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Feb. 6, 2023

Episode 85: What is Dad's Role in Raising Strong Daughters? with Eddie White

In this podcast episode, DJ invited speaker, author and certified parent instructor Eddie White on the show to share his knowledge and expertise about a dad's role in raising strong daughters. Pretty much anyone can be a parent, but it takes something else to be a leader in your family and Eddie knows the recipe. Listen in as he offers sage advice on how to get in front of the curve to raise and empower functional and independent adults. 

Eddie White is a speaker, author and educator devoted to helping parents lead their family by leveraging decades of leadership experience, reflective insights as a father. He is a certified parent instructor and holds a master’s in Adult Education. He and his wife Vambie shared their parenting journey about raising their two daughters to be empowered young women in his self-published book titled StartPoint: Parenting in “the White House.”

• [4:37] Eddie discusses the role of fathers in raising empowered daughters and sons.
• [11:26] “It’s in those first few years that your child will define themselves as either a victim or a victor, as needy or capable.”
• [31:22] Eddie shares we should be mindful when teaching our children about relationships.
• [36:14] “When they learned that lesson, something happens, go back, and then dig into it, talk about it, have them understand it so that they don't repeat something that's potentially unhealthy later on in their life.”

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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 85 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. Eddie White knows all about dad's role in raising strong daughters. And he understands that pretty much anyone can be a parent, but it takes something else to be a leader in your family. He's a speaker, he's an author. He's an educator, and he's devoted to helping parents lead their family by leveraging decades of his own leadership experience, as he shares reflective insights. As a father, he and his wife, Vambi, have two amazing daughters. And they share their parenting journey in his book, which is titled start point, Parenting In The White House. And there's so much to learn. So let's get started.

You know, an imperfect hero is someone who recognizes their own imperfections, but is always looking for ways to make things better, a better spouse, a better son, better daughter, or brother, sister, and of course, a better parent. And while you were looking for ways to improve your own life, and the lives of your children, you know that having someone to talk with about what the best practices are, and what the challenges are related to how your children develop, provide you with ideas that you can use today, tomorrow, next week, and as your children continue to grow? What if you could engage with a mother of five, who is an early childhood specialist, with more than 20 years of classroom experience, who is committed to supporting you discover your parenting style, identify behavioral triggers, and learn about your children's emotional development with a focus on enhancing and enriching communication? Well, that's me, and I welcome an opportunity to continue this conversation with you. So my calendar link is in the show notes. Just click on that. And I would love to have a free 15 minute discovery call, so I can learn more about your concerns, and your goals. And then I can share recommendations on how to create a home environment where you and your children can strengthen your relationships, and celebrate happiness and peace. 

You know, clear back in, I think it was like episode five. I spoke with Coach Dan Banyon. And he's a high school football defensive coordinator whose daughter was homecoming queen. At the very same game, she kicked the game winning field goal to make the homecoming all the more fun and special for everyone. Well, except for the losing team, I guess. So. Well, our topic then, as it is today, is raising strong daughters. And in both episodes, we focused on the importance of dads in the process. And while I would never want to diminish the amazing hard work of single moms, dads, or the absence of them, can have a huge impact on how our daughters and our sons for that matter. Look at themselves, and how they see the world. Well, Eddie White is someone who takes his role as father and husband very seriously. His daughters were able to grow up in a home where they saw their mom and dad work together to make the family come together and actually do some great things. Both of their parents understood what it meant to put family first. So let's listen. 

Welcome, everyone, and thank you for choosing to spend the next little bit of time with Imperfect Heroes. I am here with my guest, Eddie White. And Eddie, why don't you just tell us a little bit about what you got going on and what we're talking about?

Eddie White  4:37  
Yeah, absolutely. So obviously, thank you, DJ for inviting me in welcoming into really your space and providing an opportunity to talk about parenting about fatherhood. And one of the things that I think best serves potentially your audience is really the role of fathers in raising empowered daughters. I'm an author I wrote a book about I'm raising empower young women. And I think that some of the nuggets that I could offer from that book in this setting can be a value. And I'll say I do a myriad of bother classes, parenting classes, all of which are designed to help young parents what I call get in front of the curve, to raise that empower that functional that independent adults. So I think that's how we find ourselves together in this space. And I'm looking forward to the conversation.

DJ Stutz  5:27  
Yeah, I was really excited when I heard about you, and we got to connect a little bit. And then we just had a fun time talking previously. And so I know that this is going to be fun. But I'm so glad that you're here. Because I don't want to take anything away from single moms, you know, you find yourself in a bunch of different situations and reasons that there may be a single mom raising kids. But I am so convicted in the power of fathers in the lives of our children. And I'm worried that as a society, we're kind of discounting their value, where it's easy for boys or young men to just walk away, because that's really not expected in a lot of ways anymore. And fathers just have a huge impact on our boys and our girls. But I think that too, as as fathers, I think we'd really do a service for our world, as we raise daughters who have high expectations of who they choose to father a child with. And sometimes it's just so much just the passion of the moment and oops, and we really need to plan these things out and be deliberate and have a higher standard of the men that our young girls associate with.

