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Jan. 2, 2023

Episode 80: How Important is a Dad, Really? with Dr. Susan Schwartz

Episode 80: How Important is a Dad, Really? with Dr. Susan Schwartz

In this episode, DJ and special guest Susan Schwartz, PhD, sat down to discuss the power of fathers, the impact they have when present and the effect it can have on their children’s lives when they are absent. Listen in as they talk about empowering fathers to understand how inherently important they truly are and the psychological effects, discomfort and problems that can arise when they aren’t there for their kids.

Susan E. Schwartz, Ph.D. trained in Zurich, Switzerland as a Jungian analyst is also a clinical psychologist and member of the International Association of Analytical Psychology. She presents to numerous Jungian conferences and teaching programs in the USA and worldwide.

Susan has articles in several journals and chapters in books on Jungian analytical psychology. Her current book is translated into several languages and was published by Routledge in 2020. It is entitled The Absent Father Effect on Daughters, Father Desire, Father Wounds. Another book will be published by Routledge in 2023 entitled The Fragility of Self in the ‘As-If’ Personality: Imposter Syndrome and Illusions in the Mirror. Her Jungian analytical practice is in Paradise Valley, Arizona, USA.

• [5:55] Dr. Schwartz discusses what happens to a child psychologically when a father is absent.
• [12:57] DJ & Susan discuss what a father can do to build on the relationship with his children.
• [24:55] “Be very aware of what is acceptable and what is not.”
• [29:48] Susan discusses what is missing from the absent father syndrome.

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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 80 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. And Susan E. Schwartz, PhD, is a Jungian analyst. And I hope I said that right. I know that that work is based on the Swiss therapist, Carl Jung, with a J. And she was educated in Zurich, Switzerland, and is a licensed and a clinical psychologist. She has worked with adults who have suffered with absent fathers in their childhood. And so she understands how that absence of the dad affects mental health issues, such as depression, compulsion, addiction, anxiety, and destructive relationship patterns. There's so much to learn. So let's get started. 

Welcome, everybody, and thank you for choosing to spend the next little bit with Imperfect Heroes podcast. Anyone who's listened to me for very long knows that I truly believe in the power of fathers, and the impact that fathers have when they are there. And the impact that fathers have when they are not there. And it's a staggering dimension. When you look at it. My guest today is Susan Schwartz. And she is an advocate for empowering fathers and how important they are, and the problems when fathers aren't there. Susan, thanks for joining us today.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  2:19  
Well, thank you very much for having me.

DJ Stutz  2:22  
Well, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself? Well,

Dr. Susan Schwartz  2:25  
I'm an analyst of Jungian psychology, which means that I work quite in depth with people, for them to understand their lives. And part of understanding one's life is personal, collective, cultural, who we are, what time of life we are in what we are after. And I always ask about people's early life, because it counts. It's where we get shaped, and formed as we get shaped and formed our whole life. But the amount of people who would ask the question, what about your father? Have nothing to say? So they might have a sentence? He was sweet when I was little. And then at about three, maybe I'm just being very general here. He somehow is gone. Where he went? Did they get divorced? Is there war? Was there some tragic what happened? Nobody ever fills in the blanks. So there's the father, who is absent leaves. And usually it is the child that goes and finds the father. But there is also the situation. And we'll talk maybe about what happens then too. But there's also the situation that the Father is present. But he's absent. Yes. All right. So he's there. He looks like he's present. He's at the table. Does he talk to anybody? No. Does he ask, how are you doing today? Is he interested? Is he related to the children? And did he ever learn how, and to many fathers through the generations past past past? No one ever taught them how to be fathers. So they taught them to be disciplinarian, authoritarian, patriarchal, but to be related to care, to wonder, to share and guide emotionally. They didn't learn it. That is changing. Thank goodness. And so what I would say is out of that absence, which is so painful for so many, right, our creative new way Have a going about things. And there's the hole, there is the hole. So the point is not just absence means End of story, and it's done. But it does mean, how are we going to fill this in and create something different now, and for future generations?

