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Dec. 26, 2022

Episode 79: Raising Strong Daughters with a Foundation of Good Mental Health with Marc Paisant

Episode 79: Raising Strong Daughters with a Foundation of Good Mental Health with Marc Paisant

In this episode, DJ and special guest, Marc Paisant, mental health podcast host & father to 2 daughters, discuss the influence fathers have on their daughters with anxiety, depression, food addictions, low self esteem and how to build relationships that will make all the difference. Listen in as they talk about moving forward as a society by having men who understand and are committed to standing in the most important role they will ever have in their lives - fatherhood.

Marc Paisant is the creator and host of the Relatively Normal podcast. In his show, he shares his experiences with ADHD, anxiety and depression. He shows that no one is alone and there is always someone willing to listen and assist when it comes to coping and managing all kinds of stress. He is an advocate for therapy and counseling and talks about his years of therapy that he has used to manage his mental health.

• [5:48] Marc discusses child rearing and how childhood trauma can lead to issues in adulthood. 
• [13:08] “Parenting is tough. I mean, let's be honest. Like, it's, it's fun. But you know, you're raising little children to become the next generation of adults.” 
• [21:48] “When we fail, we learn more from that failure than we do from an easy success.” 
• [29:37] Marc shares why he believes the roles of fathers are changing & evolving. 

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DJ Stutz  0:13  
We think you should know that Imperfect Heroes Podcast is a production of Little Hearts Academy USA. 

You're listening to Episode 79 of Imperfect Heroes, Insights Into Parenting, the perfect podcast for imperfect parents looking to find joy in their experience of raising children in an imperfect world. And I'm your host DJ Stutz. So this week is not only the last episode of the year, it's the last episode of season two. So next week, on January 2, we will be downloading our third season, which I just can't even believe it's happening. And it will be up to episode 80. That's just so amazing to me that we've gotten this far together. So I decided to go out with a big bang, and was something that I am very passionate about. Marc Paisant is the proud father of two girls. And most importantly, he understands the importance of his role in their lives. He has his own podcast called Relatively Normal, which deals with mental health and well being. And on his podcast, Marc talks about anxiety, depression, food addictions, low self esteem, and other really important mental health issues. In this episode, Marc and I talk about the influence fathers have on their daughters with these issues, and how to build the relationships that will make all the difference. There's so much to learn. So let's get started.

If you're listening to this podcast, you are already investing time in your family, and working to raise independent, kind and successful children. And I'm sure you've noticed how having someone to talk to about the challenges of raising children, and who also knows about how children grow and develop can give you a greater understanding, and then ideas you can actually use as the mother of five. And as an early childhood specialist with more than 20 years of teaching young children. I am here to listen, I understand parent and child relationships. And I can help you discover your own parenting styles, identify your triggers, and learn about your child's development of emotions with a focus on developing relationships, and enhancing communication. I'm going to put the link to my calendar in the show notes. And you are welcome to book a free 15 minute discovery session where I can learn about your concerns and your goals. And then how we can work together to help create a tone in your home where parents and children are able to celebrate happiness and peace as your relationships grow in strength. One of my episodes with the most downloads is episode five. And it's called how to raise strong daughters with Coach Dan Banyon. It's worth a listen if you haven't listened just yet. And when I was introduced to Marc Paisant, I was so impressed with his commitment to his wife and his daughters. And it didn't take long for me to realize that he definitely understood and was deeply committed to his role as father and husband. And if we're going to move forward as a society, it is so important that we have men who understand and are committed to standing in the most important role they will ever have in their lives. And I think Marc is a great example of this. So let's listen in. Welcome, everybody. And thank you for choosing to spend some time with Imperfect Heroes podcast and I have an amazing guest today for us. His name is Marc Paisant and and Marc, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you've got going on.

Marc Paisant  4:23  
Hello. So thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. My name is Marc Paisant and I am the creator and host of the Relatively Normal podcast which is a podcast focusing on mental health and awareness and we actually just started recording the fifth season so that will be out starting September 12. I am a on a hot best explain a middle aged father of two, two little girls, and we'll be married for 12 years next month. Congrats Yes, thank you. I appreciate it and live outside of Atlanta, Georgia, and right north of the city. And that's pretty much I spend most of my time taking care of the girls. I've become a homebody. And that's pretty much. That's me.

DJ Stutz  5:14  
That is actually really cool. So I, so I've been thinking about that mental health piece. And there are a lot of things that we can do at a very young age, to help set up our kids to have that foundation of mental stability. And so what are some of the things that you see are great things to start out with? And at what age would you suggest we start?