Eddie White  7:00  
Yeah, and, um, you, you raise a couple of key points in your explanation of how fathers can better fit in the standard of parenting of being a father, if you're not going to pre plan what parenthood and fatherhood looks like, then, you know, what I tell people is right after you realize that you're going to be a father, or a mother, or immediately after you have that kid, and no later than a couple years later, when you start really investing in raising them to be adults, you need to recognize what that means and what that means for you, as a leader in your home, and what impact that's going to have for your children. So the standard, though, is a big thing, you know, I am not a proponent of signing off one winging it, or making it up as you go along. As the acceptable norm. I think we as a society, we as parents, we as adults should demand more from each of us as parents, and I think we can do better. As parents, you know, my daughters are 27 and 25. And whenever they came into the world, one thing is, I think all of us need to recognize they didn't ask to come into this world, whether you're a son, or whether you're a daughter, when you get brought into this place that we call earth and society and everything that goes with it. It is an involuntary, hidden generation. But what that puts on us as parents, is this powerful responsibility to pour into them to guide them to lead them so that they can live the best life they have. And we need to recognize that the standard shouldn't be, I'll just do the best that can, quote unquote, because I often challenge Did you do the best you can? What all did you learn? How did you invest? What did you forget? Or its characteristics and attributes? And how did you go about doing that? Over the 1015 20 years of raising your child? So there's a lot that you put into that. But I believe that's one of the foundational pieces that I really aspire to influence an impact. So that 2030 years from now, if not sooner? It is not well, I winged it, I did the best I could it is no I was invested. I was educated, I was prepared. And I really set my child up for the success that they're realizing now. Yeah.

DJ Stutz  9:21  
And I love that I did that when you're talking about being deliberate. And really investing in that. And I think that as current parents right now, as we raise our kids, we really can teach them and push that. To me truly the greatest honor, the most important thing you'll ever do in this life is be a parent. I don't care if you're President of the United States. If you're a failure as parents, if you're not invested and you're doing the right thing for your kids. It's all for naught really.

Eddie White  9:56  
Absolutely agree. And I believe most Some of us who are parents, if not all of us, realize that we may not realize that until later, you talked a lot of parents of teenagers and it took them 10 to 1213 years to realize how important what they're doing as a parent is because you know, you're an adult, and you have all these priorities and all these aspirations and work and you're doing all these things. And sometimes you may take for granted, or you may not fully appreciate what that impact is, and what your role is in the importance of that. I tell a lot of parents that said, by the time your kid turns 25, they will absolutely turn around and show you the mirror, what you did or didn't do, and they will most likely vocalize what you did or didn't do. And so therefore, if you're running behind, if you don't have that revelation of your role and your impact, when they're 567, in their development, and when it's still cool to be around you and they're open to listen to you as a parent, then once they turn 1314, or 15, and a lot of parents fear this age, the relationship dynamic changes, and then potentially, you start running into struggle that could have been avoided when they were younger. So that is something that I think most parents recognize, unfortunately, sometimes it's not until later on and their child development and grows and their ability to actually have the impact they desire actually doesn't come to fruition.

DJ Stutz  11:26  
Yeah, in fact, I've had some really interesting conversations lately. I've been on other people's podcasts, and with my coaching and all of that, that, really, it's in those first few years that your child will define themselves as either a victim or a victor, as needy, or capable as needing rescuing or being the rescuer. They're going to come to those conclusions. Actually, by the time they're seven. It's pretty steeped in to whom they are. I've had in my years teaching kindergarten, I've had kids who would misbehave and have behavior and social issues. And I can remember times that I was talking, I know you're a good kid, I know. And they would get furious. No, I'm the bad kid, I am a bad kid. And they would get really upset with me for trying to change that self definition, already in kindergarten, they have decided, I am the bad kid. And so we had to come in kind of through side door and find some other ways to reach them and to help them out. And that's possible. But it's so much harder, if you're waiting until they're that old, those older ages that you're talking about to start making those connections and helping them to find themselves when they've already decided I've had parents literally call their child's a monster in front of them, because they had some behavior issues at school or whatever. Oh, he's a monster, like, oh, my gosh, please don't say that. He's not a monster. He's a great kid that's struggling.

