Today’s episode is a tough one. We will tackle two of the most important topics in a person’s life: Money and parenting.
In this episode of “Finance for Physicians”, Daniel Wrenne interviews Dr. Adam Broussard and Dr. David Weisenhorn, to dive deeper into the family and money matters that physicians often deal with.
Dr. Adam is a practicing pediatric anesthesiologist, husband, father, certified life coach, and host of Dads Before Doctors, a podcast for physicians and other high-achieving fathers.
Dr. David is a returning guest on our show and a good friend of our co-hosts. He’s been working hard in the field of parenting research at the University Of Kentucky. He has a background in clinical mental health counseling – working with families over some of the most challenging problems in their lives.
- How money and parenting creatively can help enhance your work as a physician and family life
- Why it is important to discuss money with your kids
- What to look for when beginning the process of improving your finances as a physician
- And more!
Today’s episode will be incredible; you won’t want to miss it!
Full Episode Transcript:
Daniel: Hey everyone. Hope you’re having a great day. We have an awesome show planned today. We’re gonna be talking about a topic that is extremely important to me. I would consider it one of my biggest responsibilities in life and I know many of you would agree. It’s important but it’s also very challenging.
Daniel: There’s a million different ways to do it and everybody seems to have an opinion on it. It’s complicated and tough to know if you’re doing it right. But the stakes are really high. So I think it’s well worth spending some time improving your game and digging into it. In case you hadn’t guessed it, the topic is parenting. And in particular we’re gonna talk about using money as a tool to better balance being a great parent with being a great physician and all the other things in life.
Daniel: We have two great guests joining me today to help us tackle the topic. This episode is loaded up with all sorts of fantastic ideas and practical suggestions to help you start moving the needle. It was a fun conversation and also very motivating and I’m excited to share it with you today. I hope you enjoyed as much as I did.
Daniel: What’s up everyone? We’re gonna be chatting about parenting today. And in particular, using money as a tool to balance parenting, being a physician and all the other things in life. I brought on two fantastic guests today to help us cover it with me today.
Daniel: Our first guess is a parenting and child development expert.
Daniel: He literally has a doctorate in family sciences and is currently teaching, researching and doing outreach work as a parenting expert at the University of Kentucky. Before getting his PhD, he earned his master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and worked extensively counseling families dealing with some of the most challenging circumstances that really you could imagine.
Daniel: He also spent quite a bit of time in the military. Appreciate your service, David. And was actually near the Pentagon during September 11th. Seconds after the crash, when people were running away from the chaos, David ran right at it and was one of the first on the scene to help which tells you a lot about his character.
Daniel: He’s also a great friend of mine and we’ve got gotten to have tons of great conversations about parenting and life in general. But I think what’s really especially important to point out is I’ve been able to see some of the fruits of his parenting efforts firsthand. He’s a great father of the two amazing kids.
Daniel: Both are really just thriving academically, socially, and in sports. I think most importantly, very respectful, hardworking, honest, and loving kids. On top of all this, he’s become very involved in a great organization called Four Kids. Which we might talk a little bit more about in this episode. But they work with children in our schools and help them to find purpose and meaning and direction in life by connecting them with mentors that really helps show them what true love is all about.
Daniel: Our first guest is Dr. David Weisenhorn. Welcome, David.
David: Thank you so much. What a wonderful intro. Thanks.
Daniel: Yeah. David’s also been on the show. We talked about teaching your children about money. So if you hadn’t heard that episode, definitely go and check it out. But I appreciate you coming on again.
David: So glad to be here. Thanks for having me back.
Daniel: Our second guest is joining us from down in New Orleans or New Orleans. How do you pronounce it?
Adam: I go with the second one. Okay.
Daniel: And he’s a practicing Pediatric Anesthesiologist, husband and father. He’s also a certified life coach and the creator of Dad’s Before Doctors Mastermind Group and podcasts for Physician Fathers.
Daniel: It’s very obvious to me that he’s a lifelong learner that’s really serious about continuing to improve and invest in self development. He’s also a go-getter and willing to do hard work to find resources and learn new things to solve problems in life. And I think what’s especially impressive to me is that he’s living out his values and really allowing them to drive the ship. He’s really leaning into this desire to become a better husband and father himself and even working to help others to do the same.
Daniel: For example, one of the things he shared with me is he was investing in his own self development and realized how impactful a mastermind group can be. And looked to find a physician specific group for that and realized it didn’t exist. And so he found the next closest alternative and learned how it worked and eventually created one to help physicians himself.
