In this episode, Aaron and Josh sit down and discuss the differences of growing up with a father being present in the household. Josh will cover the struggles he has had with his confidence in being a great father figure and role model for his children due to the absence of his father. While Aaron discusses the impact of growing up with a father and the meaningful moments that are created.
- Fatherhood & Fatherlessness
- Parenting Struggles
- Childhood & Nurturing
- The Impact of Role Models
Aaron Tharp 0:00
The information provided in this episode is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you have questions regarding your health, please contact your medical provider.
All right, welcome back. So on the heels of Father’s Day, we are coming together to talk about issues of fatherlessness. So, Josh, this is something that, that you and I come to the table with very different paths on. Yeah, my parents are still together. My dad was a central figure in my life. And I don’t know, I honestly I don’t even think I could put my hand on or my finger on what my life would be like without him. So that’s a different experience for you. And I kind of wanted to just kind of get your take on how you’ve been able to navigate through and developing, turning into and integrating yourself as your own as as your own man. Not only that, but now that you’re a father as well.
Josh Simms 1:05
Yeah. So background, my, my dad, he my parents got divorced when I was three. And we lived in Oman, he moved to Florida. And I think between three and by the time I was 18. I price on like, four or five times in that time. So he wasn’t around my mom. She was high school dropout and no education worked for minimum wage with three boys. I’m the youngest of three. We grew up in we lived in like, little like rental houses, but like one floor of a rental house or we grew up in like we grew up in a trailer mostly right? Because what’s the single mom with no education supposed to do? Right. So that just from that standpoint, that’s that’s tough. The economic standpoint, you grew up poor on welfare, right government assistance. And then very little to no communication with my dad occasionally, you know, birthdays and Christmas and stuff like that we get a phone call or president but no real meaningful. I never had like a meaningful conversation with my dad Ray said, Gosh, I learned a lot from that. You know, there’s like, there’s nothing that comes from that. So it’s one of those things you don’t under you don’t I didn’t understand it as I kind of went through my life until I started getting older. And you kind of realize that like, moms really aren’t supposed to be dads like what’s mom’s supposed to do when there’s no dad around? moms don’t make good dads because they’re not supposed to. That’s not their role. And so as going through trials and tribulations in life, where it be nice to call dad or have dad be there’s Hey, Dad, I’ve got this issue, you know, we talked about this or just a dad being present understanding something’s going on with his boy, you know, and have those discussions, that stuff just wasn’t there. So, you know, I leaned on my older brothers, but they were in the same situation, they were just going through their life experience and guiding me from that, which is not, it’s not a great, it’s a great set of skills are a great tool set to work from, because you’re just you’re just learning writing your own book, there’s nothing you have nothing to take anything from. We’re good friends. And we grew up who who had parents who were who were invested in, there’s a few men in my life where I could point and say, like, I could see where they’re trying to help me. But at a certain point, what do you do, you can’t spend all your time with them. So there’s a little bit of guidance here when I got older into my teenage years, but not a whole lot. And the interesting thing about that, right is you can kind of skate by through life because you’re an adolescent or teenager and you know, you’re kind of expected to be an asshole in a way like guys just you know, oh, boy, what you know, what are you going to spec? Right? Boys will be boys, that stupid stuff. It all started to come out when I was in my 20s. Right? When you’re building meaningful relationships with people, there’s all these different times of like, okay, now it’s, you know, I was 1819 2021, turning into a man going into a man and you’re like, Well, what do I do now? Right? There’s, there’s no guidance for that. And so that’s where it really and that’s, you know, I talked to my therapist about that a lot about that specific time frame in my life and how things were really difficult. And when you grow up not seeing how, how a woman is supposed to be treated in a relationship, you know, as a wife, right? You have nothing to go through, you have nothing to learn from that you just kind of go into relationship and you’re kind of like I don’t I don’t get this right. It’s hard to understand that. And just being I think it’s, that’s still a struggle for me, my wife would cheat. She knows that, right? We talked about that often about how that’s hard for me. Because it was never modeled. You have nothing to work from hoping for the best. And just stuff where you’d learn how to be a man like I learned how to tie a tie on YouTube. Like, you know, that doesn’t seem significant to people, but it’s like your dad supposed to teach how to tie a tie when you’re like nine, right? I mean, we never even in situation we’d have no the money to do to be in a situation where we need to have a tie, but I remember I was I remember what it was for a funeral, or wedding or something, I didn’t know what to Titanic learned to do on YouTube. So stuff like that you think about that you’re like, those are meaningful moments to boys, when they’re growing up, you know, dad, teach him how to throw football, hit a baseball, you know, go on a date and how to treat a woman, you know, pull the chair out, open the door firm, so on and so forth, kind of etiquette, stuff in life. None of that all that stuff was kind of just picked up from friends picked up from people read on the internet. Like, that’s how I kind of learned all that stuff. That may not seem like it’s a big deal when I just talk about it. But that creates a lot of room for insecurity. Sure, if you never feel like you’re, you’re always like, what, what am I missing? I got to be missing something because I missed all of these things as I was growing up, so it creates it, and that seeps in. And that creates a lack of confidence. It creates an area of a gap in knowledge. So you always kind of feel like you’re, you’re inadequate or you don’t you’re not meeting the standard of what it is because there’s nobody to tell you whether you are or not.