Eddie White  13:01  
Yeah. And, you know, I remember my, my wife was really averse to the term terrible twos. You know, a lot of us too. When they come up, it's like, oh, no, there's this out of control kid. And I know my dad is you and I sort of adopted it was when you can say no, as a child than me, we're at a different level of parent child interaction, you know, I want to get on here to talk about the pros and cons of discipline and all this stuff. But when that child think they can say no, then you need to recognize that change. And if you're speaking into the space, that they're going to be a terrible to, and that there's this dynamic where you can't control them, and they're gonna inherently do bad and be bad, then it's sort of like self fulfilling. And that really speaks to what you're talking about at those younger ages, the zero to 234, where they're very formative influence and the conditions around them, nor are you showing that you care, you speaking to them, and loving ways and reading and counting and the tone and the energy not only that you're displaying to the child, but the condition in the house and what you're displaying to your spouse or your parenting partner, how you are living life, and all that starts to get infused into them. And that creates the baseline that when you really move and you know the job of preparing children to be adults. Here an instructor if you will, when you move into that age of really five, six at the latest, and you kind of move into look at 15 years to get you ready or 30 years, whatever you define as adulthood to get you ready to leave the house and be functional and independent and understand work ethic and all the characteristics and attributes that you aspire for your child. Once you move into that place, you're now adjusting from whatever you did from zero to four, because it is a continuous chain from The time they are conceived, you know this better than me be gay, however you live through the nine months of carrying your child, the stresses and everything else that goes with it, that is lifeblood that's fed into them then from the time they're born and the environment that they're in the affection that is shown, the first three to four years that is baked in, if you will. So once you start and to raise over to be an adult, I talk about the right personality traits, you know, derived traits are physiological, their psychological and their conditional. That is the stuff that you are passed to them. That's the habits, the courts that they are going to pick up from the father and the mother in some sort of infused combination. And that's the condition from which they're in. Well, those derived personality traits are going to emerge in different aspects, whether it's academically, athletically, socially in relationships. But all of that is factored in. And that's what makes this is not a spoiler alert. That's what makes parenting so hard, because all of that that continual change is baked in and your level of experience, which is going to be limited depending on how many kids you have, and the level of education, your level of patience, your level of intentionality in what you're aspiring for. And then how you can teach how you can develop your relationship skills, it is the ultimate crucible by which everything that you are all your strengths, or your weaknesses, all your quirks are put to the test. And it happens every day all the time for 10 to 15 years, or 15 or 20 years, however you want to look at.

DJ Stutz  16:34  
Yeah, and you're right. It's so funny, as soon as you think you've got it figured out. They change, they grow different neurons start firing in their brain, and they are able to process things in a different way. And so you're constantly kind of redefining things and making sure that you're staying with your child where they are. Developmentally, you talked about the terrible twos, I think that the terrific twos, but the, for these little guys, it's their vocabulary, they're learning, not just a new language, they're learning language, period, and how that works. So they know what they want, you're the idiot that can't figure it out. They're saying, it's like that. I know, like, Oh, what is that, and they know what they want, and they get very frustrated, or they, they want to do something or they're tired, or they're hungry, and they don't have the words to put with those emotions and those feelings. And so they're trying to convey that. And we don't get it, I need it. Now, they don't understand about time constraints. They don't understand about all of these different things that we work with in society and as adults. And so they're so frustrated that sometimes we just need to slow down, figure it out, and be patient and understand your chances. The genius right now, the amount that they're learning in such a short amount of time is really nothing short of miraculous.

Eddie White  18:12  
Yeah, and it's, and that's easier said than done, particularly if you have your first child and they're two years old, or three years old, because you're in this discovery mode. And you have the known unknowns, you know, and then the unknown unknowns, if you go back to old Rumsfeld for those who need sort of trace into military and old war terms, and therefore you're operating in that dynamic, that can be very challenging. And then you have the relationship between your wife and you or your spouse, and how you two have differing perspectives may be different levels of patients. And so for me, what I teach a lot of parents is when I had my children, and before that got into the role where I knew I was ready to be adults. And that's about four years we had, and we created really three philosophies and those three philosophies helped. In a lot of regards, it helped me temper my stress, it helped me have better patients, it helped me look forward to what I was trying to do in the future, and what I needed to do in the present, so that I could realize it. And so the three philosophy that we had was one, we're raising our children to be functionally independent adult, that drove a lot of the age appropriate conversations. It drove a lot of the empowerment, it helps you think about okay, yeah, these philosophy to be frank really kicked in whenever about 545 or six and that's when for me the deck kind of shifted into, okay, I'm no longer nurturing and just kind of creating the conditions of love and everything, but I'm actually getting into the challenge of raising to be adults. So right around four or five, five or six. These came into fruition, so raise it to be functional, independent adults. Now or two was nothing catastrophic, particularly for they graduated high school. And this is just something that went into keeping them from having sex or having children, keeping them from being abused, whether it's physically or sexually emotionally, keeping them from drinking alcohol, and then keeping them from being involved in drugs, those had an acronym called Don't be sad, sad, and that formulate that when they're a little bit older, maybe about eight or nine years old. But that was in my mind is how do I, from a father's perspective, protect my girls protect my children. And that was one of the things but those thoughts then generated actions were proactive things to do in order to allow cause a team to come to fruition, so reasonably function within an adult's, nothing catastrophic. And the third one, which actually started when they were probably about five or six years old was, self esteem is important. That was one of the reasons why I attracted me to my wife, and particularly for girls. And honestly, it applies for any child. But for girls, I felt like I needed to explicitly overtly and deliberately raise them to have high self esteem, make sure they understood that their voice mattered that they as individuals matter, and I tell other fathers, the daughters, I couldn't control the knucklehead. That's what I call it young boys. I can control the knucklehead out there that we're going to try to date. My daughters I did, there's too many, there's too many variables. So what I focused on was making sure they were grounded. They had their standards, they knew their value, and they would discern who they will allow into their life in any sort of relationship, girls or boys friendships or romantically. So those three philosophies allowed me then, to sort of keep in balance to make sure that yeah, I'm worried about the now what they're doing in school and sports activity to live in their day to day, but I have a responsibility to help equip them for when they are leaving the house. And I use that to help guide our conversations on our energy and navigating that path.