Marc Paisant  5:48  
Well, you know, one of my episodes I did, I had one of my buddies, Dr. David Faff, he is a psychologist and a therapist, adjunct professor, professor in Oklahoma, and I had a conversation with him about just child rearing and how childhood trauma can lead to issues in adulthood. And a lot of us don't even know it's happening when it's happening. And a lot of us who are my age have traumas that we went through as children that we're working on now. And what I've kind of again, I'm not a therapist or a doctor in but what I found out for me is that it's really hard for parents. And I think I can make the correct assumption, especially for me to really listen to our kids, like, we want to give the advice, we want to tell them what's right and what's wrong all the time. And a lot of it comes without explanation. Just because we've lived it. We're adults, we've lived through our childhood, we know what's right and what's wrong. And we want to make sure that we do everything that they don't make the same mistakes that we make. But kids are sponges, like they want, they want to learn and do as much as they can. And when someone tells them no, without any kind of explanation, it kind of dries them up as well. But like my youngest, Why is every other word with her. And if we just start just cutting them off, not listening, not giving a why to our answers, or our reasoning, that really invalidates their thought process, it really makes them feel what they were thinking what they were doing was wrong. And they start to shut down or even worse, which I found with both of my daughters as they tried to do stuff behind your back without letting me know. And I am guilty of doing that at young ages with them. Because it was just so hectic. In my house, both parents have jobs, you know, daycare. At one point, we had a our mother in law living with us helping us out. And it's just like, what happened to just the two of us, like, it's just the two of us a second ago. And now we got the dog, the cat, the kids that mother in law, it's like, wow. And I noticed that my kids started to really not want to tell me things because they thought I will get mad, they thought I would be upset. And so we kind of instituted this rule at a young age in my house. And it was you can never get in trouble. If you tell me the truth. You can never ever get in trouble. If you tell me the truth. If you hide something, or if you lie, then we're going to have a problem and we're gonna have to discuss it. But if you come to me and my kids know that if they say, Daddy, I need to talk to you about something, I want to tell you the truth. That's my warning that I have to take a deep breath. And whatever they tell me, I can't get mad at it.

DJ Stutz  8:42  
That's a good way to get things started for sure. And I think encouraging that. Just tell me what's going on. And then truly listening and asking the right questions as you're listening or when you're they're done telling their story. And having the questions to ask, what kind of questions do you ask when your kids come and say, I got in trouble today at school, because I was bitten Joey's face or whatever.

Marc Paisant  9:15  
It's funny. One of my kids just just got in trouble. In school. There's there's there's two different stories, but you know, that is but I usually ask only one question. And it's usually in regards to their decision making. And I asked them, Why did they decide to do this? And it's with my kids. And this is something recent that that I've come up with, mostly for me, because I want to start the conversation and I'll make sure that it's a productive conversation. And we all we talk about decision making. And we talk about what's the right decision, and what's the wrong decision or what's a couple of right decisions and what's a couple of wrong decisions. And I do that to get them thinking about what they did instead of me coming out and saying you were wrong, you did this wrong. I want them to start having those critical thinking skills where they can think to themselves. Well, I did this, but I probably should have done that. And that's that that literally nowadays for the past probably year has been, what the conversation has been just let's talk about your decision. Why did you make this decision? And what could you have done differently?

DJ Stutz  10:25  
I really like encouraging kids to come to those kinds of conclusions as well. You know, as a teacher of young kids, oftentimes, they don't know why he was sitting next to me and I was bored, so I punched him in the arm or whatever, they don't really understand the why just that they did it. And if you start asking those questions, and then you help them think their way through it, then they're going to be able to dissect their own issues and problems and do some better problem solving on their own.

Marc Paisant  11:05  
I mean, that that's true. And I found that with both of my daughters, and it was just 15 months apart, but they're, they're very different. And the older one, she does have ADHD, and you know, we had that diagnosed by her pediatrician and the not really funny part, but the with the weird part about it's 2022. And we're just learning more about little girls in ADHD, and you talked about that impulsive behavior. And we're seeing that a lot more. And girls, that's kind of their warning signs of ADHD is that that they don't have that part of their brain, they have that part of their brain that tells them, there's negative repercussions to what you're about to do. That doesn't fire as fast as other kids brains and nothing's wrong with her. It's just her brain is just different that way. So right, my conversations with her are more about before you make any kind of just quick decision before you react, like we're really working on her taking a moment, taking just a quick moment to think about what she's doing. Because she'll be the one to make the face, she'll be the one to just spat out the mouth, something real quick. And she but she won't mean like she doesn't mean any, anything negative, anything bad by it, she's just reacting. Right? So we kind of we kind of pause at that moment. And I give her another chance. And it might be a nice way of giving her another chance. Or sometimes it might be a pretty stern way of giving her another chance, especially when dealing with her sister. But I say hey, do you want to just try over? Do you want to try it again? And probably about 50% of the time she takes it and tries again and apologizes and the other 50 I mean, she's eight years old the other time she thinks she's did nothing wrong. She's mad at me and mad at the world that I did nothing wrong. So it's parenting is tough. I mean, let's be honest. Like, it's, it's fun. But you know, you're raising little children to become the next generation of adults. And you want them to be able to think on their own like one. At some times you want them to stay babies and you just want them to be that baby and and other times you have to realize they're growing up right in front of our eyes. So I have to do my part as a dad, and my wife has to do her part as a mother to make sure they grow into you know, strong and independent in productive young woman.