DJ Stutz  5:19  
Yes. And that is so important. My dad did better than my grandpa, I'll tell you that. Although it was still hard for him. He was pretty stoic. But I think the generations and now I look at my brothers, I have five brothers and one sister, and I look at my brothers, and they are all just super involved with their kids. And they're involved in their communities and their schools and their lives. And it's fun watching my nieces and nephews through my brothers and the relationships that they have. So I just see a change coming.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  5:55  
Yes, I think you're right. I mean, our world, hopefully keeps on changing. But things that we want to also address what happened when the father was absent? Right. And how did it affect psychologically, because for some people, it creates a depression, it creates, I have to achieve, achieve, achieve and never get there, there is no satisfaction, there's also a disconnect with the body. Because if you think about it, the father should be holding that baby, from the very beginning, there is the body. And when the father is not connected to his body, and doesn't know how to encourage the bodies of his children, to feel good about themselves, there's a difficult effect. And it's subtle, and it's not so subtle. How many people are in discomfort about their own physical being. And that can be repaired by having a father that knows how to hug and knows how to sit, sit with kids, and knows how to tell the stories and knows how to teach, not just you must be wonderful, but to really be there teaching a child how to relate. And there is also another thing, which is the parents together, set up kind of a tie. And the child sees how that father relates to the partner. And that act on the child. effect. Huge, huge, but But you see how that how that happens? A lot of people just ignore it and go, Oh, they ignore it. And they ignore how they've been affected. And what they could do about it to make it better. Because we repeat what we learned. So if you learned, not so good, you tend to eat it until you gain consciousness. And a lot of people do that through analytical work. They pay attention to their dreams, the father might dream of the child in a very good way, in a lousy way. The child might dream of the parent, the Father, in a nightmare. It's not unusual. So if that happens, let's talk about it. There's the whole

DJ Stutz  8:38  
Yeah. Well, and I think it needs to be that willingness to make changes and make adjustments, we can talk all we want. But if we have a father that says I'm just fine, we're fine. You know, and they're not willing to make those. And they can be very subtle changes, and be very effective.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  9:00  
True, but there's another thing, which is that and in fact, I was just talking to someone about this. There are some parents, some fathers, that you really can't get through to this kind of the difficult side, should you keep appealing? Should you keep wanting, should you keep begging for attention, for love for care? Actually, no. One should gain awareness and say, you know, we're not related here. I'm not getting emotionally, what I need. I don't want to interact with you. I mean, there are times where we really have to call a lie and say it won't work to keep trying. Because both people have to try

DJ Stutz  10:00  
There's a phenomena that takes place. And so sometimes there are two. So I'm going to say there's three opportunity. There's the father that you grew up with. And so my father, unless we were skiing, camping or hiking, very stuck, very distant, not in his element. And I didn't want to be around him anymore, I felt like I would never be able to please Him, blah, blah, blah. And so I thought, okay, I don't want him in my life. That's a negative experience. Then I had my own children. And he turned into a completely different man. My dad, as a father was very different than my dad as a grandfather. And that's actually what healed us is that you can forgive a lot of things and embrace someone when they love your kids.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  10:53  
Yes, but you see, your father became a different person, his grandchildren, and therefore, you would want to love that father, because his humaneness was coming out, very much more accessible. He's a different father, you know, there are fathers, and it's gorgeous. They go, when when you were little, they were one way. And then years later, something clicks and they learn to change. And that is everyone's benefit. And you're right, it's like, another chance. So your father had a chance to be a better father with your children. And he took it. Yeah. Which is great. And of course, you like him better? Because he's probably more related. He's an easier guy to be around. And he's learned something in his life. And that's valuable. So his absence, his emotional absence, became a presence.

DJ Stutz  12:01  
Yeah, absolutely, it did. And it was really fun to be a part of that to witness the change. Because what does that teach me then as an individual, about the possibilities of change?