DJ Stutz  22:01  
Yeah, and, man, you bring it so many great concepts. I have a brother who's a therapist in Oregon, but he talks about from the time they're born, really, you're preparing them to go out into the world. And so you need to have these long term plans where this is exactly kind of what you were talking about. We talked about where we are in the now and paying attention to your kids, what are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What are the things that we can help them build on? And then as they get older, we're allowing them to make more and more decisions on their own and say, Well, okay, that's a choice. What do you think's gonna happen with that choice, and help them to plan it through, but you can start those kinds of conversations, I think, at a much younger age than people tend to think kids are very adaptable, and they understand way more, I think, then we give them credit, or, and so when they see a father who may be in the house, but isn't really there, they're more interested in the football, which I love football, I get it. I'm a big fan. Go rams are stinked this year, but anyway, if they're more interested in that game, than in them, you know what I'm saying? They're gonna yell at them from across the room. Instead of getting up off the couch and going over and talking to that child, or involving them in the game. Somehow, there's a lot of ways to get little kids involved in the things that you love. And bringing them along with that. They're going to learn so much more about I am valuable. My time is valuable, who I am, is valuable to my dad.

Eddie White  23:51  
Yeah, and that's really the part you brought up really focuses in on and particularly for fathers is being present. And being present is not a singularly physical thing. Being present is a mental thing. It's an emotional thing. At times, it's a spiritual thing being present, is bringing your entire T into the conversation or the space with your child. And you know, one of the things I teach my father's tattoo a summer program, and I tell fathers, you know, when your kids get to be a certain age, particularly before teenagers, because it's a whole different level of friction with teenagers, we all know that what you want to do I say, look, find something that you are interested in. This may sound counterintuitive, but this is this is a philosophy. I said find something that you're interested in that over a span of anywhere from three to five weeks in the summer, you can do with your kids does not send them to a camp, but something you're interested in whether it is you know whether you're a mechanic or you're mechanically inclined, my background is science and math. So I did math and science classes with them, but it could be a business Project, it can be whatever it can be an outdoors, whatever it is that you're interested in. And then you set that up. Now, initially, depending on their age, they may push back. But if you do it when they're younger, they're going to look forward to spending time with dad or their push backs, not going to be like teenage push back, those who don't have teenagers, you understand that when you have teenagers, those who do you understand what I'm saying. So you do it in that age where they are going to be receptive, or they're going to be present. But you need to bring your full presence. And the reason why I say do what you want to do is, if you're doing what you want to do, then you're going to be fully present, you're going to be fully invested. And the kids will read well vibe off of that energy. They know Dad's coming, you know, I did for me, I did summer math and science. So I did geometry. I did chemistry, I did algebra with my daughters when they were in late elementary school, early middle school, because in part, I had black girls be frank, and a lot of girls and black girls don't walk into science and math with confidence. And I'm like, Look, I have girls, I want them to walk in because they're fully capable. It's just that they're not confident about it. So my way of sort of pre empting, that was to do summer math and science. So by the time they got to ninth grade, or they took early math in eighth grade, or 10th grade, they've already been exposed to, well, my nephews or nieces came down DJ, guess what they're sitting in the same class, you can talk to my nieces, they're like, Yeah, I remember those summers math classes with Uncle Eddie. And so. But that was, I think we did two, three days a week, whatever it was, I bring up my whiteboard, I set up the chairs, and we'd go through and do it. And sometimes they struggle. But by the end, it was quality time we spent and there was no ambiguity that my time and interest was invested in them for that. And because they are my daughters, it created that relationship bond. And so therefore, if you do that, then you're going to be brought in, you're going to be present, they're going to connect with that energy. And now you can go to the next level. And I love what you said about sports. You know, I tell my daughter, if you come into the room, don't don't be asking me crazy questions about sports. Take the 30 seconds, look at the TV, see what the sport is. Pay attention to the score, understand what the half is. And guess what? We can then have conversations about football and basketball and rules and stuff like that. And now I'm present because most men who like sports, love talking sports, but you now bring them in, and they feel like they're a part. And guess what, by the way, it helps them when they're 20 something they're talking to the boys. Because guess what they can connect with basketball and sports when you know, they don't know it when they're 10 or 11. They'll realize that when they're 2122.

DJ Stutz  27:38  
Yeah, you know, in growing up, so I have five brothers, and one sister, and my mom was crazy for sports. So sports was huge in our family. My dad was a professor at UCLA. And so for every year, my mom's birthday is in August, every year, for her birthday, she got season tickets to UCLA football. And then for their anniversaries in September. Every year for her anniversary. She got season tickets to basketball, and she couldn't have been more thrilled. Like, if Dad had ever done anything different, I think there would have been a huge problem. And so growing up in a family like that, and I remember my mom actually sitting down with me, at some point in my teen years, and she said, Don't ever be the wife that gets mad at your husband, because he's watching a game. Dishes can wait. You sit down with your husband, and you cheer for the team and you are there and you will connect and you will have a stronger marriage. And so Russ and I are over 44 years. Wow. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Spring will be 45 I was a child.