DJ Stutz  13:42  
Well, yeah, I think it took that right off my website.

Marc Paisant  13:47  
I may I may have I may have.

DJ Stutz  13:50  
Well, and to just as an FYI, I just actually yesterday I recorded an episode with Dr. Walter Cornett karnofsky Corn iski. And he's an ADHD specialist. And so it was a really interesting conversation about medication, not medication, and how do we approach these kids? And what are the outlooks for their adult life? And so, if you're listening to me now, find the episode with Walt and it'll be good. So and I, too, have a son, that is severely ADHD. And so raising him was always an adventure. So I understand exactly what you're talking about, and really getting him to think about what's the best thing that could happen. What's the worst thing that could happen? And then how does my decision affect the others around me? Those were the three things that I really worked with, not only with my son but with a union. I taught for so many years, you know, I had plenty of opportunity to work with kids like that. But I think helping them not feel bad or stupid. They can regret a decision like, Did I hit my sister, or I broke a toy at school because I was frustrated. You know, I yelled at the teacher called her bad names, all of those things, you can regret those feelings that regret those decisions. But those decisions don't make you a bad person or bad kid. And what really is going to help you become that better person is recognizing and reinstating. So if you need to fix something that you broke, that's fine. If you need to say I'm sorry, and try and reinstate that friendship and self esteem, that's a good thing, too. And so if they can learn to do those things, when they've made a poor decision that's really going to help them to grow as well, don't you think?

Marc Paisant  15:57  
Yeah, it will. And the thing that, that I tried to teach, and I also coach, my daughter's soccer team, and we actually start this week, and it's with young kids. And when I mean, young, I mean, you know, 10 and younger, the confusion between being bad at something, and just being inexperienced, they can't comprehend that yet. And I see it a lot in the little girls, I coach, and I see it a lot. And my oldest daughter, because she will just not get something she she won't be able to focus, she'll just be doing something slower than other people or not get the right answer immediately. And I can't tell you how many times she said out loud, I'm just bad at this. And I don't know, it's, it's, it's kind of upsetting because I don't know where she got that from, because at no point in her life, has anybody in her family told her she was bad at something? And I want to say that kids are not that mean, at eight years old. I want to say that I've never been in a classroom. So I don't I don't know. But and I would like to think no teacher or or student or worker in a school has ever told her she's bad at something. So these things that she's learning about herself, half has to all be comparative has to all be okay, I see this, okay, they turned in their work, okay, this person has their hand up, oh, my younger sister got that answer. Oh, that must mean, I'm bad at this. I tell her all the time, like, you're just inexperienced, like you just don't have the experience yet. We're just working on it. So that I mean, it's just one of those things that you have to continue to just throw out there to them and reassure them and do positive affirmations with them. Well, and kids

DJ Stutz  17:47  
can do that, internally, they may not necessarily have heard someone say that, but going through the process that you just described, and I'm so grateful that you explained it the way that you did. But going through that they can just internally come to that conclusion, it doesn't mean that they've heard it somewhere. And I think, too, we can teach our children and you let me know what you think on this. But some kids have natural talents and abilities. So some kids are gonna start reading earlier than others. Some kids are gonna get math and understanding numbers earlier or faster or better than other kids because that's their natural internal area of expertise. Yeah, that's