Aaron Tharp 6:04
Well, you think it would just naturally cause you to question somewhat internally, maybe or take take on maybe a little bit more guilt. Yeah. That thinking that maybe you have something to do with it, or you know, what, what caused it? Right. So there’s, it’s, it would be natural to question some of that internally. Yeah, I can imagine. Seems like there was a little bit of drifting happening, too. Oh, yeah.
Josh Simms 6:26
Yeah, I mean, it was just I mean, it was, the story is, it could be long and detailed, right. We don’t have the time to go into that. But it created a lot of whenever there was a challenge, there was never, I was never given the support of the tools, more importantly, on how to how to push through them. Those are always really easy to kind of just, I’m just going to ignore that problem and go away from it. Because then the problems would eventually go away. But then you don’t ever learn. You go through life without a skill set on how to
Aaron Tharp 7:00
Yeah, you’re looking for what you’re hoping to get or what what Dad’s not only, but what they do really well is they is they teach you coping mechanisms, you know, they teach you boundaries, they teach you how to work through things that they they’re not going to always go your way that, you know, the the statement that you’re okay as you are well, you know, that’s not that’s not actually true worship, right. Yeah,
Josh Simms 7:26
I get the gloves will come off at some point in this conversation with stuff like that, like that. That stuff drives me insane. Right. So,
Aaron Tharp 7:34
yeah, because too much of that breeds a lot of Okay, well, you know, if I if I’m okay, as I am, and then I get out in the real world that doesn’t go the way that I, I’m used to, then that causes resentment, all that rejection, and it’s a it can, it’s confusing, right? Because it doesn’t match or mirror what you’re used to or what you’re conditioned from.
Josh Simms 7:53
Yeah, cuz if somebody you go work at a job, and somebody has a set of expectations for you, when you don’t meet them, and they tell you like, well, I’m okay as I am, right. That’s what Twitter told me. Right? Right. So it’s you that you’re the problem, not me, right.
Aaron Tharp 8:05
I were down would have came in and said, okay, you know, in a very in a very loving way. Yeah. But also in a very direct way would have been okay, well, you know, let’s examine where you’re at, and and examine who you could be meaning, okay, this is where we’re at today. Let’s examine maybe what our insufficiencies are, what our inadequacies are where we fell short, so that we can build coping mechanisms, build tools, so that we can get to that place where it doesn’t happen anymore.
Josh Simms 8:34
Yep. Right. Yep. And the meaningful the meaningful moments of growing up with a dad were you teaching you how to, I don’t know, whatever it is, change the oil in your car, mow the lawn, just those kind of life skills that seem to be ingrained in men as they grow up? Like, how did you learn that it started grilling and smoking brisket and mow the lawn and drink a beer and nail hammer at the same time, right? It’s not just like, that’s just pouring out of my DNA, right? Like, somebody taught you that you just honed those skills over time that you were given. And that’s I think that’s, I think there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of value in that stuff. Because it if you’re taught how to do little things, it gives you the confidence to try harder, bigger things on your own, but knowing that you got Okay, so I’ve run into a problem here. I know I can call dad like I’m trying to build the deck. Dad, I know that we kind of did some of this before I’m going wrong somewhere. Do you know how to do it? Well, I don’t but let me call somebody. We’ll do it together. Yeah, come on, I’ll come over and help you out. Right. But when you never have that you’re always just kind of like Well, I don’t have that. So I’m not going to try so I’m going to call this dude just to come and do it for me. Which you know, some people just know their limitations like, just not handy. Right? That’s okay. But if you’re in that’s in many other scenarios in life is not just that’s just a 111 issue that could pop up but there’s lots of different other other areas that that can be an issue and right.