Eddie White  28:57  
Your Honor, you're 25 on how you're married. So miracle I

DJ Stutz  29:03  
and sports even like, I'm super extroverted, he's super introverted. And even when things were maybe a little difficult to we're going through things because we process things differently. Sports, we could always come together on sports, politics and religion. Those were the three big things you know, and of course the kids but we differ greatly on our approach on the kids. And they knew dad was a pushover if you wanted something glass dad first. And that was fine with me because I wanted them to be close to him and have that relationship with him. But I think you do your kids, especially your girls, a great service, if they can understand some of those key things that will help them connect and make that stronger. lationship with their spouse in the future.

Eddie White  30:02  
Yeah. And really, I explained it in this way, this is sort of what I view as holistic living, is recognizing what I call the five plus two. And for me, and we do this every year in our house, we talk I call it our stocktake. Well, we can review could not have my daughter out of the house, this is a way for the family to stay connected and understand where we are and where we may be struggling. So the five plus two is your mental health, your physical health, your emotional health, your spiritual health and your financial health slash knowledge. And then the two is your school job or career. Where is that. And then the last, the other two is relationships. So if you're talking about raising your children, five plus two is something I believe all of us as parents have to be very cognizant of. It doesn't there's no time for age, we're one of those stops, that is a perpetual space we all operate in. And a lot of us talk about life balance. And typically, life balance is keeping those particularly the five, or especially the four from an internal, but arguably keeping that five plus two, in accordance with each other. Because if you're mentally off, then that's gonna affect you physically, potentially, if you're spiritually off that could affect you emotionally. And if you're financially all that could wreck everything you're trying to do because we live in a capitalistic society. Yeah. And so in that vein, teaching our children about relationships is something we need to be mindful of, you know, I would teach my daughters okay, what is a good friend, is a good friend, somebody that's loyal to us somebody that you trust, I mean, it's not going to put you in a bad space, someone that's reliable, but you need to learn, you know, it's not like just wake up and go, Oh, yeah, I know what a good friend is no you? Do they do bad things that cause you to do bad things? Do they do good things? And so teaching them about relationships, from friendships, from family relationships, you know, we were military. So we're like, look, no, my two daughters, y'all need to learn how to be best friends, because we're going to be picking up and moving. Y'all need to have relationships. So we invested in make sure they had a relationship that the younger sibling recognize the role of the older sibling that that was all baked in. And that transitioned into romantic relationships as well. And some of that isn't model based off what they see how we interact, how a man treats a woman, how a woman should demand a man should treat them about how they are listened to, and how they're allowed to voice their opinion. And how a relationship is a part of all that is relationship building. And the commonality associated with you know, my wife watches sports, so we washboards my daughter, she's married her husband, they watch anime, that's their thing. It's like a Japanese. And so but it's a commonality. So you find that commonality. And even if it's uncommon, to your point, you respect what they value. If they value something, whether it's a sport or a certain hobby, then you can undercut and that like is not important, you need to recognize it and respect it and give them the opportunity to experience it. And then you go back to your commonality. So but that is something we learn as adults, I believe it's also something we should impress upon our children. Because you know, and I know relationships are some of the hardest thing you ever do in life is to have a healthy, successful relationship or marriage, like you've had, you know, I'm not 27 My parents are at 50. You know, but there's a lot of couples out there that haven't navigate into three or four decades

DJ Stutz  33:25  
space. Yeah, and I think too, and I like what you bring up. One of the things when you were talking about making sure that you have that commonality, that it isn't all one sided, either that our daughters can say, hey, it's not that I'm putting up with your sports, I love your sports. But I have this other thing that I love to my expectation is that you're going to be part of that as well. Just like I'm a part of what you're enjoying and what you love to do. And when they have the confidence to stand up and have that conversation. And honestly, these are conversations that we can teach them to have very young with siblings and with friends, and to say, hey, my friends, in some soccer game, and they want me to come and cheer them on, and that's fine. The soccer isn't their thing. It's nice to support your friends, but then have that same expectation from their friends. And so if they learn through those experiences when they're very young, those are going to carry on, don't you think as they get older? Yeah.

Eddie White  34:31  
And for us as parents, they provide opportunities to have discussions, to have them reflect upon what are their standards, share our experiences with friends, that we've had relationships with family, and you know, those can be powerful in that even when you disclose certain things about your personal relationship. So I got two sisters and a brother and all of our relationships over the past 40 years, 50 years as long as I've been around because I'm the youngest. They're not all weigh smooth and clean. And so therefore you share that. But look, family relationship is different than friendships. But then you talk about friends I've had for the same length of time, you know, 4045 years some thing, one of my best friends, we've been friends for 40 years or so. But you can share your experiences with friends raise, you've had friends that you no longer have with family family that you have friction with, that you've overcome that friction with. And then you listen to what they say about their relationships. You hear how they're interpreting how they're defining friendships, and how they're judging that there are people they bring in their life romantically and expectations, and how are they allowing themselves to be treated in relationships? And because you know, you know, you, you're old enough, you know, what unhealthy tendencies are. And so if they're in a relationship, whether it's friendship or romantically, that's unhealthy. Do you see it when they're seven or eight, you need to have the conversation with them, if you see it, when they're 17, you need to have the conversation with them. And when they're 27, we all know when your kids become adults, you no longer are directing your advisor. That's, that's the power of being an adult. And you got to be careful about telling them what they can't do. But you have to invest in having them reflect upon what they are doing. And when they learned that lesson, something happens, go back, and then dig into it, talk about it, have them understand it so that they don't repeat something that's potentially unhealthy later on in their life.