Marc Paisant  18:36  
in the thing about having a old for my youngest son having an older sister that's so close and age like even though there was one grade apart, when Alia the oldest one was doing any kind of kindergarten or first grade work, Jasmine wants to do the same thing. Yeah. So she not only was doing her like Alia, would they the oldest one wouldn't do the younger ones work? I mean, she's already done it. But the younger one would get down with her work quickly and say, Well, I want to try these words that that she has, and I want to try these math equations that she has. So she just because of her proximity to an older sister, that's that's not that much older. She got more time to learn the things that she did. And it's very common to see the same thing with my nieces and nephews. And you know, as you have more kids, the younger ones have to be more independent. Just because you don't have as much time they're not the only child. They're not the oldest one and they have to do everything they can to take care of themselves and I see that now. Are there things that make them unique Of course yes, there's things that one does better than the other there's there's things that the other just can't grasp yet when it comes to sports, even though my youngest one is actually taller than my oldest one she is above the curve and height And wait, she's just growing like, like a weed. And the other other ones in the 94th percentile. So it's not like any of them are sure I'm six, five. So they I don't know where that from I know where they get that from. But it's when it comes to sports and understanding like, technical things, and putting structures together like Legos and things like that my oldest one is, is amazing, is greater than, and the youngest one, I could, she gets frustrated, I can't do this. And it's like the see the shift sometimes is, you know, as a parent, like, you don't want your your kid to ever not be able to get something but at the same time, that's exactly what you want, you want to see you want to see them struggle and how they respond to that. Like, and you can tell an adult who has never had to struggle and never had to learn something on their own, never had to kind of put those parts together put that thinking together. If I want my kids to have to work hard, and struggle and fail, like I want you to fail, I rave. And you know, it's funny, I used to I've been a leader in work for a long time. And I told everyone team that every team that I've managed, I've told them that I want each and every one of you to fail. And know like most people don't like that. Like they don't like it, no, I don't, I want to be awesome at this job, I want you to talk about No, I, I want you to do something wrong, I want us to talk about on what you learned from it. And I do the same thing with my kids. Because it's that because you know, you take failure out of the equation and you you, you know put opportunity in there. Like that's, that's a learning opportunity. And so you start to transition out of that failure and every instead of a failure, you're learning. And that's what I want for my kids. That's what I want to make sure that I have set them up for success in their adult life by having them fail as children.

DJ Stutz  21:48  
I'm so glad that you brought that up and explained it so well. Because it is key, when we fail, we will actually learn far more from that failure than we do for an easy success. And being able to sit down and not beat ourselves up. And we do this as parents to, you know, we yell at our kid, and then we feel bad about it or dinner got burned, and we beat her selves up over it. But to just say, Wow, I wonder why it happened that way? Why did I yell and be inappropriate? Or for the kids to say? What went wrong? What could I have done better? And you're helping them to start asking those questions. And I keep going back to the three. If you try something, what's the best? What's the worst? And how does it affect others. And they're going to start being able to use what we call executive functioning in the education language, which is your ability to really look at those three questions as you're making a decision. And as you keep practicing, it does come a lot more quickly so that you're not having to sit down and really write it out or converse about it. But you're able to answer those questions really quickly, as you get, as you said, more practiced at it. And so I think that's one of the key things that we have as parents is to help our kids learn to go through that process and understand, it's gonna take a while.

Marc Paisant  23:32  
It's gonna take a while and a part of that, that people, a lot of people fail to realize all the time is that when someone fail when a young child fails, or when a young child doesn't get something the first time, the second time, the third time, whatever it has to really work for it. That actually makes them more empathetic to someone else. It makes them you know, if you have a child that always gets the right answer, that is just always right. And no one ever tells them, they're wrong. And everything's so easy. It's very hard for that person to empathize with someone who's struggling, or someone who gets it wrong the first time. And I teach empathy. I talk about it all the time. I am an overly empathetic person. And I really believe in you know, my personal and humble opinion, the world will be a much better place if we all practice a little more empathy. But when a child struggles, and then they get it right. And they're happy, and they're ecstatic. And then they look to the left to the right, and they see someone who's doing the same thing. Their brain doesn't automatically go oh, well, they should have gotten it. No, because they understand immediately understand, Oh, I know what that felt like. And you know, both of my kids are extremely empathetic and I appreciate that about them and they will you know both of them will run to me and say oh, can I help this person this person needs this. I want to help this person And that's probably the happiest part of my fatherhood right now is seeing that my girls care about others. And I understand we live in a world where a person who cares too much usually doesn't get to the top, I understand there's a doggy dog world and you know, to be CEO and executive, you got to step on a lot of heads to get over people, and I understand that part of it. But the fact that my girls at a such a young age have compassion for others, is really a just, it's just fantastic to see. And I really think my wife and I are at least doing something right.

DJ Stutz  25:39  
For sure. And then what does that do for your own assessment of your parenting abilities?