Aaron Tharp 9:52
Well, yeah, if your goal setting Yeah, imagine as a kid you wanted to be a major league baseball player. That’s a bit lofty. I mean, I’m no disrespect to you. ballgame, but like, maybe you wanted to be a chef or whatever. If If attempts to to achieve that goal, without coping mechanisms and discipline in place and strategy and working through issues and examining them, not just that you’re okay as you are. The continuous pursuit of falling short of a goal is going to cause you to become shameful of yourself. Yeah. I mean, you’re going to question that naturally, because it’s like, Okay, well, I want that. And if it’s, if it’s to be, and because I’m told that, you know, I’m deserving and that I’m okay as I am, that, that, not that I’m entitled to it. But I’m somewhat owed that.
Josh Simms 10:43
guy. I think it’s I Dude, I think you’re dead on I think there is an entitlement with that. Because if you’re okay, if you really truly think like, I don’t have anything to work on in my life, right? I do everything I get I deserve, right, which I hate that I deserve that. No, you earned it, right? You have to work for it to get it. They’re just like, I don’t just deserve a paycheck. Right? I go to work, and I earned my paycheck. I don’t, I don’t deserve the vehicle that I buy, I go to work, I earned my money to buy the vehicle. I earned all of that. Right. And that’s, I think that’s a huge distinction that you make there because I think it truly is an entitlement, you know, that I’m owed that. But I mean, that’s it’s,
Aaron Tharp 11:20
and it’s conceivable to because if you grew up and and, and all of your needs were being met, and you were the central, you were the center of, of the discussion, and it was all about making sure that things were nice and, and caressed over for you. That you all your needs were met. And then like we said before, when it didn’t match that, I mean, that entitlement, that’s that’s like the beginning of narcissism to some extent, because you don’t have an objective viewpoint about Okay, maybe it’s not my turn or other people have things that they’ve worked for, or that they’re trying to achieve or a role for as well. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. And so, well, I appreciate you sharing that story. I mean, that’s a big thing. And you know, what we’re going to go through today, we, we brought some stats, and I’ve read a few books. I don’t have kids of my own, you do watch here again, we’re in different places. My brother is about to have a kid but you know, one of the one of the best books that I’ve ever read, I’d recommend this for anybody watching or yourself. It’s called the boy crisis. And it’s by a guy called Warren Farrell. So Warren Farrell was a, a spokesperson for really first wave feminism in the 70s, where he was beginning to notice that the the pursuit of freedom that women were trying to achieve out of the civil rights movement, and it was it was a, it was almost a unilateral decision that was made that they that they knew what was best for the kids. And that, you know, there was almost like this oppression narrative that men were oppressive, and we know what’s best. So, you know, we don’t really we don’t really need dad, it doesn’t need to be around as much. Well, that didn’t that didn’t really focus on that focused on the really more the needs of her than it did the focus of the needs of the child. Yeah. So you know, you can imagine that, you know, the medical profession, which I understand to be mostly not all but pretty female, populated.
Josh Simms 13:22
I think at the physician level, it’s a little more male dominant when you get to like physician assistant nurse practitioners, nurses, like there. It’s a it’s more female dominant. Sure. Yeah, I think the double check that but i think that’s, I think that’s pretty close. Yeah.
