I have for my kids, probably not as intense as them but its like they taught me how to love. Before them it was what can she do for me or what I want her to give me etc, now its like.. I just want her to be happy.. Of course i have expectations in relationships, I may feel jealous and all that.. But i want to love her in a similar way of loving my kids, just want her to be happy, and enjoy her amazing life, i wanna provide for her and let her flourish. This may sound weird but I would kind of treat her like my daughter in the sense of giving her love and wanting what’s best for her. It would of course be different cuz she will be teaching me a lot of things, she will be my partner and there’s sexual energy, etc. I won’t need her to spend all her time w/ me or revolve her life around me.

I love my parents differently now as well. Like I said, the kids taught me how to love. Before I would subconsciously treat my parents as what can they do for me, what do I need from them, almost like an accessory to help me grow in life. Now I see them as grown up kids, I want them to go for walks and travel, be happy, enjoy this journey of life, I would like it if they told me “I love you” but I don’t need it, I never think about them showing me love, I think about them being happy and how I can make their life better. It’s like I have a huge love reservoir to give and not needing anything in return.

3. Has parenting taught you more patience?

Feel like I went through a patience boot camp.

I still get upset, something I want to improve significantly and its something I will be working on forever. At the same time things don’t upset me as much, the world doesn’t upset me as much. If someone cuts me off in traffic or in a line, or speaks unkindly of me, its okay. If the store closes early and I have to come back tomorrow, its okay. Its like I have something special at home.. I don’t need much from the world anymore (I’m sure I do, but it feels like I don’t). A good woman would be great, but other than that I don’t need the world to be my source of happiness like I used to when I was younger. I have a goal I’m working on and that’s raising these beautiful kids. It weirdly makes you a lot more patient in life, because things don’t really matter that much as now your priorities are different.

4. Have you tried not controlling your kids as much… and instead asking them to do what you want, instead of *telling* them?

That’s something I want to work on more and this is a good reminder. My mom is extremely controlling, OCD like, bless her heart. I’ve naturally developed a bit of them mindset but I will work on not being so controlling and asking them what they want to do and why they do certain things instead of just telling them “This is what I, and society, expect of you and just do what I say.”

5. You’ve mentioned a lot that you try to guide your kids towards becoming a better person; becoming an adult. What does that feel like? What is it like raising a life form? Do you ever feel like “God”, creating a life-form?

I’ve never thought of it as feeling like God, but now that you ask me it kinda is, its like my little universe I’ve built. Its like playing the video game “The Sims”. It’s like a video game character I’m developing and slowing gaining skills lol like they go to school to develop education / social skills, then go to park to develop motor skills, then tutor, then read to develop imagination, then sleep on time to develop restoration. Sometimes I’m thinking years ahead and how this will affect them down the road. Makes me think I also want to not focus on their development all the time, but have time for enjoying the world right now, and not worrying about getting “better.” Do you guys have any advice on that?

6. How does it feel when you yell at your kids?

At times you feel like a big man, yelling at someone smaller than you, sometimes it feels good. Most of the time it doesn’t feel good, literally 1 min later I feel like shit, like I’ve hurt this beautiful little thing, like a creature that cant really understand things and I’m yelling at it because it wasn’t perfect and I’m disappointed in myself, and at times I’ll go apologize. And I also think that I’m teaching them that its okay to be yelled at and I’m allowing them to be yelled at by other people when they grow up. So there is a big guilt factor, like you’re ruining them. So I’m gonna focus on talking things thru w/ them, and talking to them calmly and explaining why it wasn’t the best behavior and what we can do differently. Its interesting because its a reflection of me, I talk to myself like that at times, “y ta F r u doing that” “ur fkin stupid” etc.. not much but sometimes I do.. so it is helping me talk to myself better because I’m being patient with them.

7. When you teach your kids something and they remember it and incorporate it into their own life; what does that feel like?

Like I said earlier it feels like a video game character you are developing, so when they actually do something its like they learned a new skill, feels great, like the matrix, when Neo downloads a new skills. And it also makes you think how much of your actions/ emotions / personality / energy they are constantly incorporating into their own, like a sponge always learning, always downloading information, like a mini AI bot.

8. What is like shaping their personality?

It feels like a big responsibility. Like I said earlier it feels like they are constantly downloading information from you so you have to step it up and be mindful about how you are behaving w/ them. You also try to control their environment, put them in a good setting, have them watch good shows, etc. The beautiful thing is how much they have shaped my personality / life. Even something like I have to wake up at 6:30 every morning, get them ready for school etc, or when I’m home I can’t be too intoxicated. Before I could take as many edibles, go out and drink as late as I want on weekends, now I can rarely do that, i tend to go down the dark side relatively quickly when I have the option to do so, like an escape, so they have forced me to get my shit together.

9. What’s it like to see a part of you in them?

Rarely do I notice them as a part of me, or an extension of me. Most of the time I see them as another life form, they are them, they are unique, and they are so different than me, its beautiful.