Daniel: Our second guest is Dr. Adam Broussard. Welcome, Adam.
Adam: Thanks, Daniel. I’m really excited to be here.
Daniel: So Adam, I would love it if you could maybe start out by sharing, how did you get to this intersection of talking about being a great dad while also being a great doctor?
Adam: Right after my youngest son, who’s almost two and a half now was born, I was able to organize some of my time off to have a little bit of a paternity leave.
Adam: I’d work a week and take off a week and work a week, then take off a week. During that time where I really started diving more into some personal development and self development stuff. Mind you, this is also in the middle of early Covid. So no one was coming visit the new baby.
Adam: There wasn’t a whole lot for us to do otherwise. At the point, he was sleeping all the time and my wife was breastfeeding so there really wasn’t a whole lot for me to do as on paternity leave other than to take care of the older child. So started diving in and reading different self development books.
Adam: Got associated with some other physicians that were life coaches and most of them had trained with the life coach school. So started looking into that. Listening to a bunch of the podcasts about it and ended up deciding to I can either find a coach, hire one of these coaches, or I can just become a life coach.
Adam: I decided to just become a life coach. I figured I would be able to use it some to help other people but also just knowing those skills to that depth, it would be helpful to me personally. During the course of it, the majority of the physician life coaches were all females.
Adam: Myself and two or three other guys all happened to be in the same cohort. I was talking to one of those physicians and he had a platform already. He was planning to launch a coaching business. I started doing some coaching for him. He would do majority of the big group calls but I would do some of the one on one calls. It was being marketed as a male physician coaching.
Adam: There was no market for that or no other providers for that at that time. So starting, I guess November of 2020 was doing all these calls with other physician dad. And you kept hearing the same thing over and over again. A lot of them were on the financial independence, retire early like spectrum, that was their plan.
Adam: A lot of them were taking jobs. The highest paying job they could in locations that they hated, that their spouses hated. Picking up all these extra shifts to maximize them out, so that in 5 or 10 years, they would have this huge nest egg and be able to then retire or eventually live where they wanna live or actually see their families. And that just seems so counterintuitive to me.
Adam: Who knows what’s gonna happen in that 5 to 10 years? You ignore your kids. You just buy their love with this extra money that you’re earning or they never see you. Your spouse never sees you.
Adam: You’re not prioritizing your relationship with your spouse. So when you all of a sudden fire, you don’t know your kids, you don’t know your spouse. And it’s not gonna be a pretty picture. So that’s when I started looking for a group that focused on professional or higher income driven dads, kind of like.
Adam: I couldn’t really find anything specific physicians. But ended up joining a entrepreneurial dad’s group called Front Road Dads, which has been awesome.
Daniel: And that’s a mastermind group, right?
Daniel: It seems like you made that observation that this whole hardcore work hard aggressive pursuit of more money. But at the cost of less time was in conflict with being a great family, most importantly dad.
Adam: Yeah. And a lot of the times, like they’re like, “Oh, I’m doing this for my family” so that I can be a better dad or a better spouse. I’ll make more money. Even the ones that weren’t looking to fire, they just wanted to make more money so that their kids could have things they didn’t have or so they could go to private school or they could buy them at BMW when they turned 16.
Adam: But is that really what your child wants? In reality they want you to spend time with them. Whether, you’re flying them to Europe for a week or you’re just like hanging out with them on a peer fishing. I don’t think it really is what your five year old is looking for.
Adam: They want you to sit there and play blocks with them probably.
Adam: And same thing, your spouse can buy all these pretty things, drive all this great car, but if you’re not having date nights or having time alone with them, you’re gonna end up throwing apart and it’s gonna then take half of all that retirement that you have built.
Adam: Yeah. David, I’m curious to hear from the parenting expert. As a parenting expert, we’ve talked about this a million times, so I know I already know what your answer’s gonna be. But I think it’s important to talk about this. Does being an expert at something, parenting expert for you, translate automatically to being a great parent?
David: No, actually it is almost the opposite. Just because you know all the right answers doesn’t necessarily mean you do all the right things. I’m still human. I still have those tendencies to want to fit in. We have a lot a really selfish nature I think that we’re born with. And just trying to deny that, a lot is what I think a parent’s job is, is that we’re constantly learning to be selfless.
David: And that is hard when we live in a society that tells us to be selfish. I love what Adam’s saying. I couldn’t agree more with the things that he’s talking about. But even when you know what to do or what you should be doing, it’s still a challenge.