Aaron Tharp 13:39
So the example that I’m going to give is, you can imagine that if the if the medical community would say, Well, we know what’s best, we know the needs of our patients. So it would be best if if women were not involved in this. I mean, that’s, it’s not apples to apples, but it’s like pretty damn close, though. Yeah. It’s you have to look at it rationally in that way to say, okay, we’re making the unilateral decision. That’s like, we don’t know the ramifications of this. We now today know the ramifications of what came out of the 70s. where, you know, there’s, there’s a big lack of delayed gratification. There’s an addiction to a lot of video games, video pornography, there’s a lot of rage, a lot of internal strife, because they don’t know how to contend and deal and cope. and accept the inadequacies that could be dealt with and work through. Yeah. So, you know, the probably one of the biggest things that that kids get when dad’s involved is the benefits of rough and tumble play. You know, for the first nine months, you could say conceivably, that mom is really in the best position dad’s there to kind of make sure that mom’s okay and obviously the baby’s okay too. But you know, after about nine months, that’s when dad can kind of swoop in? And also free up mom, maybe for other kids or whatever the case may be. You have kids? I don’t. So maybe you could keep me honest on that?
Josh Simms 15:09
Well, I mean, I think from if you look at it from like an evolutionary standpoint, just from that, like the first nine months, dad is the protector of the family, right? Like, that’s what you’re there for. That’s why like, when we even we talk about like, maternity leave being like, six 812 weeks, it’s an adequate amount of time for mom to be at home, when dad should be able to continue to provide and watch over the family and that mom do that kind of bonding and building with the baby. And then once baby is kind of more aware and up and ready to move around, that’s when that’s when dad can get involved too. Right? That’s, that’s when the rough and tumble play, rolling around on the ground with the kid you know, getting on your, you know, your belly and playing with playing with baby and stuff like that, like that’s probably on the time that I would say that that was going on. And I was always there. Like, obviously, it’s generations a little bit different. Now, the expectation is to dads to be a little more hands on, which is good, I love doing that stuff. It was fun. But they get a lot more interactive, obviously, as that 912 months, 1618 months, right.
Aaron Tharp 16:06
And they also get to see, and this is for both boys and girls, they also get to see the difference between us what what is assertive, versus what’s aggressive. Because we’re more men or boys, we’re more prone to aggression, we just are. We’re naturally wired that way. But there’s a big distinction between being assertive and being aggressive. So boys get to see that and they get to see how to channel that to be integrated, right early age. And then daughters get to see that. And that affects how they navigate their own mating strategies as they get older. So they can see that Okay, that’s, I’ve seen that before I know how this goes. And this is not the direction I prefer to go. Or if they knew that, you know the difference, then they can actually spot the difference. Sure. Yeah, I
Josh Simms 16:57
mean, I think and that’s modeled through a good healthy marriage, right? I think it kind of circles back to that. And we talked about that in a previous episode. But if a boy and a girl feels like I have two daughters and a son, if they see me be assertive, and my protection of my wife and my kids, then my daughters know, okay, that’s when my husband or boyfriend, whomever is supposed to have that aggressive nature, right? We’re not going to go out to dinner is going to stare everybody down and give everybody the crazy guy, you look at my wife, right? You know, like that type of guy. Don’t need that. Right. That’s, and that’s why it’s important for dads to be able to have that I just kind of to, to, to support what you’re saying there.
Aaron Tharp 17:38
Yeah, so the, that’s a huge distinction, because you know, you need to be up, they need to be able to, to know that and to be able to spot it, right. So, you know, the kids on average, are more more likely to drop out of school, there’s teenage pregnancy, which you got over there. They’re also more like, and we’re living ramp it through these next to, so their boys are far more likely to get addicted to video games. And, and the concept there is that like, okay, I can I can go into a almost a 3d model, right? And I can be the king of that game. And if I fail, nobody gets to see me fail. So that’s unwitnessed. And I can also modify my approach. So that way, I can go back and then win in a way that makes me the king of the game. Yeah, right. easier, you
Josh Simms 18:33
can start over. Exactly right. No, no consequences other than a little bit of wasted time.
Aaron Tharp 18:39
Yeah. So I mean, that’s actually great for like any endeavor in terms of like a skill building or on your job, or whatever it is. I’m not saying that video games are a waste of time. But like when there’s an addiction, that’s what’s happening. And it’s a dopamine response to that. That’s happening big time. Yeah. So that doesn’t translate over into real life, which is a real problem. Yeah. They don’t actually have like a focus or they’re not driven or they don’t have direction at all.