Dr. Susan Schwartz  12:14  
The possibilities are always there. The difficulty is, takes a little work. Yeah, it's awareness. And it takes sometimes it even takes somebody saying, You know what, I need more from you. You didn't do it? Right. This is this is how we could do it better. Sometimes. Sometimes, children will say to their parents, I need this in this. They're very clear. And it's the parents can open up and listen. It's great. Everyone can grow. So we can learn from the wisdom of the children who know inherently what they need. Yeah,

DJ Stutz  12:57  
yeah, very much. So I think the third opportunity is for young men, or, as they get older, is when they become a father then. So they might not have had the greatest experience to their own father. It doesn't mean they have to repeat the pattern. No. So that's another opportunity then to make that father child experience, the only this time you're the father.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  13:27  
Yes. And the other thing is that, that's going to extend with the partner, because the partner might have had a lousy father as well. And from that lousy, Father will, together with a partner, create a better fathering experience. So they work together to create something that is more alive. More. I mean, son isn't the right word, but fun in the sense that there's better energy engaging, I think, yeah, engaging. Also, it allows people to use their intellect more, they have more confidence, they gain a sense of their own foundation. They learn about their own way. They don't have to be like everybody else. It can be a very enriching experience. Yes.

DJ Stutz  14:26  
Yes, absolutely. So what do you think are some of the things that a father can do to build on that relationship with their little ones?

Dr. Susan Schwartz  14:39  
Well, you know, first of all, it's been a time. Yeah, quality time, not just time talking to their children while they're on their phone. That is not quality, time. Might be quality, is they're playing a game together. or if they are doing an activity together? And if they are bonding around something together? Yeah, I think that's fathers can really do that. Spend the time, focus on quality, maybe even do some things that, I don't know. Maybe they teach the child to cook breakfast together. And absolutely, I make like a little ritual together. We spend this time, every whatever, making breakfast, and it creates memories, which are gorgeous. Yeah. And children will always remember that and carry it on. I do think there is something. And that's why I mentioned the phone. There's something that people can be too preoccupied away from personal interaction. It's something to watch. In our era. We don't just want children to be occupied on their iPads.

DJ Stutz  16:08  
Yeah, that's a hard thing, because it's become so integral in our society so quickly. Yeah, with the telephone, not all families had a telephone that back in the day, and it took time for all of that. But the technology boom has just come on to us so quickly, and it's affected our little ones a lot. It's amazing how you can see an 18 month old child, and yet they know how to, they're swiping up, and they're touching icons and loading their apps. And it's amazing to me how young they are. And they're able to pick up on that sometimes even before language is fully I agree

Dr. Susan Schwartz  16:55  
with you. And of course that that brings in a couple of things. One is that it's really such a delight for a child to be able to teach their father Yeah, how to do this, this and this, it gives them a sense of pride, and a sense of competency. There also is I'm sure you know this, there's another way that our brains are being wired with the swipe. Yep. Yeah, there's a difference between the ones that swipe, and the ones that learn to dial the algorithm or whatever is different. So there's a space to learn from these little children, so that they can impart their learning experience, and their fathers will tell you it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

DJ Stutz  17:47  
Another thing too, is, I remember watching one of my younger brothers, and I was visiting, he went out to mow the lawn, and his son comes out and got his, you know, those little toy lawnmowers, and you push them and they blow bubbles and whatever. And it was so fun to watch, because my brother's putting gas in his lawnmower. And my nephew hit us gas was the bubble solution. Let's put the gas in, right. And then they went out and he would follow his dad along where the grass had been cut. And he in his head. I mean, gosh, he had to be maybe to two or three around there. And he's actually helping dad. But that shared experience. It could be even though your kids really small. It could be working on the car, it could be fixing something and repairing something around the house or whatever. And yeah, it takes longer when you've got that little kid that's right by your side. But it's worth all of that time in spades.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  18:56  
I agree with you. I think that there's something again about the value that the Father has to impart to the child. And it's not just doing a project. It's being together. Yeah. So it's really hanging out together. Maybe you sit and watch the Moon together. Things that are just part of daily life become very important. And people remember those. They retain good memories when they have that extend.