Daniel: It’s a good starting point.
David: Yeah. Hey, awareness is key. You gotta start somewhere. A part of having something to aim at, having that goal is critical. But also that perfectionism is not a good perspective either because we are human. We’re gonna mess up. But we gotta just keep firing at the goal that we’re trying to achieve.
Daniel: There’s a bunch of stuff in there that you said that I hopefully will circle back to some of that. But I wanted to talk about the end goal. Maybe a little bit more expand on that.
Daniel: Let’s just say we’re all talking, I’d say it’s 10 or 20 years from now or whatever point our kids are like now adults and they’re kinda doing really well.
Daniel: Life’s gone as we all hoped. I’m curious for you guys, what does that look like for you for that to play out? What’s going on with your kids? For them to be in that point if we did it right?
David: So what it would look like for me, I think is to have really healthy kids, physically, mentally, children that choose the right things in life. Meaning the same sort of things that I choose in life, spirituality, relationships. I think healthy careers are important but more so purpose driven and meaningful careers more than financial gain.
David: But I certainly want for them to be financially well. Meaning, resources wise they don’t lack but that doesn’t have to be an abundance to the point to where it’s a gross amount. I think just them being healthy and happy and knowing that mom and dad have always got their best interest in mind. When those things come, when life struggles come, they know who they can rely on.
David: Kind of simple and maybe that’s a little too fairy book. A fairytale kind of thing. But I think that’s what I wish for them. I could say tangible things but really at the end of it, I just want ’em to be happy, healthy and doing something that they find meaning in.
Daniel: When I think of it as in my kid’s situation, if I was to boil it down I want for them is to be loving people. I think that’s number one is loving people and the rest kind of flows from that. And because we don’t know how our kids are gonna turn out and all that.
Daniel: It’s a fun thought process. Adam, I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are on it.
Adam: I hope that they’re resilient and self-aware, self-reliant like productive members of society. Whatever they choose, however they choose to lead their life, I hope they’re having their kids and not saying, “Oh, I hope I never do xyz that dad did to me”.
Daniel: That’s a good one.
Adam: Just hopefully, like y’all both said, that, they feel comfortable coming to my wife and I that they know we have their back and that they can bring up any topic they can ask us anything and hope that we’re there for them, but not reliant on us.
Daniel: David and I have talked about the trust thing with your children. And you brought up a good point about I think them being comfortable bringing anything to you. That is I think an aspiration most people have. But it’s super easy to get in this I guess going down the road of where you’re kind of like critical of your children and they stop trusting you and then they eventually break away from you.
Daniel: David, I’m curious if you could weigh in on that. Like how do we really lean into that whole thing without revolving around our children?
David: I really believe a lot of this starts really early with our children. As young parents and watching our children make mistakes, behavioral mishaps or behavior that you don’t necessarily want in your house.
David: I can give an example. My son, is very handsy. He’s a rough and tumble little guy and he’s always been that way. My daughter was my first born, not so rough and tumble. He caused a lot of strife and he would bring a lot of frustration and what he thought was just rough and tumble play, but it oftentimes would escalate into fights and crying.
David: And so there was a frustration that existed in my home. A lot of times around his behavior and the more frustrated I was as a parent, the more he felt as if I was ganging up on him or my wife and I would kind of gang up on him. I think so much of how we handle our children’s behavior early on and I’m not for spanking. A lot of people get frustrated with that and I totally understand that. But there is a lot about forgiveness and being able to speak to our children without having to partially punish them physically. That I think will later translate into a much more loving and respectful relationship later in life.
David: And so I do think there’s a lot of parenting in the way that we handle our kids missteps early in life that lead to a more likely behavior for them to come back. And build that relationship and say, “Hey dad, I want to talk to you about something”.
Daniel: And I think it’s about your failures too as a parent.
Daniel: Because I’m guilty of it. It’s like you don’t want to admit your failures or you just gloss over ’em. But like leaning into him and talking or being like, “Hey, I screwed up” with your kid. That’s hard to do.
David: So critical. Just to be able to admit fault and apologize when we’re wrong.
David: Parents are the most influential person in a child’s life. Hands down. And so when we model what we wanna see from our children, they see and retain that way more than anything that we say to our children. And so being able to model that, just like you’re saying. Just to say, “Hey man, I’m messed up, I’m human.”