Josh Simms 19:06
Yeah, and I think another thing with the video game aspect is like, now, you can communicate with people on video games, right? Yeah. Which is like, well, well, I’m being social, right? I’m just kidding. Yeah. But then when like, you’re sitting there, and you’re playing against somebody, and there’s like, racial slurs, and I’ll find you and I’ll kick your ass. And I’ll come to you. And it’s like, first one that you’re not right, like, so there’s no, there’s no repercussion for the way that you talk to somebody. And that’s also the problem with social media too, right? Like, I can say, whatever I want to anybody. Nothing bad’s gonna happen to me. It’s like, go outside and find the nearest dude and say something to him and see what happens. So I think it also builds that false sense of security, that false sense of like, I am being assertive and I am being aggressive and I am being social. When it’s all really it’s not real. So, yeah, B and
Aaron Tharp 19:49
B. Just like we were saying before, when there’s not there’s not an established Okay, this is this is what is assertive or what’s aggressive. These are the proper channels and the proper display of that. Meaning if I should actually be doing this at my job so that I can become a more competent person, so that I’m better for my family, I’m more of an attractive maid, I’m adding value. That’s really what you should be striving for. But when when you don’t have that direction, and you become addicted to video games, let’s say or more video porn, then that’s where all of those efforts go to. And it doesn’t that you don’t involve real people. You don’t involve real endeavors, real skill building.
Josh Simms 20:32
How do I get through what I need to do the fastest to get to the stuff that I want to do? Yeah, instant gratification. Yeah, right. It’s exactly what it is. And I think the generation specifically like your dad’s and the generations before us, they didn’t have any of that incident. So they just were forced to have built in, like, delayed gratification. Yeah. So for them, they just cannot, it does not compute to them why? Even our generation has that quite a bit, especially even as we get older, and technology gets more involved. I have to be very careful about that with my kids. Like, you can’t just have what you want, like right now. Like, I mean, even like, I’ll be on the internet, my phone’s going on. I’m like, What the hell’s you know, and it’s like, three and a half second, like Shut up, you know? But I think in, you know, our memories start to form three, four years old, right? So we don’t see kind of the grind that dad went through, like my kids won’t ever remember, I was even a non traditional student. I didn’t go to college until I was 27. Right? Again, part of that, like, hey, should I get this done earlier than later? Thanks, Dad. No dad, right, you know, so but they still didn’t see kind of like, studying and putting them to bed at like 10 o’clock and studying till two in the morning and waking up at five, it was like they didn’t see any of that. Right? They just see kind of the fruits of that labor. Right. And so it’s important to and I think doing things to create more patients and kids is important. That’s how you get patient, you do stuff that requires patients, right. And I think that’s, that helps stave off that instant gratification if you can do anything to make your kids like my son loves, loves to cook, right. And I like that because it makes him do a stepwise process to get to the end result. He can’t shortcut. a shortcut that cake buddy. It’s gonna taste like ass. Right? Right. Do you want to shortcut any of that food. So it’s, I like to let him do it. Because it’s, it’s a low risk that something bad’s gonna happen to him, right? And it’s a high reward because it teaches in patience. It teaches them skills that teaches them how to follow a step by step process to get to the goal.
Aaron Tharp 22:29
Right. Exactly. Yeah, there’s a framework in place. Exactly. Yeah, because, like you mentioned, so if they only get to getting if you’re only getting to see the fruits of the labor and not the actual grind, then there’s, there’s no there’s no patience. There’s no structure around it. There’s no okay. There’s, there’s work to be done. You have to sacrifice things that you want to do. You’re you’re you’re you’re making a bet against the future, because you want it now, we who doesn’t, right? But you’re you’re you’re making a bet against the future and sack being sacrificial for something that you want, that you can’t attain, or that you can’t have in your hand now. Exactly. So without any of that any of those coping skills. I mean, you’re you’re left with nothing. You’re aimless. Yep.