DJ Stutz  19:34  
Yeah, they do. Isn't it fun? So it can go from chores, learning how to do things around the house. To them entertainment, whether it's football, baseball, it could be a sports thing, it could be camping, or in my dad's case, skiing and hiking. And those were all important things to my dad and as He took us along. That was the one space where he could really let his hair down, so to speak, and just be him and not be this stiff, stoic. You know what I mean?

Dr. Susan Schwartz  20:16  
I do I do what you see, I also think, then a lot of men have learned to be stoic, because they learned very little boys don't cry. Boys don't talk about emotions. It's still there. It's pretty appalling. But I think that they learn that, and they get rewarded for behavior, which doesn't let them be a real person. And there also are people who really are quite afraid of emotion. They don't know what to do with them. And I would imagine your father is a perfect, stereotypical example of somebody who never learned how to deal with emotions, how to express them, how to relate, how to be imperfect, how to stumble. No, and it really, is that a detriment, not only to the family, but to our culture, as well. Otherwise, we create this kind of, what should I say? Toxic, maleness, toxic way of being toxic distance. And we don't want to create that culturally.

DJ Stutz  21:36  
If anyone's been listening to me very long, they'll hear me talk about my son in law, Peter. And he's a very in touch kind of a dad. And so it's been really fun. So he has a boy and a girl, my daughter and my son in law, they have a boy and then a girl. And when my grandson Sylvan, I remember watching him just getting really, you know, as two three year olds, do, they have these big emotions, and they are still learning on how to identify them, and how do I What do I do with these and all of that. So those temper tantrums are actually quite normal. And I remember watching Peter and Sylvans going off on his thing, and he said, Sylvan, I can see that you are very upset. And he wanted something that was not to his benefit. I can't remember what it was, but it wasn't something that he could do. And so he said, I think that you're just really disappointed. And so now he's naming emotions, you're really disappointed. You're very upset, and you need to cry this out. And so you can cry out here with me. Or you can go to our cozy corner, cried out there, if you want to be alone. Tell me which way you want to go. And he chose to go to the cozy corner, Sylvan is more introverted. But after about three or four minutes, he came back and he said, Daddy, can I do something else instead? And it was nice that Peter the first thing he said is, Sylvan, I am so proud of you, you really got this turned around, you're upset. And now you're talking to me. And you know what your new idea was a great idea. Let's do that. It's so I'm seeing some of these things going on that are really good. I think there's some onus to be put on we females in that. We often will date, marry, be involved with a guy and have these lower standards? Well, that's just the way guys are. No, they're great guys that are out there. If women would hold the standard higher and say, Yeah, I don't like this piece I'm seeing so I'm either not going to continue and move on. And I don't mean after marriage, but I mean, really sit down and be aware of who we're dating, why we're dating. I had a little guy in my kindergarten classes, like four or five years ago. Very violent child. Smart kid, he could be super kind. And that was just so shining. But he came one day at the end of class. I taught kindergarten and curled up in my lap, like a young child. And this was a surprise to me. This was not his normal way. And he looked up at me with these big tears in his eyes. He said Why does my mom keep calling her boyfriend when all he does is beat her up?

Dr. Susan Schwartz  24:55  
So that is a horrible and very sad story, isn't it? which, unfortunately, not unusual. But let me add to when you said about women, because I think it's up to everybody. Right to, to be very aware of what is acceptable and what is not. And, and how are we repeating the exact same thing that we grew up with? Yeah. And the little boy was in effect, saying, you know, what, why doesn't my mom change? She's doing the same thing that she saw in her family. I mean, he's not saying that, but we could proceed into it. I think that, as a culture, we have learned to let too many people off the wrong hook. So that it's in a way also, it's not really up to women to say to the Father, you know, the diaper needs to be changed? No, it's not their responsibility. It's the responsibility of the father figure, to say, Oh, the baby's diaper needs to be changed. So there's an awareness. Somebody said to me once they said, so what I know about fathers, does that mean that I should tell my husband how we should be a better father to our son? And I said, Absolutely not. You, you're not the one to teach him. He is the one to find his way. It's not up to you. So I think that women have taken on an additional role, but they don't need to. And they haven't helped men by taking on that roll. So and I think, too,