DJ Stutz  36:26  
I totally agree. I totally agree. And now important, all of that is, one of the things I'd like for you to talk about, too, is with fathers and raising strong daughters, is maybe the example that your daughters see in how you relate to women, specifically, your spouse or whatever. But do you talk down to them? Do you talk equally to them? Do you listen? Or do you interrupt and overpower them verbally? Or emotionally? And how does that all come into play? And what are some of the things that are on your mind as you're working through, like maybe disagreements with your wife, but you want to set that example always have been respectful even through disagreement?

Eddie White  37:15  
Yeah, so several layers of that one did that that was Yeah, that's one that to introduce into the space here. So one of the things that first and foremost that fathers, particularly who are married or have relationships with their spouse, or their parenting partner need to first assess is whether they have respect for their wife or their parenting partner. Because what happens is, if you don't, then you start to demonstrate that you may think you're not, but you are. So what that does is it trickled down to your daughter's, and there's two things is that there's what I call explicit modeling or supporting and then you have implicit, that stuff you talked about explicitly or overtly, can be fairly black and white. Starting with you respect women, and you respect the women who are in your life. Therefore, you demonstrate that same level of respect to your children. Now, this is a little bit difficult for some, because empowerment is something a lot of parents struggle with. So you have to recognize that their voice does matter that you are affording them the opportunity and you're giving value and allowing them to speak not cut them off, being patient to hear them voice their opinion, let them get the whole way through. And then you don't undercut us saying stupid, it because it may be their 14th or, you know, who knows that it probably the most experienced and enlightened, but you can't present it that way. You have to have the conversation about maybe the pros and the cons and maybe consider because you don't know what they're picking up and how fast they're picking up. And so I think they're the explicit or the overt treating them with dignity and respect, treating them as a valued individual very soon on. And so therefore you do that, and they will then it will resonate with them, they will start to believe it because they see it, they feel it and they're taught that way. So that's the expositor over the implicit is tied back to how do you interact with your spouse and I give a story about one my wife and I had as far as dinner, and my daughters were really upset. I didn't necessarily see this but you can you can pull this for where your daughters do see it. And in this, this is my wife, she cooks dinner, I tell people I don't cook anything. I'm a professional reader and a barbecue. You know, I don't I don't cook pies or bake pies. All I do is eat and my wife is a phenomenal cook. So early on in our marriage and a lot of times this stuff is set up early on in the marriage. I went out golfing, and we're supposed to have dinner, let's say 530 And I stayed late, didn't call her I can remember we have cell phones or not but however it was I didn't call her let her know I was coming late. So she had laid out a great meal. I don't know what she was cooking but it was a lot that she put into it. So I roll into the house around six, you know 615 Whatever it was outside the window of tolerance as you know it For for acceptability of meal, I have a hot meal and she literally stood outside the door when I was walking up. And she goes, if I'm going to take the time and energy to prepare a hot meal for you, that least you could do is call and let me know that you're not going to be here in time. And so before I even got to the house, you stood out, and it was a very pronounced date. That was no ambiguity what the standard was. And so what that tells me was my response to that month later, two months later, is that continue to come home late, and not call one disrespecting her, I'm disrespecting, what she said, I'm treating her with the level of disrespect and discounting the value she brings to the table. And that message didn't resonate with me. Well, if you have that sort of attitude in your actions towards her, then guess what your daughters, they're going to see that they're going to feel that they're going to feel how you treat her. And they're going to them whether you try to do the explicit or overt with them, you can't help but have that do to them. So you have to understand how you are making sure her voice is heard. We haven't family conversation as far as your wife, making sure that her decisions are factored in. And you are treating her as a partnered leader. And I teach that to a lot of fathers, a lot of parents about partners leadership, and the principle what I call primacy, where there's certain things in house where the wife makes a decision. And there's other things that the husband makes a decision. And what happens is you have to respect each other's decision, because they have that space. And you as a human if you know I'm a I'm a proponent of apostolic leadership, right? I'm a Christian is God Christ, husband, wife, I'm a fan of the whole submission thing. And I know it's sensitive. But there's a duality to that submission that goes into what we're supposed to do. As fathers, as leaders submitting to Christ and having a vision and having understand you have a role, and you are a servant leader. And then as a wife, you're reciprocating that. But that's because that respect is there, that duality is there. And I'm also not immune that we live on Earth. So there's a natural relationship between husband and wife that goes into the partner leadership, where the two of you are combining to lead the family to have the aspirations for the children. And so that dynamic doesn't exist, everything I talked about, is going to be seen by the children and how they interpret that you don't know. But if it's a daughter, it may cause them to devalue. If it's a son, it may cause them to not walk into healthy relationships in partnership, because they think they're more than they are when they need to be humbled and spirit to be partnered with their soulmate.