Josh Simms 23:17
There’s a podcast that I listen to. It’s called day $1.00. It’s a great podcast. It’s about these these from these two real estate agents in Denver. And they did this one that was centered around kind of fighting off that instant gratification. And I think the guy who he quoted His name is Brian Chon Tosh. I pronouncing that incorrectly. But he has a saying, remember the future. And it’s AI. And the more I think about that, I think it’s incredibly powerful. Right? So let’s say you want to lose weight, right? So you have a choice of a chicken salad, or you have a choice of a pizza. Well remember the future, right? And focus on the future of your goals, and choose the chickens out, right? Because we’re also coming Oh, well, this happened to me in the past, I’m going to function from the bad things that happened to me. And that’s one of the things I’ve always told myself, like, I’m not going to I’m not going to operate my life out of like, what happened to me that my dad wasn’t there that he was a piece and he was never around, he was gone and not going to have that like, I’m going to be a good dad, because my dad was a shitty dad. I want to be a good dad. So my kids benefit from that. And so that when they’re older, they have better skills. And I have and they’re more equipped to face the world than I was not because my dad was a terrible dad, but because the future for them is more important than what happened to me in the past. So so I think from that instant gratification thing, I think a thing that people can help people, dads, everybody around, is that kind of just remembering your future. What goals do you have for yourself? What plans do you want for yourself? And what are the right choices that you can make to remember your future to get to your future? Sorry, can I sidetracked?
Aaron Tharp 24:50
No, you’re you’re you’re leading if you were to lead with your first point, which is that that your dad wasn’t good to you? And that as a result of that you’re going to make it better. that’s a that’s a that’s a virtuous place to come from. But it’s also there’s also a bit of resentment in that exactly, which is that you’re doing it in spite. You’re you’re not doing it. Again, for the kids. You’re doing it because of that, and you’re because of your own stuff. Exactly. So great point there. Boys will actually develop less sperm and have lower levels of testosterone, which is pretty natural. I mean, if you it’s conceivable, I guess, right. So do you know what telomeres are?
Josh Simms 25:34
Yeah, they’re the ends of the DNA that degrade as we age,
Aaron Tharp 25:37
right? So if Dad’s not involved, then boys on average have a 40 or 40%, more or shorter telomeres, it was found this is this is a stat that I found in, in the effect of neuroscience interesting book called The app or aspect of neuroscience by Yak Panksepp, I could only contend with about 15% of it, because it was so I’m not very tall. So it’s not very, you know, that much to get over my head. But it was very interesting. You know, one of the things that he found, too, was that the biggest one of the biggest social developments of the prefrontal cortex was rough and tumble play. So that, you know, rats will actually they’ll actually work to get into the play arena, meaning, okay, you could translate that to, okay, I want to, I want to go out and play or I want to have wrestling time, or I want to read my favorite book. But I have to brush my teeth, or I have to do my homework. And I have to do all these things. So I will work so that I can have my reward, which I found was interesting. And when that was actually suppressed, it was it was found that the rats that they tested on testing on they exhibited symptoms of ADHD, which they treated with Ritalin. So are we not living at a time again, like we said, the videos, the video games, the pornography, the rapid ADHD, the Ritalin? I mean, all those drugs, kids are being pumped full of that’s, that’s where we’re living in now.
Josh Simms 27:09
Yeah. And I think the problem is, is that the way that our world is heading is that it’s almost the rich are becoming richer because of things like ADHD, like if you can, however, you can keep somebody’s attention, they’re going to do it. And so you pick up a phone, you go to a website, right? It’s just all kinds of stuff palming off, just to make, make sure you log in and somebody with ADHD that people think, the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, when you give those people very stimulating things, video games, Twitter, Facebook, they will lock in and be just sucked into that for hours. And they’ll remember the time go, right? Would you give them a book 10 minutes or like asleep, or they’re not interested in it like, so. And then the more I think the more so that’s so one of the premises of neuroscience is the plasticity of the brain. And the reason why we study rats is because they’re easy to breed they have they grow quickly. And they’re very similar to humans. And they’re genetically
Aaron Tharp 28:08
Do they run on on a serotonin, like model or structure. Is it? Does that regulate kind of like their hierarchies? And how they rank order each other?