Marc Paisant  25:45  
Oh, wow. So that, I mean, do we ever get it right? Let's be if we're, if we're good. If we're good parents, do we,

DJ Stutz  25:52  
there's never been a perfect parent in the history of the world

Marc Paisant  25:55  
now. Like, like I say, all the time. There is not one way to, to be to, there's not one way to be a correct parent. But there's a lot of ways to be a wrong parent like there is there's so many ways but I brain works very pragmatically, that's how attack when things get too complex, who's too many steps, or I can't, you know, simple, make things simple and dumb it down for myself, like, I know what makes my brain happy. And so every time I get in one of those spaces where I think I'm not doing this fatherhood thing, right, or I'm being a bad father, or maybe I get to a point where I have done something wrong, where I've raised my voice, and I shouldn't have done that I've made my child feel inadequate. And our words mean a lot to them. Two things that I know I have to do. And the first one, I'll be honest with you, I have to get pushed a lot by my wife. And the first one is to apologize to apologize. Now, Mark, go apologize to her, you shouldn't have done that goal. But you see how she looks. Yeah, she feels right now. And so that's basically the first thing that I have to do. And then the second thing, which is which makes my brain really happy, like I said, is I just dumb it down and tell myself, my job is to get these girls to tomorrow. That's my job right now. That means I need to clothe them, I need to feed them, I need to get them to school on time. I need to love them. I need to show physical affection to them, I need to actually hug them. I need to kiss them before they go to sleep at night kiss them before they get on the bus. And then I will have done everything right now. Do I want to buy them everything? Do I want to get them chocolate all the time? Do I want to like I would love to do all that stuff. If that didn't lead to cavities and me being broke. Yeah. But that's not something that they need at this moment. They need a hug from dad. That's what they need. And the fact that they started to call me dad a little bit more and more than daddy's is kind of at the tear falling from the eye. But, but that also means they're growing up. And that's that's the purpose of all this. That's the point of all this. Apologize to your kids, they'll learn to apologize for you. And I'll be honest with you, I didn't get a lot of apologies from my parents because I grew up and of course, I grew up in the 80s and 90s. And, and it was a different way of child rearing back then we didn't know as much as we know about how compassion looks to a child. It was the dad goes to work. He comes home his that's his job. His job is to make money, put food on the table, take you to soccer practice take you to basketball practice. And so, looking back, I didn't have that much of compassion growing up from my dad as I would like, I had a great household growing up, I'll admit that. But what I try to do now is to make sure that I show that physical touch, I show that physical affection I tell my girls I love them. my eight year old knows she's my favorite eight year old a seven year old knows she's my favorite seven year old and as as they grow up, there'll be my favorite nine year old 10 year old. And I want to show them that men can show affection just as much as women can. Now am I a little more strict than my wife? Yes, I am. I'll admit that. I never thought the day would come where I'd say that out loud. But it is what it is. So and I'm I'm trying every day to kind of adapt to, to little growing females in my house.

DJ Stutz  29:37  
Yeah, and I don't know what your sibling count is or where you fit in. But that can have a lot to do with how you parent as well. I am a child of the 70s so I'm a little older than you and I've passed through the experiences that you're having now. But I'd love for you to talk For a little bit, because I think the roles of fathers is changing. And I think for the better in many ways, in my growing up, my dad was a professor at UCLA, and he'd be gone. Generally, even before we got up in the morning, he had labs and experiments and all of this, and he would come home and we would eat dinner. And then he's back in the office, grading papers, reading things, setting up all of this stuff, where and he loved what he did for a living, he really enjoyed it. And so the involvement, the personal involvement with my dad, was pretty minimal. I mean, he liked to hike, we'd go hiking, he would take a skiing, those were things they enjoy doing. But on the day to day basis, that personal involvement really wasn't there doesn't mean it was a bad dad, it was dad at the times. Talk to me a little bit about how you see the roles of fathers growing and changing.