David: And my son has a hard time with messing up at times. And he gets really hard on himself. I say, “Hey, that’s how we learn”. Messing up it’s just a human behavior and that’s the way we learn. So let’s be kind to each other when we mess up. It’s not intentional. But when we mess up, I tell him, “Making a mistake the first thing is a mistake. The second time you make it, it’s a choice. So, let’s choose wisely”.
Daniel: Adam, I think you mentioned this even, but I know from my experience there’s a lot of perfectionism. I guess that’s in our culture overall. But it seems especially with physicians, there’s just a big lean towards perfectionist tendencies. And I think that’s seems like it’s in direct conflict with what we’re talking about.
Adam: No, absolutely. One of those books I was reading around the time when my son was born was Mindset 2.0. And like just the fixed mindset versus growth mindset and learning from failures and stuff like that. A lot of times in medicine, if you failed at something, you’re either getting sued or there’s gonna be a bad outcome. I think that is a big issue with changing that idea about admitting you’re wrong and I completely agree with y’all.
Adam: People seeing you apologize to your two year old for screaming at them or whatever, can be a big shock to some people. But absolutely, I have to do that. It’s really hard both for when you lose your temper with your child or when they lose their temper. Beating yourself up, I think is what I have experienced a lot on some of these coaching calls that physician gets mad at themselves cause they screamed at their kid.
Adam: It just goes round and round of I’m a horrible parent. Or they beat themself up because their child had a tantrum in the grocery store, that they’re a bad parent and they’re supposed to be this perfect little angel child, which is also like crazy.
Adam: That’s gonna be the abnormality if the child is just a perfect angel all the time. I think giving yourself that grace, having that self-awareness to realize when you’ve messed up and tell the child, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have lost my temper”.
Adam: That’s one thing when a two year old, a four year old or whatever is, can’t control their emotions. But then you get mad at them and you’re not controlling your emotions, but you’re expecting this two year old to control their emotions and you’re 40, you’re yelling at them because they’re having tantrum, but you’re having a tantrum basically too.
Adam: And that’s something that has really hit home to me.
Daniel: I think it’s hard to sometimes realize to take a step back.
Adam: You always realize that five minutes later.
Daniel: But you have more awareness than the average physician person in general.
Daniel: You’ve read books about mindset. I think that kind of thing can help. Has that been helpful? Have there been other things that have been really helpful to help gain that awareness and mindset?
Adam: Having conversations like this with other dads, cuz you don’t talk about these things. You go watch to the football game or you go to the dad’s night or whatever, and you talk about work, you talk about the football game, you talk about the kids, but you’re not actually talking about the kids.
Adam: You’re not talking about like, “Oh, Johnny, is having problems with this…”. That’s what I have found really helpful, joining other dad’s groups or like being able to have these conversations and coaching. Personally having coaching, like having these conversations. I was talking about stuff with our older son and with my coach and he brought up René Brown in the work, and I’m like, ” I’ve read that. I know about it”.
Adam: Just because you said it now, it makes it a lot more real and I need to really go back and practice it. And that’s the thing, personally have a problem with this. I read all these books and listen to all these books and podcasts and whatever, so I have all that information, but knowledge without implementation is useless.
Daniel: Look at the parenting expert, he spoke.
Adam: So being more intentional about actually like doing the things.
Daniel: It’s easy to say and know what to do but taking action is challenging.
David: And Daniel, I think it’s because we rarely get it right the first few times we do it.
David: Take a trash can that’s in your kitchen right now and move it to the other side of the room and tell me how many times in that week you throw trash in the corner that the trash can used to be. And that just shows you that we’re creatures of habit and we do things oftentimes without a lot of thought.
David: It’s not because we don’t know where the trash can is, it’s just because we’re getting a habit of tossing it in the other spot. If we can learn to just be kind about that and like Adam said, I think so much of that is the kindness comes from bouncing it off other people and listening. And one of the things I work really hard to do, even under the guise of an expert, and I do my finger quotes because that’s the worst thing people could call me. But it is to just be honest about all of my shortcomings and when I’ve messed up, I try to share those.
David: I try to lead with those a lot of times because it’s so important, like Adam said, that to hear another dad say, “Man, I really lost my temper this week”. I really found myself yelling at my kids to stop yelling. Yep, been there. I know all about that. And as like Adam was saying, it’s just like we lose our temper but we’re asking our kids to keep theirs while we’re not doing it ourselves.
David: And so having somebody else and luckily I have men in my life who I get to share those things with and do so regularly and that I can’t agree anymore with Adam about how helpful that process is in learning new things and applying new things.