DJ Stutz  26:50  
and where I was talking is, before you even get married, before you even have that child, that you're really looking at, who you're dating, or getting engaged to, or whatever, and being more picky at that point in your life, so that if they are not able to relate to a child or it How old are they when they get angry? Do they turn into a bully when they get angry? And then not even move forward? Then at that point, does that make sense?

Dr. Susan Schwartz  27:26  
It totally does. But I think also what you're talking about as people having an awareness that they might be repeating that pattern? Yeah. And how are they going to get out of what they have known? Because they just repeat it? unconsciously? Yeah. And they're used to it. You know, too many people are used to being put down, not treated well, not given space, not even knowing how to ask for it. So a lot of people come into therapy, actually, to learn how to relate. How do I do it? I don't know how to do it. Okay, you can learn how to do you can learn how to be aware of yourself, you can become aware of your dreams and share them. Talk about it be more open? Yeah. Yeah. So there's a lot gates to go through to create the presence of viable partners.

DJ Stutz  28:27  
Yes. I like that term, viable partners. I really like that term. And then the reality of life. Is there situations where there's a divorce? So there's a child, there's divorce, or breakup. And I've seen through teaching, and then through people that I've known really well, I've seen some fathers that even though there's a divorce, they're still coming. I have this day off, can I help out with something? Oh, there's the field tech, and I help out. And they're trying really hard to steal, even though, you know, you may be 5050 split, or whatever the deal is with your kids, but you're not there all the time. But then I've seen father who are just completely absent, I'll never see them. We're divorced. We can't even be in the same room together. I've done times when I've had to do a parent teacher conference for the mom and then another one for the dad. Because that's better than nothing. But wouldn't it be great for our child to be able to see mom and dad have disagreements, but we can still have a birthday party or a parent teacher conference or something like that. But divorced parenting and when you're a dad helped me out with that.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  29:48  
Well, you know, I was thinking as you were talking several different people that I worked with who would say, You know what, from the very beginning, my father was gone. And what did I miss? I didn't miss anything. I just had my mom to myself. And that was great. Uh, somebody else who said, you know, there wasn't a father on my law. This is not unusual. There are no fathers around. So do I miss him? No, because I never knew him. What's missing? Is something inside information, knowledge reconfirmation of oneself. And, you know, they learn abandonment. Yeah. And not worth it. You know, if father doesn't show up, he's off doing who knows what it feels like abandonment to a child. It is abandonment. That's exactly what's going on. And it's sanctioned by the part that says, Well, okay, you know, the data is off. He doesn't have responsibility he does to himself and to his kids. He definitely does. So there's a real for so many years, he had no, this is a real shift, a real shift, and away from also, and not saying that single parents are not okay. But it really helps to have the support in some kind of way. So the children know that they're not dropped off and that the Father is they don't even know who he is. Yeah. Very sad.

DJ Stutz  31:34  
Yeah. Back in the day, I used to teach parenting classes for the Division of Family and Youth Services in Las Vegas. And one of the series that I did it was a core ordered series, they had to come to my class, if they were divorcing, was divorced parenting. And it was really interesting to me once in a while, I would get a couple where even though there's that divorce thing going on, the both parents would come to the same class, because they said we need to have the same language we need to. Yeah, so they were being really responsible about I don't know, I never asked what the divorce was about none of my business. But I would see parents who were like that, I would see others come in and they couldn't come to the same class as the other parent. And then they would spend so much of the time, there were usually about 10 to 15 people in my class, just beating up beating up beating up. And I'm thinking, Are you saying that around your kid? So are you saying, yeah, oh, your dad, he's not around. He doesn't love you. Oh, you could be in Little League. If your dad would just help pay for it or whatever. Your dad loved you. He would blah, blah, blah. And so then we're making that absent father syndrome way worse. Right.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  32:57  
That is very true. I think there's another side to that, which is that sometimes the father is made to be better than he was?