Marc Paisant  31:06  
So I want to start this answer with kind of telling you what I do on a day to day and I usually get up early at everybody and go to the gym. And by the time I get back, most everybody's ready for either work or for school, and I'll make a quick breakfast and I'll take the girls to the bus stop with my wife and I work from home, and they come home to me and usually have them read, I'll make them a snack or they'll get a snack. I make dinner for the family most nights. You know, I coach my kids soccer team, I take them to soccer practice, I used to take my youngest to dance. It's my since I work from home, and I have the flexibility. It's my job to do most of the stuff around the house. And most of the stuff with the girls and my wife who would like to do more. She just mean she works in an office and she has to work. She's an attorney, she has to work now. And on the weekends when there's games, we do split them up his own two different teams and the wife takes them in one I take the other but for most of the quote unquote, generational female specific job duties around the house, for the ones Yeah, we grew up and our moms did the laundry. I mean, literally, I remember like my mom coming and taking my laundry and doing it and looking back. I'm like, why didn't they tell me to do my own laundry like that? That's, that's crazy to me. So I do all the laundry in the house, I usually do most of the dishes, I do most of the cooking. I take the girls? And at no point do I feel like it is too much. At no point do I feel like I shouldn't be doing this and someone else should be doing it. I really feel that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. And so go back 20 years, you're not going to find too many households where the man is doing most of the cooking and most of the cleaning and most of the it all the laundry, right? But this is who I am in my family. This is who I am. And growing up. Most people my age, you know, an older no Saturday mornings, if you had nothing else to do, if you had no sports, you got up and you clean the house, you got to clean your room. And then I remember my house, my brother and I had to clean our room. And then we had to vacuum the whole house. And then we had to dust the whole house and clean our bathroom. And then we had to cut the grass. And every Saturday morning if we if we have a soccer game, we have to do it after the soccer game. If it was a later soccer game, we had to do it before the soccer game. And I kind of took that. And that kind of really just, you know that productivity and that giving back that that that really made me happy. Like I like being that person in my house. Now there's two sides to that because I can't be a couch potato and I can't binge watch TV shows. I can't just spend a Saturday doing nothing. I feel like it's a wasted day. And usually I have to be forced to stop. I used to be forced to like just sit down and just take a day off. But the one of the main reasons that I like doing the things I do is that my girls are seeing that nothing in the house has to do with any kind of gender roles would be gender specific. Mom doesn't have to do this dad doesn't have to do this. We can all do it together. You know at the age they're at now and I'm sure you remember this very well. They're starting to get chores. They're starting to have to do chores. Yeah. And they absolutely hate emptying the dishwasher. I don't know what it is about emptying the dishwasher. We could tell them to do anything else but emptying the dishwasher. They both kind of in the funny part. about it is I'm so pragmatic, that I think of everything within within scopes of time to empty a dishwasher, if you're doing nothing else takes five minutes, takes five minutes out of your day, and say you do it two or three times in a week, that's 15 minutes out of your week, that's, that's how my brain thing is how I think, right? To fold a load of laundry, just one takes maybe 10 minutes, but you put that in front of my girls and in so you're starting with the chores, you're starting to see that responsibility part of them come out, and they love everything that comes with living in a house with clothes and food, and two parents that work, they love everything about it. But they have to start loving what it takes to get there, you have to start loving the internal processes of a family and we all have a role in this. And I'll be honest with you, I give them a little, a little money to do the things that they do. I want them to start learning, you know, fiscal responsibility at an early age, I want them to start understanding worth of things and that their time is precious. And if they don't do these things, then here comes the hard part, they don't get the things that they want. And my wife sometimes thinks I'm a little Stern, a little mean with that. But it's at the same time, I want my word to mean something. And if I say I'm gonna take out for ice cream, and I forget and they say, oh, day tickets ice cream, then my word didn't mean much I have to make up for that. If I say you're not going to get this, unless you do that, well, my word means something there too. So the role of I can speak for my household there is no Daddy's got to do this, or Mommy has to do this, or, or a girl does this, or a boy does that or I don't know, we, this is a family. It's all of us together. And if one of us needs help, and all of us need help, so that that's how it kind of goes into my household.

DJ Stutz  37:10  
That is such a great way I think to raise our kids. And I think sometimes it's adults, we get a little frustrated, because when our kids help, it takes longer, it just does. And it may not be done up to the standard that we have. So whether it's helping with cooking, helping with yard work, whatever it is making the bed, I'm a bed maker, not everyone is and that's fine, but I am. And so if you have the kids help, it just takes that much longer. And you think I don't have time for this. But what you're doing is you're setting yourself up so that as they get older, you can let go of that chore altogether, because the kids are perfectly capable, they understand what the familial expectations are. Because what one family considers a good job may not be what another family considers as a good job. So they come to understand the expectations, the standards, whatever it is, and then take those on for themselves. Now they're becoming independent, and they're becoming confident. And I have so my youngest brother, so I'm the oldest of seven. I have five younger brothers, one younger sister, the youngest brother. He was born the summer before my senior year in high school. And we're probably the closest out of all my brothers. My sister and I are pretty close to but he has three kids, two boys and a girl. And let me tell you, if something needs to be done, and as they became older, and in Junior High in high school, and they didn't just pop up on their own. Because it's like we've shown you we've taught you, you're old enough to know now, when mom comes in and her hands are full of groceries, you better get up and go help her. I shouldn't have to tell you. And here we are. He's got a boy at West Point. And he's got another boy in. He's in the ROTC at his college, looking to move on with that his daughter just finished her first year of college. And she didn't have any trouble like she knew how to order groceries from 10 years old. She was ordering groceries online. And she would plan the menus and what are we going to have and Mom What do I need for this and that and now she goes to her freshman year of college, which is often a tough year for kids. She just shown she didn't have any of the problems that a lot But the freshman's do