Adam: Leaning in with curiosity is a big thing too. My boys are four and two, they’re still on that toddler stage. But if one of ’em is having a meltdown, it’s probably cuz they’re hungry or tired. And 90% tired cause they don’t like naps anymore.
Adam: Just like realizing that before you like lose your tipper, “Oh, it’s 5:00 PM and he’s been playing and doing else and hasn’t had a nap today”. That’s probably why he’s looking out right now. Or he’s hungry or whatever. Just trying to take a step back before you react.
Daniel: And have an open mind. And not assume like we do. We should do with all things. For me this is one I have learned is, I would not consider myself a big drinker. But occasionally, I’ll have alcohol at night and have reduced that consistently in my lifetime. Partially because I realize even if I just have one or two drinks, it ruins my parenting.
Daniel: I go off the rails and I don’t have near as much of this top of mind awareness of things to think on my toes. It’s not I’m outta control, it’s just you gotta be quick on your toes. I think with a lot of this parenting stuff and when you’re tired and combine that with other things and then you get a temper tantrum, it’s like you end up in a temper tantrum yourself and this is no good.
Adam: I think even with like caffeine and stuff, can feel it like I lose my temper more often. If I’ve had too much caffeine in a day. You have to take care of yourself, whether that is, what you’re eating, drinking, doing meditation and stuff.
Adam: I can definitely tell the difference the days I don’t do like miracle morning or meditate or whatever. You hear about all these people talking about doing gratitude, journaling or meditating or doing all these however you wanna put it.
Adam: But there’s a reason people have been doing these things for thousands of years. May not be like, ” Tomorrow, I’m gonna be this zen master” but just tiny things. And if you really take a step back and look at it, “I meditated today and I didn’t yell at my kids”.
Adam: Or “I didn’t have any coffee today”. Or “I didn’t have a beer today and like today went well”. And just kinda of being mindful of those kind of things. I think is a big thing too.
David: I love what you’re saying, Adam. I couldn’t agree more. You’re right. I remember feeling as a military guy and this whole gratitude journal.
David: I’m like, “Man, this is soft”. There’s no way getting up every day and saying thank you for three things in my life makes a difference. But I’m here to state that it has changed my life in a big way. So I appreciate that you would even bring that up. I think we do discredit some of those things. Mindfulness activities, meditation, yoga. But I also think there is a key variable in understanding where a child is developmentally.
David: And as dads, I think we don’t do that as well as moms do. And I think part of that is socializing and how we’ve been socialized. Whether we choose to be around younger kids when we’re younger. That I know when I was a dad, I didn’t really understand developmentally where my child was. And I saw an example that I oftentimes share and I took my son to his five year pediatrician.
David: We just gonna do a five year checkup and we’re sitting in the waiting room. And we’re working one of those wooden puzzles and there’s another child in the room and they’re sitting on the floor and they’re playing with blocks. And that child’s about three years old maybe. Maybe two and a half. Parents sitting behind ’em on the phone, not engaged. The parent decides they want to engage and says, “Will you hand me a yellow block?”. And the child reaches down and grabs a red block and hands it up and the parent says, “No, I said a yellow block”. And the child reaches down, grabs another block. It’s a blue block and hands a block up.
David: And the parent gets upset and says, “No. I said, it’s a yellow block. It’s on your right”. There’s something wrong with the picture. And I ask people, what’s wrong with the picture? And they’re like, ” A two year old or a three year old doesn’t know their colors. And they don’t know their rights or their lefts”.
David: The reality was, is the parent was expecting that child to be at a different developmental stage than where the parent was, than where the child could be. And that breakdown in communication happened not because the child wasn’t trying to be obedient. Oftentimes the parent will look at that and say, “This child’s not doing what I’m asking them to do and therefore I’m feeling frustrated”.
David: And so the breakdown oftentimes comes where a child is supposed to be and what they’re able to do. And so many parents and that’s not just male. I don’t want to just cast that broadly across our audience. But a lot of parents don’t know exactly where a child is developmentally. And that can have a lot of barrier in whether or not that child is being communicated with appropriately.
David: And those expectations are right. It can lead to a lot of that frustration that we’re talking about as well.
Daniel: I saw some research recently, I think it was dad’s time spent with their children and it was super interesting. They’ve been doing this research for a really long time.