DJ Stutz  33:09  
Yes. as

Dr. Susan Schwartz  33:11  
well. Yeah. So he was pretty awful. He had affairs he did this. He did that. cheated. You name it. I'm not saying this is only with fathers. It happens with fathers too. But the mother feeling badly, doesn't tell the child the reality of the absent father. Like your thought this is who he was. They think they should protect the child. They're not protecting at all. They are actually causing more problems than should be happening. I guess what I'm saying is, the reality of the father should be set. Even if he's lousy. Don't protect, be real about who that person is. So the child has a chance to choose if they want or not.

DJ Stutz  34:05  
Yeah, I, this is and I've only seen this maybe once or twice with families that I've worked with over the many years, but I was working with a mom who grew up in a single home. And now she was a single mom.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  34:23  
Yeah, of course. Yeah. Same age. I'll

DJ Stutz  34:25  
bet probably pretty close. Yeah. But she was telling me that one of the things that really hit her was that at night her mom would come in and say prayers with the child. And she said we always prayed for daddy, even though daddy had all these problems. She said that kind of saved me. In thinking about everyone has problems, everyone has issues. And like it or not, he's still my dad. But she said it kind of helped. to her even though, and I think her dad was actually in prison is where that was. So she knew daddy had made some awful decisions, but and her mom remarried. But they would still, because I think she was saying that, like it or not, I'm a product of my dad. And my dad is in prison. So if my dad's in prison, what does that make me? But when we prayed for them together, and this is just how she explained it to me, that seemed like my dad was redeemable in some ways. And that made it okay for me to be me.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  35:39  
Well, he's redeemable through her. That's the beauty. Exactly, yeah. That's what she was saying. She took from the story. She doesn't have to feel shame that her father is in prison. She wants to take herself and use herself to the fullness that she is. And so that's what she was doing. And the reality. I mean, certainly a child should know if the father is in prison and why et cetera, but not to put on to the child. Therefore, you come from shame. That would be terrible. It's more, what are you going to do about it? And don't hide it? And don't not say it. proud of who you are. And that's the issue is to feel good about who you are as a person. Hopefully, good fathers will impart that to their kids.

DJ Stutz  36:38  
Yeah, you're Yeah. So let's have maybe about another scenario real quickly. What about when it's, the father is absent either because he died, God forbid. Or maybe he's in the military, and he's gone off to war. Yes, fulfilling those assignments. I have a son who was a police officer. And so there are times when like Christmas, it's got to go certain way because he's gotta go, or whatever's going on. And so their desire is to be there. They love their kids, whatever. And especially in death, that's just what it is. What can we do to help our kids through all that?

Dr. Susan Schwartz  37:25  
Well, you know, I think there's something important about acknowledging grief, loss, mourning, the process it takes, one doesn't have to get over loss, grief death in 30 days. No, no. So the process of returning every year, talking about bringing him into into life, but realistically, he isn't there. And what does that feel to be different than most other kids? whose parent is there? And it is it you know, throughout the world, there are so many people who have a dead father, they'll never will that person. I don't think it's to ignore it. I think it's to pay attention and allow for a variety of feelings, as well as anger. I wanted a Dad, where is he? I'm bad. It doesn't have to be all sweet. But real, is what we were born and promote.

DJ Stutz  38:35  
I've even had little kindergarteners in my classes that somehow felt like it was their fault that daddy died.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  38:43  
They always do turn out to be because they it's too big to comprehend. In a way it's not the children don't understand death, because they certainly do. They read fairy tales and stories and movies, videos. There's depth always. But it's, again, how it is dealt with. How people's feelings are honored. And no false stories. No false stories. Kids know if it's false, so be real with the children. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Yeah.