10. What’s it like when they tell you they love you?

My daughter tells me I love you all the time and gives me a hug, its comforting, at the same time I’ve kind of gotten so used to it that it doesn’t bring up a huge emotional reaction, I’m already thinking what she needs to do next.. So I may say “I love you too..” give her a kiss and say “k go eat your dinner.” its a good reminder to soak in that moment, and really feel the hug and feel the love between us. My son on the other hang rarely says I love you, but when he does its usually when I let him do something he loves.. Like playing on the tablet.. And he’ll say “baba.. I love you” and then come kiss me on my cheek, it feels really special, feels like he is happy I’m his dad, and feels like I’m doing something right.

11. What does it feel like to have these little humans look up to you and admire you, as well as appreciate you?

Feels like you’re the leader of a company. Like the president of a country. And the people are so proud of u and the way you are running things. And inside sometimes you think man they have no idea, I want to improve things so much more.. You have such great expectations from yourself that you don’t really let it sink in that what you’ve done is admirable. Something for me to remind myself to give myself credit for all that I am doing for them and the things I provide for them.

12. What’s it feel like when they have the wildest answers to your questions? Kids seem to come up with the wildest shit; it’s like they’re constantly tripping on LSD.

It helps u step out of the matrix. It makes me feel like I’m conditioned to think a certain way, what’s socially correct and what’s economical. But they have the craziest answers, not always what would be the most economical calculation to that answer, so its freeing to see their brains be so free, like they are living in a different world than me, they are living in a boundless world.

13. What is it like to forgive them & show them unconditional love? Do you ever hold resentment for something they did in the past?

Honestly the thought that I have to forgive them rarely ever comes up. The feeling of resentment never comes up. Lets say they did something they weren’t supposed to, like she keeps spitting on the ground or she did what I told her not to do, there’s literally nothing to forgive. They are kids and I don’t need to forgive them, they are just acting on pure instinct. Its like if you have a pet monkey and he breaks a glass, you don’t think “I forgive u monkey” .. you just think let me not put glasses out so this thing doesn’t break them. Its a bit different w/ kids because you can teach them, so instead of forgiving you just think what do I need to say or do to decrease the chances of them breaking another glass. I don’t think there is anything they can do that I would have resentment towards them, no matter what they say or do, I’m not gonna hold it against them the next day.

14. How do you deal with the fact that they don’t act like adults, even when you expect them to. How do you remind yourself that they don’t yet know how to be functional adults?

This one is difficult because I don’t have little cousins or nieces in America so I didn’t really grow up as an adult around kids, I’ve only grew up around adults for last 2 decades, so I do treat them as “adults” like they should be able to understand if something not appropriate if I explain to them in kids terms, which most of the part they do understand.. At the same time they are kids, they will repeat the same mistake over and over again, they will need to be told to do something over and over again, that one I have difficulty with, and want to practice more patience. I don’t know how parents w/ mentally ill kids deal w/ it, the amount of letting go and patience is on another level. I want to practice more letting go w/ them.

I need to practice more patience and that they actually aren’t adults, they will completely forget whatever i told them a few minutes ago if they are engaged in something they are enjoying.

15. You’re a single father, and you don’t have a lot of people in your life telling you “You’re doing a good job”. How does that feel? Are you so busy with the day-to-day raising of your kids that you don’t get a chance to step back and give yourself a pat on the back fordoing a good job raising your kids?

Spot on, I’m so busy just getting breakfast, ready for school, physical activity, sleep routine that I forget to zoom out and tell myself I’m doing a good job. That I’m doing basically what is required of a parent. Instead I often feel like I’m not doing enough, my kids need more friends, more time w/ me, they need a mom in their life. I sometimes feel like I’m ruining them.

16. Honesty with your kids: What would happen if you told your kids, “I’m not perfect as your dad. I’m working on being more patient and loving with you guys, and I’d love if you kept me accountable and called me out anytime you see me being really grumpy with you”?

This is amazing advice bro. To involve them, so its not me vs them, but me AND them together, teammates. I will ask them to do this and will keep you posted!

17. Would it help you to be more unconditionally loving with *yourself* – reminding yourself that it’s ok to suck as a dad, you’re doing your best, and just focusing on improving each week rather than trying to be “the perfect dad”?

This is a great reminder as well. I will set up time each week to repeat these statements to myself.

Again, I really appreciate this guy for being so vulnerable and open with his own parenting, and for sharing all of this with us. He’s an absolute legend; I feel blessed to get to work with him and the other fathers/mothers we’ve worked with.

Absolute legend.

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Yo, Andy here. I’m an Aussie guy who went from a depressed, suicidal loser to a guy who gets laid regularly, has 3somes & BDSM sex, crushes weights at the gym & loves his life. I killed my inner loser. It's my mission to get you to kill your inner loser too.