Daniel: And I think like back in the 50s. It was like, here’s how much time the dads were spending with the children. It was very low in their children. And then fast forward to today, it’s like dads are spending a lot more time with their kids today. But what was interesting about it is that dads today also feel like they’re not spending enough time or that is more amplified now than it used to be.
Daniel: So in other words, dads are spending more time with their kids and feeling it’s not enough today. Which I think is an super interesting combination of variables. But I think first of all, that tells me it’s not all about time. And we’ve been talking about that, intentionality and being healthy in your overall lifestyle and those sorts of things.
Daniel: But I’m curious of your all’s thoughts on that.
Adam: It’s definitely, I think a lack of engagement. Like in your story, David. The parent is playing on their phone and then all of a sudden is now child, I want to engage with you. Probably is playing on their phone a lot at home and is partly why they don’t know that the child doesn’t know their colors.
Adam: Just got tapped to bring ’em to the doctors that day. And something that I’ve been doing with my older son is we do quarterly. It’s from the book Family Board Meeting by Jim Sheils. So quarterly we go on, a father son, “Board Meeting” and there’s no cell phones.
Adam: He gets to choose what we do that day. We put it on a calendar, you know it’s happening. And then we go do an activity. We go have lunch and debrief and stuff afterwards. There’s only so much debriefing that is happening with a three and a four year old. But he knows when it’s happening.
Adam: So for two weeks he talks about it. And then the other day he’s like, you remember that restaurant we went to on our dad day? Can we go back to that restaurant and bring mom and brother. When he talks about ’em all the time. And I spent a ton of time with him.
Adam: Like a lot. I pick him up from school all the time. We have time together. But something about those special times, it’s just the two of us and it is planned ahead of time. I pick him up from school a lot and it’s just the two of us. We have conversations.
Adam: But having intentional time that’s dedicated, no interruptions. Never got in an argument during these days. Because it’s all about the two of us. My phone is normally silenced or off and it’s very intentional time. Whether that is two or three hours after school one day.
Adam: A weekend day, like a full day. I think that intentional time is much more effective than sitting on the couch watching Paw Patrol with them yesterday.
David: I couldn’t agree more with that. It is quality over quantity for sure.
David: What kind of time are we spending with our kids and are we engaged in that time? And like you said, Adam, I think it shouldn’t be lost here is the crux piece of that is that engagement and how you’re spending that time is often determined by the child way more exciting.
David: He can get more excited about that. And it was another thing I keyed in, as you said, these are days that just seem like we don’t argue at all in these days. And I think that comes from the child’s level of excitement that the child is really ramped up.
David: They seem at that point, doing everything they can to do the right thing. They’re excited about not misstepping. They want to please you because they’re feeling pleased. I find that too, when I spend time with my son. I could say this about my daughter but she always seems to be polite to me.
David: And I don’t know why. Even when I don’t deserve it at times. But my son on the other hand, when we’re doing something that he wants to do, he’s so much more polite to me. And thank you dad. I’m really having fun and he’s really stating these things unsolicited as just a reflection of his heart in the time that we’re getting to spend together. So, yeah. I couldn’t agree more of what you’re saying. Quality is important.
Daniel: Yeah. I think that’s the challenge. It’s not easy to dedicate time, but it’s necessary. But then on top of that, It’s not easy to be intentional with the time that you dedicate. And then on top of that, it’s not easy to be like a healthy influence while you’re dedicating that time.
Daniel: That’s where it starts to get challenging. Especially if we’re trying to seek perfection. That’s when it’s impossible really. You throw that into the mix. It’s an impossible challenge. But I think there’s one other component I always think about that I don’t think we’ve hit on in this foundation of being a great dad is your marriage.
Daniel: Or even relationships in general. We’ve talked about it already. But your kids watch how you interact with other people and especially the most important people in your life. And that’s gonna be huge, a huge influence on them. And I think that’s where that cycle starts of you’re teaching your children the behaviors.
Daniel: Either they’re gonna be eventually like, “Man, I wish my parents hadn’t”. Or they’re gonna be like, thankful for their parents, instilling these habits.
David: For sure. And I think what I loved about what Adam was saying is that while it is difficult, if you plan that out, you put that on the calendar.
David: It’s the same thing. And hopefully, my guess is if I asked Adam, I don’t know him other than the first time we met today. But my guess is if I asked him if he’s got date nights on his calendar, he would say, “Yes, he does”. And I think what that is, is that his relationship with his children is being modeled after his relationship with his spouse. This is the thing that doesn’t get talked about much.