Marc Paisant  40:01  
net goes to show like it, this is for me when I think I may be giving them too much, or maybe a little too hard on them. I always have to kind of back up a little bit and says this is this to make them better individuals. And you don't know how many times I'll say because that I've specifically and purposefully not empty the dishwasher today, because it just finished a cycle last night. And right when they write when they get home today, it's, that's they have to read into the dishwasher. And always think to myself, like I could just do this really quickly. I could just get this done. I'm one of those people, it's like, why bother somebody else, I could just do this really quickly. Yeah, it's very hard for me to leave this because I have dishes that I want to put in the dishwasher. But so you understand. But again, I wanted to get to a point where I'm not even having to say, into the dishwasher, they're coming to the kitchen and thinking, Oh, let's see if the dishes are clean. Because that is what productive adults do. Now, do we have those days where we just let things sit. And we just want to you know, not worry about this. Of course, like, of course we have those days. But for someone to live in an apartment or own a home or have a family or be a productive member of society, most likely, unless you're eating out every night, which I hope you're not. But if you're making dinner for yourself, and you're keeping your place clean, then automatically you know, I cook, I clean, I put in the dishwasher. I put it up Like it's just, it's that. And again. That's what being a parent is about in none of the books that you're reading before you become a dad do they say hey, when they're about eight years old, they're gonna have to learn into the dishwasher like no, it's just mean, one of the parts of my childhood that I remember vividly is either my mom or my dad cooking. And that was it. Once my brother and I have a twin brother and older sister, once we got to the age, parents would just leave the dinner table and clearing the dinner table and doing the dishes was our job. It never, it never was, you know, put on a piece of paper or written down or anything like that. It's but once we became a certain age, we knew that that was our job. And that, you know, I, you know, the kids who get to live in homes, that they don't have to do those things like, hey, more power to you, I'm happy for you to live in such a great life, that's great. But having the ability to do things on your own, at least for me is one of the greatest joys of being an adult knowing what to do in certain situations, knowing how to how to cook a chicken three different ways no one had to clean the dishes, knowing how to the perfect way to pour the soap bottle to get the best suds when you're doing the dish. Like it's just little things like that, how to fold the clothes, they fit in drawers correctly. And it's those things that are so that they're not really talked about. And no one really thinks about it until you're doing it. You're folding clothes, you're like, Why do I fold the shirts this way? Oh, this is my mom taught me how to do this. And then your daughter goes, Oh Daddy, why did we fold the shirts like this? I don't know, your grandmother taught me how to do this. So we're gonna keep doing it. And they see me doing it. And then I could just give them their shirts and their pants and they could do it themselves. And out of nowhere, you're gonna get these little, little productive females that are just ready to take over the world and are independent and interdependent. So that's what, that's what I'm trying to do each day and every day.

DJ Stutz  43:42  
Sounds to me like you're doing a great job. Well, I appreciate that. And maybe another thing as we're starting to maybe wind things down is how do you see the interrelationship with fathers and their sons or fathers in their daughters? And what effect that has on their relationships? As they get older and start having boyfriends and girlfriends eventually get married? Do you think that the relationship they have with their father has an impact on that?

Marc Paisant  44:19  
It definitely does. And I so this is my my thought and I really and I'm really stern This is a paramount part of my thinking is that at no point do I want to ever have my girls see me in a light that is poor, that makes them think that bad behavior is acceptable. You know, only I can maybe count twice in their life where they've seen an argument between me and my wife and immediately we kind of like okay, let's both cool off the girls are here. You know, we don't want to share Have them from disagreements like not everything is perfect. But at the same time, we want to make sure that we're not saying things that are mean and distasteful and are just out to hurt the other person. But the thing I say constantly to people all the time is, I would not choose anything over being a girl that like a girl, that is the most awesome feeling in the world. It is just amazing to just be able to play a part in the next generation of great women in this country. Yeah. And I've always thought about what I would have done or the person that would have been if I had a boy if I had a son. And I don't think anything would have changed that much other than the fact I may have preached more personal responsibility with him. And I preached that with my girls too. But I want them to know that you can do whatever a male can do, you can do whatever a boy can do. And guess what you can do more. And we have that conversation often. Because my oldest daughter is very much into sports. And she's tall and lanky, and she runs pretty fast. And she doesn't like playing with the girls because the most of the girls don't want to play basketball in soccer. So every day in recess, she's like playing basketball with the boys. And I always ask like what you play with the boys today? Yeah, I scored this basket. And I did this and this. And it's like, keep doing that. Keep doing that. Yeah, don't ever. And I don't want to get to ever get to a point where she has to hold back because she feels bad about something. Or she feels bad that she might be better than someone or my youngest daughter. I don't want her to ever feel bad that she's literally a foot and a half taller than everybody in her class. It's like that is the exact way you are made. You're perfect the way you are. You're unique. And just being a positive role model for my kids. And someone that if they came home 10 years from now and said, Dad, I met a guy. And he's just like you, I'm not going to be like, Oh, come on, you can do better. Like, I want to. I want to hear that and be like, okay, that means I did I did something right. And I want to be the dad that's available. I want to be the dad that takes his time. I want to be the dad that doesn't have to be right all the time. Yeah. And I want to be the dad that shows them that men can be vulnerable. And men can be emotional. I've told them when I've been sad. I told them when I've been stressed. You know, they see me sometimes when I'm at my lowest. And it's the cutest thing because they both have this ability to see through me and just give they just give me these these little tight hugs. And they'll bring me something they'll bring me a toy like Daddy, you can you can do this for tonight. You can keep this for tonight. And it's just I wouldn't pick being a girl that over anything else. I mean, it is. I wouldn't take anything else over being a girl. That is just an amazing feeling. And if if you're about to have a kid and you're about to be a father for the first time, and you find out that it's a girl you are in for the time of her life, it is an amazing feeling.