Josh Simms 28:16
That’s a good question. I’m not sure about that. But their genetics are very similar to humans. So that’s why we can use them as reliable study sources. So that’s why mice and rats are constantly study because they’re there. They’re there. They’re pretty close to us from a genetic standpoint. Yeah. So the brain actually will, it’s plastic. And what I mean by that is it will change in the structure will kind of change a neural connections will change based off of the input that is put in. So if you put in a bunch of very stimulating things to somebody, it’s almost like you’re forcing their brain to become reliant on high stimulant stuff. And so then they become attention to sebut deficit to things that aren’t super stimulating. So you say, Okay, I want to play video games megaphone all day long, and go read a book for an hour, and they’re like, I cannot do it, people cannot do it. And so it’s almost as if the system cripples these poor kids, you know, they have to go through that. And I did it. Same problem over here, exact same issue that I had, when I was growing up, I had trouble focusing. But it was ADHD, but it’s just a lack of, of being, of being taught of how to how to manage at a time manage how to do things. And in order to get what you want, it was always like, well, the easy thing, you know, you’re the single mom, which you’re gonna do at a certain point three boys trying to burn the house down, put them in front of something on a Saturday, so they will not kill each other. So I don’t blame my mom. But, you know, that’s it’s almost as if the system is rigged against those types of kids.
Aaron Tharp 29:41
Well, the one of the things that came out of the boy crisis was that they that boys were far less likely to develop reading and writing skills, which is the single most important factor in most any successful endeavor. So the again, by elevates your point because, again, with reading and writing, I mean, that’s a real, okay, I have to sit down, I have to do this. Because it’s something that I want to achieve or attain or get in the future. I don’t want to do right now. I want to be stimulated now. So it’s like, Why Why? Read for an extended period of time or right for an extended period? Why
Josh Simms 30:17
would I read a book that’s going to take me a week to finish watching a movie? That’s going to take me two hours? Yes, yeah.
Aaron Tharp 30:24
So rough and tumble plays a big one. And that’s, you know, let’s be honest, it’s, we are boys, I will say we’re more prone to just, we like to, we like to find that’s on the edge. So that’s where it’s like the best right is where it’s like, okay, it’s fun. And it’s right on the edge, but like dad’s supposed to be there to kind of be the ref and everything. So like, if things go too far, if somebody got poked in the eye, or if maybe got somebody got touched inappropriately, or things got out of hand, Dad should be there to be, you know, kind of set the boundaries.
Josh Simms 31:01
Yeah. So that in that rough and tumble, yeah.
Aaron Tharp 31:02
So that way they know when they go to kindergarten or first grade or whatever that like, okay, there are limits here. And there are there are physical ramifications to my actions. If I make somebody else cry, I should. One of the things that I found interesting is, and I remember this as a kid, when when a child makes somebody else cry, they don’t look at the kid, that it’s a natural shame reaction that they have. They don’t want to see that. Yeah. But you should make them look at it. You should, especially when they’re really young. So that triggers that like, that embodied empathy, so that we can see Oh, my actions actually made somebody else cry. So you know, that avoids any type of like, my needs are the only thing that matters. And you don’t become like a narcissist freak, right?
Josh Simms 31:54
Yeah. When you when you don’t have to see it, you can walk away from it, then you have no accountability to it. Exactly. When you think about it. Yeah.
Aaron Tharp 32:01
Yeah. So the other thing too, is that like, if dad’s there, and he got multiple kids, so like, then he can also be there to, you know, make it so that there’s, the kids can understand that they can need to be judicial in the times. Okay, it’s my turn now. And that maybe it’s my sister’s turn next time and everybody gets to have their turn. And then when the fun stops, that’s when dad says, okay, no, there’s a limit here. Now we have to either, you know, go clean our rooms, or whatever the case may be. Play stops when everybody’s not having fun anymore. Yeah. So, I mean, imagine that, you know, when you’re rough and tumble and play with your kids, you know, oh, yeah,
Josh Simms 32:44
there’s a governor in there. You got to stop. Yeah. My brothers and I. Sure, not pretty.
Aaron Tharp 32:51
Yeah. And honestly, that’s something boys or girls, whatever, that’s something that mom will kind of, Okay, calm down, or we don’t want to get out of hand or you’re playing too close to the glass. You know, but it’s important that they understand that because the long term ramifications of that, right, that they get to they they experienced that embodied empathy, that everybody gets to have a turn that that it can still be safe. And that there there are boundaries here. You know, if you go ask most teachers, I bet they’d be able to tell you, like if you’re having a private conversation with them, most teachers from preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, wherever it is, they they’ll tell you that they can spot the ones who don’t have fathers. Yeah. Because during play, they get awkward and they don’t know.