DJ Stutz  39:20  
So if our listeners would like to learn more about you and connect, where can they go?

Dr. Susan Schwartz  39:27  
Yes, they could find me on my website, which is www. That Susan Swartz sch W ar And I have a book published through Rutledge on the absent father effect on daughters father desire father wounds, it, it's about daughters, but of course, it applies to everybody. Yeah, so yeah, for sure.

DJ Stutz  39:58  
And we're gonna go ahead and have all have that information in our show notes. And so if they don't have a pen and paper at the ready, we'll get that information to them. I'm so glad that you're doing the work you do. Because fathers are ridiculously important. Yes, we'll have a huge effect on the adult outcomes of our kids. So,

Dr. Susan Schwartz  40:25  
and the child outcomes of our kids.

DJ Stutz  40:28  
Yeah, well, I'm thinking, yeah, yeah, that's their little, and on and on, as they're an adult. And so I'm so glad my dad and I were able to come to a better understanding of one another as I became an adult. And I've learned to learn more about his childhood growing up and appreciate him for what he was trying to do whether he was successful or not, you know, yeah, I'm glad that I get to miss my dad, I guess, is well, I have to say.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  41:02  
So. And let me just add, the maybe that's the legacy that we carry on, is to continue. What was into something even more? Yes. Yes.

DJ Stutz  41:16  
Well, I always ask my guests one final question. And it's the same question. How would you describe a successful parent?

Dr. Susan Schwartz  41:25  
Well, you know, I actually did earlier, when I spoke about a father that knows how to relate, he can play, he can be a secure, he can reinforce, he knows his emotions, he's not afraid to express and he is human. He knows how to hang out how to hell, how to be there. And he doesn't have to be the perfect dad. So he's really there.

DJ Stutz  41:56  
And that's why the podcast is imperfect heroes, because no one's going to be perfect. And if we hold ourselves up to that standard, if we hold our own parents up to that standard, we're going to fail every time. And so it's okay to be imperfect. As long as you continue trying, and making that effort and being human.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  42:22  
How about being real rather than perfect? Better get much easier,

DJ Stutz  42:27  
much easier, much easier. Susan Schwartz, thank you so much for spending this time with us.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  42:34  
And thank you very much. I hope that your audience, gain some ideas from it.

DJ Stutz  42:41  
I sure they did that. I'm sure they did. Thank you so much. And we'll talk to you again soon.

Dr. Susan Schwartz  42:47  
Wonderful. Thank you have a good one. Got you.

DJ Stutz  42:54  
If you would like more information on Dr. Schwartz and her book, all of that information is in the shownotes and holy smokes, we have so much going on. And we have more events and opportunities to engage and to 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 and 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 continue with Season Three with another Susan and another Dr. Susan Landers has been a neonatologist who has been working in the NICU, the newborn intensive care unit for over 30 years and she has seen many stressed out moms. And in next week's episode, she shares the importance of taking care of yourself and how that helps you take care of your children. So check it out and see. So until next time, let's find joy in parenting. Bye everyone.

Transcribed by

Susan E. Schwartz, PhDProfile Photo

Susan E. Schwartz, PhD

Susan E. Schwartz, Ph.D. trained in Zurich, Switzerland as a Jungian analyst is also a clinical psychologist and member of the International Association of Analytical Psychology. She presents to numerous Jungian conferences and teaching programs in the USA and worldwide.

Susan has articles in several journals and chapters in books on Jungian analytical psychology. Her current book is translated into several languages and was published by Routledge in 2020. It is entitled The Absent Father Effect on Daughters, Father Desire, Father Wounds. Another book will be published by Routledge in 2023 entitled The Fragility of Self in the ‘As-If’ Personality: Imposter Syndrome and Illusions in the Mirror. Her Jungian analytical practice is in Paradise Valley, Arizona, USA.