David: And this is not a throw at single parenting. My heart is with single parents and for them. But there is so much security that comes from that healthy dyad. That parental connection in the home. There’s so much of a child security and confidence and self-esteem that the foundation is laid for them through a healthy relationship, marital relationship at home.
David: And you’re right, they’re always watching the way that dad talks to mom, and mom talks to dad. And the way that gets played out is oftentimes in their relationships that they have as well. I couldn’t agree with you more, Daniel.
Adam: It is something that I’m working really hard on. So actually my wife and I, we actually just took our first trip without the kids over the past week. So it is something that we is definitely prioritize. But we do not have a set date night where it is something in the works though.
Daniel: At the end of the day, it’s putting it on the calendar and taking a little time to prepare for it. It’s interesting, we talked about this before we’re recording, but Adam is the only person I’ve ever talked to that has that same habit. I do it a little differently.
Daniel: I do monthly dad days where it’s the birthday day of their month. If they’re born on the seventh of the month, we do it every seventh besides their birthday. And ours is just like an hour hang out and do whatever fun stuff. They all remember it. They all know when it’s coming.
Daniel: They all talk about it. It’s super impactful time together. And I couldn’t recommend it more. So as we start to wrap up, I wanted to circle back. We’ve kind of already been talking, I think a lot about this question I’m about to throw out. But I think if you look, I always like to bring up this quote. I’m sure you guys have heard it. “Show me your checkbook and calendar. I’ll tell you what’s most important to you.” I think that’s the quote. And I think money is, it can be a problem. The pursuit of more money can turn you into a terrible parent, I think. And cause lots of problems.
Daniel: But on the other hand, money can also be one of the best tools that we have to move towards being a much better parent. I think we’ve already been talking about using money as a tool to be better parents. You’re bringing up mastermind groups and working in jobs that not working tons of shifts and those sorts of things.
Daniel: I’d love to talk about some ways that we can use money as a tool to lean into parenting.
Adam: There’s two big masterminds that I’m a part of. GoBundance and then Front Row Dads. Both have a very strong core values that you are complete person. It’s not just financial. You’re working on your relationships. You’re working on doing experiences over items. Focusing on emotional intelligence. Your relationship with your spouse. Your relationship with your kids. And when you’re surrounding yourself, like the Jim Rohn quote, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.
Adam: When you’re surrounding with people that are hardcore about their health. Hardcore about their marriage. Hard core about having these epic adventures. Exposing their kids to the different lifestyles. Different parts of the world. You don’t have to, if anything, it may be detrimental going to some country and then staying in the Ritz or the Four Seasons. As I just got back from staying in the Plaza, New York.
Adam: When you’re taking your kids to these things to like actually see the country, see how the people are living there. I just finished the book, Die with Zero. Which was an excellent mind shift change. So the premise of it is that by the time most people pass away, their kids are in their fifties or sixties and don’t really need the inheritance. And to like really go down and figure out the things you wanna do in your life. Whether bucket list or however you wanna do it.
Adam: But if one of the things you wanna do is climb Killamanjaro. You’re not gonna do that when you retire at 60 or 65 or 70 or whatever. You need to make the intention to do it and spend the money at 35 or 40. Because it’s gonna be a lot more beneficial to you at that point in time to spend that money than to spend it when you’re 65 or 70 and have retired.
Adam: That’s a very big generalization of the book. But it was very interesting. But taking an account of what is truly important in life, and what you think your ideal life will cost is often not nearly as high as you think it is. Having a weekly date night doesn’t have to mean going to $200 dinners every time.
Adam: You can go have a date picnic with your wife or in the park. Or just drive around even. Just have a conversation. Being present with your kids. Our last board meeting, we went to three different playgrounds. It cost nothing. He’s just, “Let’s go to this one”. “Let’s go to that one”.
Adam: I was like, “Okay, cool”. And then we got ice cream. But that’s what he wanted to do. You can definitely have experiences and make these values with your kids and have this quality time with your kids without costing a lot of money. I think money is a tool to buy time and I think that’s one thing that is really lost on a lot of the fire movement.
Adam: Is that you’re trading more and more time for the money, so that you don’t have to do it in next number of years. But in the meantime, you’re not guaranteed tomorrow.
Adam: You can die tomorrow trying to get to somewhere in 10 years and you missed out on all this time with your spouse, your family, your parents. You had brought up the time that dad’s spend with kids. But you also probably hear different statistics. But 85% to 90% of the time, you’re gonna spend with your children is gonna occur before they turn 18.