DJ Stutz  42:31  
Man, I totally agree. And I'm so glad that you brought that up. I do walk in say, and I just believe that such an important part of raising kids. So one of the things though, too, as you're talking about that, and you're showing respect and value, is ask yourself, How often have you told your kids, man, I picked a good mom for you. She's amazing, you are so lucky. And then the same thing for the wife, I picked you a good daddy, look at him, look what he does look at and start letting the kids see and hear that piece of it. I think it helps the marriage relationship for the other parent to hear that. That's going to feel great. And it's going to build that relationship. But it's also going to build not only the other parent in the eyes of the kids, but it builds you in the eyes of the kids as well, when they see that you love their other parents, that you respect them that you value them. And you think that they're great at whatever, Whether it's cooking or being happy or singing or whatever it is that they do that is well being there for the kids. Just verbally acknowledging that with the kids, I think really goes a long way.

Eddie White  43:52  
Yeah, I don't know how well we verbalize it. I don't know. My wife told my kids how great I wasn't enough. But I will say it's never too late. Yeah, no kid, I think there's a key part of that, which is also an attitude or a mindset that is about the family and my wife was awesome in this regard. In that she was all about the family. She's all about our relationship. She was about the children's role or raising of each of them and the children relationship with me. And so she was all about that. And for her. She was keen on taking actions because it wasn't about any one of us getting the credit. And she did something was funny. These I didn't realize this until I was actually writing my book and in the process of publishing it. Because I was sitting down with one of our reviews with our daughters. My oldest daughter said, Hey, Dad, why don't you write in the time when I was in middle school when I had a bad day with some boy and you sent flowers to the school? Sort of telling me everything's gonna be fine. And I go, Jalen, I remember doing that she was we talking about it. Then we looked over and my wife did it. But she said it was from me. So there were instances as the kids were growing up where she was attuned to what was going on in school, or they had a bad day or something happened. And she would give them some whether it was a letter or sent flowers or something like that. But she would attribute it to me. And what that allow for is for them to be more connected when I did my talks, because they'll say, oh, yeah, bass talks are long, I call them like nuggets, they're kind of boring, or whatever, but they always listen, you know, and I'm like, of course, you know, they're great life nuggets. But part of it was my wife was in the background. ceding relationships and conductivity that didn't quite exist, from my perspective, wasn't that a two, but I would eventually catch up. But her it was about making sure that the relationship between me and them was strong, and that the family functioned in that way of growth and development. And so you know, for a lot of women that are out there, even men, you should be investing in the family, you know, when you're having conversations, it should be about the family, about where each of the kids are, where you are, where your spouse or where y'all are as a unit. And so that goes into what you're saying, DJ, that gives a whole nother level of energy, a whole nother level of respect and recognition and appreciation. And that allows for the family to grow and really reach those potential that you see and that you aspire for.

DJ Stutz  46:23  
Yeah, I know that there were times when I would make sure that I worked things out. So dad was the one to say, yes. I could have said yes, no problem. But especially when the kids were young, my husband was working crazy hours. There were times he put in 100 hours in one week. Just wow. Yeah, he, yeah, he worked hard a 60 hour workweek was a blessing to us, like, Oh, good, only 60. But so I was always trying to make sure that he would get credit or that they would see him as being involved in excited, and all of those things. But I think that they're what you bring up that is so important is making sure that you are supporting the relationship with the other parent, not just you. And building that up. And what that does for a family is amazing.

Eddie White  47:16  
Yep, I agree with that. I'm not sure I can Alaknanda that, but I absolutely agree with it.

DJ Stutz  47:23  
Eddie, thank you so much for spending some time, how can you tell her listeners? How do they get a hold of you? How do they find out about your book?

Eddie White  47:30  
Yeah, so there's like two websites, depending on who is listening. So for fathers, I do have a case study video, you can go to raise confident, that one just allows you to, you know, provide an email. And then you can kind of see a little bit about some of my philosophies that share some here. But there's different views I have as far as being a leader of your home, and how you can do things in the present to affect the future. So raise confident, one of my websites, particularly for fathers, and then do you want to establish a relationship with me, we can go through there. My other site, which is for nonprofits, or community organizations, or churches, or anybody that wants to connect is my J. Edward white So www dot J. Edward white That is my site that has really my full suite of you can access my book there, you go to Amazon, or go through my website, you can see some of my videos, my blogs, different opportunities where we can partner, because a specific niche is about raising confident daughters, but we as parents, whether you're a father, a mother or the a boy, or girls, it's a challenge for everybody. So anything you can do, as a parent, in my view, to invest in your personal growth and development is going to impact your legacy, it's going to impact your children, it's going to impact your relationship potentially, with your spouse. So seeking that out, because it's not a requirement in life, to be a free educated bachelor degree, whatever parents know that that is not a requirement. So therefore, you have to have the personal initiative to do this. So my Jay white account exposes you to everything that I've offered from leadership from parenting in different things. And you can obviously get in contact with me through that, as well.

DJ Stutz  49:12  
Awesome. Eddie, thanks so much. We're gonna have all that information in the show notes. So any of our listeners can just pop down. And check that out. And if you have something coming up, and you'd like Eddie to be a part of that as maybe a workshop presenter or something, I'm sure that he can make that happen.