DJ Stutz  48:35  
Yeah, yeah, it is. It is. So if our listeners want to find out more about you and check you out, where did they go?

Marc Paisant  48:46  
So relatively normal is the name of the podcast. And it's available wherever you listen to podcasts, like I said, recording season five right now, most on Instagram at relatively normal pod and on Facebook. And you can always go to and just look for the relatively normal podcast and you can find me there.

DJ Stutz  49:06  
And it's a good podcast, I want my listeners to really consider listening in just some great conversations.

Marc Paisant  49:15  
Yeah, we have I have a good list of the season. And I just recorded episode with a return guest and we talked about her kind of mental health during her getting laid off what it was like in that period of of her life and what it was like looking for a job and having a family she had to support. So I was really happy with the things that she said how vulnerable she was. So that'll be coming out in a couple of weeks

DJ Stutz  49:44  
to cool. That is great. And so I always end my podcasts with the same question of all my guests. How would you describe a successful parent?

Marc Paisant  49:56  
Have you ever gotten a one word answer with that

DJ Stutz  49:59  
question? No, oh,

Marc Paisant  50:01  
wow. How would I describe the parent that my dad is right now? My mother, God rest her soul. She left us a couple years ago due to cancer. But my dad is we've never been as close as we are right now. And he's about to have a birthday this Monday. And, you know, the way he talks with me now, I still feel like a child. When I talk to him in a good way, I still feel like I have so much to learn. And he has so much to offer. And I would think if we could do like a whole season of a podcast on my father, and people could listen to him. He is my inspiration. He's my motivation. He is my mentor. I, I try to be more like Him every day of my life. And my girls love him. They love their grandfather, my wife loves him. And so the what successful parent is is what my dad is right now.

DJ Stutz  51:05  
Wow. I love hearing that. I hope he's able to listen and hear that himself. So thank you so much for spending this time with me and my listeners. I wish you the best of luck with your business and also with your girls. It sounds like you're on a great path.

Marc Paisant  51:24  
Thank you. I appreciate it had a lot of fun. Great, we'll

DJ Stutz  51:27  
see you later. If you would like more information on Marc his book or his podcast, all the information is in the show notes. And Holy smokes. We have so much going on. You know we've done the five day challenge on living in gratitude. We opened enrolled the Cicerone Society last month, and we have more events and opportunities to engage and help you get the support. You need to better enhance your confidence as a parent to create the path and blaze the trail of raising independent, kind and successful children. So go ahead, sign up for our newsletter. You will find it on the website, And of course, the link will be in the show notes. And next week I'm starting Season Three as I mentioned before, and I have chosen to make my seasons align with the calendar year. And this year I am starting out with someone who also speaks on the value of fathers in the lives of our children. Her name is Susan Schwartz, and she comes to the same conclusion but from a different point of view. So check it out and see and until next time, let's find joy in parenting.

Transcribed by

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Marc Paisant

Mental Health Advocate and Coach

Marc Paisant is the creator and host of the Relatively Normal podcast. In his show, he shares his experiences with ADHD, anxiety and depression. He shows that no one is alone and there is always someone willing to listen and assist when it comes to coping and managing all kinds of stress. He is an advocate for therapy and counseling and talks about his years of therapy that he has used to manage his mental health.

As a former collegiate athlete, Marc uses physical fitness to assist with his mental health. He has learned that both can be combined and used to help work through any life issue. His goal is to inspire others to ask for help and to end the stigma when it comes to mental health and awareness.