Adam: That’s great. Like in 15 years, I could retire but my kid’s 18. They’re in college. They’re not here. I’ve missed all of that time along the way that you could be building that relationship. So that when they’re 25 or 30, they come to you with a question or a problem like, “Dad, how do I do this?”
Adam: or “Dad, look. I’m in trouble. I need help with this.”. You haven’t created that baseline if you were working 80 hours a week.
David: That’s great. That’s great. Adam, I wrote down some stuff that you said. I just so appreciate. No, I mean it. I really appreciate what where your heart is on that. And I hope you share that with all the people you come in contact with. Because I don’t think you could be any more on top of what you’re talking about.
David: My daughter turns 12 a week from today. And so my wife and I talk about it all the time. I’m like, “We got six summers. We got six family vacations left. How are we gonna spend those six summers?”.
David: We need to be knowing where we’re headed. Because I couldn’t agree with you more. And it goes back to where I started with where this whole relationship. If we want our kids to come back to us, now’s the time to be investing in that return rate. You were talking about and I think you said experience and I think of the three E’s. Experience, exposure and enrichment.
David: And that’s the way that I want to try and use money for my kid’s sake. And so much of it is me having to be selfless and say, “Okay. Instead of getting what I want, I’m much more happy giving them what they want”.
David: And that’s not a child centered parenting perspective. That’s literally just a selfless piece of, “Okay. If I really want more than what my parents gave me. Can I give my kids more?”. I think that’s a good thing to want.
David: But that probably means I won’t get all the things that I’ve wanted in life either. So by removing myself and saying, Hey, I’m willing to take the hit so that I can use the money that I have. Instead of working more hours, just use the money that I have just for them and for the things that they want to do, and for this time that we’re gonna spend together. These experiences and exposure to where we want to end up in the end which is that well rounded human.
David: That well rounded somebody who’s giving back to the community. So much of that is doing that together forming those habits when there are kids and saying, Hey, for Thanksgiving we’re gonna go down here to the Salvation Army and we’re gonna ring this bell outside of Walmart.
David: And we do it every year. My kids love it. It’s one of the most, “Hey dad, we gonna ring the bell again this year?”. That’s pretty cool for a 12 year old to be like, “Dad, are we gonna ring the bell again this year?”.
David: My son’s like, “Dad, let’s ring the bell.” and he’ll recognize people.
David: And so that’s the kind of thing where I really appreciate what you’re sharing with people because I think you’re right. I love that you said it’s about time and buying time. Because that is what it’s about. I know that Daniel and I have had these conversations so many times. And it’s like, how much time can I buy?
David: What’s my time really worth? There’s a paycheck that comes every month and I can evaluate how much I’m hourly worth according to my employer. But how much is it worth? Is that better spent giving somebody else that opportunity to make some money. To do some of the things that I don’t necessarily find enjoyment doing. And might be able to use that time then with my kids doing something with them and building that relationship.
David: I just riding the tales of what you had already said. Really agree with what Adam’s talking about. Glad to hear that there was a mind shift in some of the reading. And hopefully more dads will join that mind shift because I think it’s a necessary one. I think it’s gonna lead to a much better individual in the future. We’re planting our seed right now and investing in our children. Trust me, it’s well worth our investment. We need more of it.
Adam: I have friends that are worth eight, nine figures that will take their kids to go mow their rental property or empty the coins and the apartment complex. Just to show them what the hard work is and what they did to get there. It may not be the best use of your time to go out. Be out there ringing the bell. It’s probably easier for you to write a check and just put it in there and someone else is bringing the dollar.
Adam: But taking that time to really submit those lessons in with the kids is priceless rather than considering what your time’s worth too.
Daniel: Great stuff guys. This has been fun. I feel like we could talk about this for hours. And I think my number one takeaway is relationships too.
Daniel: I wasn’t initially thinking about that. But I think one of the biggest things is just connecting with other dads to talk about important stuff. Some of the bigger life questions and lean into that and talking through this stuff. I think that’s super impactful. And I know Adam, you’re leaning into it.
Daniel: David, we lean into it when we run every Wednesday and Friday. I would encourage everybody listening, that’s I think a great starting point is just leaning into hanging out with some dads. You gotta be intentional. I know us guys are not the best about connecting and talking about some of these things. But there’s a lot at stake.
Daniel: Guys, thanks for joining me today. I’ve enjoyed the conversation. Thanks.
Adam: Thanks. Appreciate it.