Eddie White  49:31  
Absolutely. Yeah.

DJ Stutz  49:33  
Well, thank you so much. And I'd love to have you on again some time and, and talk some more about the importance of fathers in the lives of our kids.

Eddie White  49:41  
Oh, absolutely. DJ now, you're on my list to respond to anytime you call you. Let me know and I'll respond. You know, it's not a long list, but it's a list that I definitely keep tabs on. So you know, there's so much to talk about and from parenting from fatherhood, from daughters from sons from relationships. There's a lot out there that I think any of your listeners just hearing the discussion, maybe we'll call it something to kind of stick with them that they can maybe explore. And I think we owe it to everybody, I haven't been married as long as you, my kids may not be as old as yours. But it's something about navigating the 20 plus years, raising children and that consider my daughters, my oldest daughter, she's been married for a year and a half, she's on the 96th percentile of income. If that's a barometer, she has a healthy marriage, if that's a barometer, she's very self confident and empowered, if that's a barometer, she's independent and functional, that whatever barometer you want to have, objectively, and I believe there's a fair number subjectively, that I'm very proud of my oldest daughter for where she is, what she is doing. And then my youngest daughter, I'm equally as proud, you know, she all both of them have their master's degree, both of them are self employed, neither of them are asking me for money, which is a huge, that's a personal barometer that I have, you know, they recognize that know what it means to be in a healthy relationship, they have a great relationship with each other with their mother, with their grandparents. And I am so proud of who they are as young women, and where they are, where they fit in society. And I don't believe it's coincidental that what my wife and I did for the 20 years before they left our house contribute to that, you know, always say, your child as a young adult is going to be successful either because of or in spite of you as a parent, and you just have to determine which side of the ledger Are you on. And you need to invest sooner than later so that you're on the positive side, and you can not only talk about but experience all their success and growth. So there's so much out there in the space that we're existing in DJ that I would love to just offer more to your audience, if you so invite me back?

DJ Stutz  51:43  
Absolutely. Yes. I would love to have you. So all our listeners, keep an eye out for Eddie White to be back on our program again. Eddie, I'm going to ask you the same question. I asked all my guests at the end. And Eddie, how would you describe a successful parent?

Eddie White  52:03  
Yeah, so if I can give two answers that will say one passively, and one actively so passively, I say a successful parent enabled their child or their children to become adults who are mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially healthy, as well as recognize respect and understand what it is to have a successful, you know, school job career, or be in a relationship. So I think you don't go in on the forefront and say, This is what I want to be as a successful parent, I think if you enable your child, to get to a point as an adult, to be able to operate in that space with a level of health, a level of comfort and confident, then that's good. Now my active one, which is before they become adults, you actually have in your mind, what you imagine them to be, which, you know, I don't know how many parents you talk to DJ that actually have that when their kids are four, or five or six. So in that instance, I would say that you effectively instilled the characteristics and attributes that you aspired for them when they were young. So whatever that is, whether that is spiritually led, high work ethic, independent, can manage money, whatever it is. And so that to me, if you imagine what your child can be, when they're a young adult, and you actually go forth over the 10 or 15 years and instill that in them, and you can sit back and as you look at them and say, Wow, that is what I had hoped when I was teaching them about fill in the blank, then I think you can reflect and say, Okay, I did the best I could. And it turned out to be successful. So those are my two answers to that question.

DJ Stutz  53:52  
I love it. And it's so interesting that sometimes you really don't know until it's down the road. But like, I believe with all my heart, we're all imperfect. And we're all giving it the best shot we can, but you've got some great direction there. For a good parent, a good place to start is where you just described. So thank you so much. And we'll talk to you again. Thanks, Eddie.

Eddie White  54:18  
Oh, thank you, DJ.

DJ Stutz  54:23  
I just love Eddie. I love his outlook and his enthusiasm and his dedication to his role. As Dad, it's so important. If you would like more information on Eddie, his book, or the services that he offers, all that information is in the show notes. And as I'm gaining more listeners with the podcast, I am able to reach out and actually help more families. And I can teach them as you know, because you're listening about how children develop and then how to use that knowledge to strengthen those family relationships. And it would really be a huge help to grow my podcast, if you would rate review and follow the podcast, and then tell your friends about us. These simple acts of kindness really do go a long way. And next week, my guest is Michael Magrutsche, and he is a neuro diverse adult who was a neuro diverse child. And so listen in as he talks about growing up without fitting into the systems that we established and how creativity made all the difference for him, check it out and see. And until next time, let's find joy in parenting.

Transcribed by


James "Eddie" White Jr.


Eddie is a speaker, author and educator devoted to helping parents lead their family by leveraging decades of leadership experience, reflective insights as a father. He is a certified parent instructor and holds a master’s in Adult Education.

He and his wife Vambie shared their parenting journey about raising their two daughters to be empowered young women in his self-published book titled StartPoint: Parenting in “the White House.”

His company – JED WHITE LLC, provides Adult Educational Services with focus on Leadership, Legacy and (Financial) Literacy to families, communities and organizations who seek to set the conditions for excellence for those they care for the most.