Josh Simms 33:38
You know, they don’t play well with others. Yeah, they kind of push things past the limit. Now I the one fortunate thing for me is having two other brothers when I was growing up as I I knew where the lines were. I knew the lines don’t cross sure. But then also having two other brothers as your kids from cross crossing lines and nobody to mess with you. So it’s kind of a double edged sword. Sure. Yeah, cuz it but he probably go to it was probably more too far. Well, I when I because I knew that like, you know, you can’t, just because I knew and I get my ask me my brother’s like, I don’t want I don’t want to have somebody else feel that way. Because it sucks when I feel that way. So I kind of I had that a little bit on my side. Sure. But they didn’t. So I can’t see it from them. They my brothers are good dudes. I love him to death. And they’re successful guys now. But I mean, you can see some of the struggles of like, what the hell is going on? And then you think about it, and you’re like, Oh, it’s because of dad, or there would have been no, come here. And this. You’re not supposed to do that. That is not what you do
Aaron Tharp 34:32
it play what too far? Yeah. It’s not fun anymore. So then it stops. And if if, if kids go to school that way, you know, I would imagine that I don’t have kids. But I would imagine by by methods of encouragement, because you don’t want to try and fix your kids problems. You want to try and encourage them and help them through in a coping way to get through the challenges like Hey, I know you maybe fell short. You didn’t get to start this week on the baseball team. But that doesn’t mean that you will always be that way. Let’s examine where you’re at now and how you can actually get there. Yeah. Do you help them? And so that they understand that there, there’s no insufficiencies that can’t be overcome? Yeah. Right.
Josh Simms 35:17
Yeah. And I, and I think one of the things that is important as dads is, is using your life experience as examples, your failures to let your kids know, like, hey, like, it’s gonna happen. But this is how we’re going to get through it. And even when you screw up, like when I screw up with my kids, I apologize to my dad, dad screwed up, I’m sorry. Like, that’s, that wasn’t my intention, or I did this incorrectly, right? So they know like, okay, so Dad’s not perfect. But he also knows that he’s, he’s willing to make himself vulnerable. And show show me that, like, it’s okay to tell people that you’re wrong, like, your pride is not the most important thing in the room. Because I think that’s one of the things that we face today is that it’s almost as if you’re, if you’re wrong, or you have to admit that you’re wrong. You have no value anymore. to people like, well, that guy’s wrong. He’s not an expert. And then it’s like, well, you know, everybody’s wrong all the time. It just happens. But it’s almost like people have to dig in now. Because they feel like if I’m, if I’m wrong, then I’m not going to have any value. It’s almost as if someone didn’t tell them like, you know, it’s okay to be wrong. Now, you just learned from the mistake that you made, and then you become better, right? And I think that’s important when kids when kids see that when dad’s model that to them like, Hey, I’m sorry, I did this. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I didn’t mean to do this, I’m going to change my behavior to be better. So that you don’t that doesn’t, you know, if it’s if it’s a it’s a parenting gaff, right? If you do mess up legitimately, by take something away from my kids, because they’re doing something they get upset in my eyes. That’s on you. I’m not gonna I’m not gonna apologize, because you’re crying because you were doing something you were supposed to do, right? So I don’t want to I don’t want to come across like that. But, you know, we all legitimately make parenting mistakes, it happens. And I think being candid with your kids about that is really valuable.
Aaron Tharp 37:04
One It reminded me one of the things that we were talking about before we before we recorded today was all kids, they love to be tossed in the air. Right? It’s you see it all the time, they get you know, tossed in the air kids love it, because it’s you’re mixing a lot of excitement and a lot of safety at the same time and a very developmentally crucial age. So they get to experience that like calm, you know, free falling and then, you know, then you get caught, right? Dad catches you. Well, sometimes if maybe you slip or or you maybe fell that also conditions and then there’s doubt like oh my god, you know, I didn’t catch it, but I’m here. Yeah, that conditions kids to then understand that like, okay, within the confines of a trusting relationship, things can go bad that aren’t of your doing. But that’s still okay. And and dad made a mistake, but he’s clearly here. And that’s, you know, he’s owning up to it. So you are you’re conditioning them. And you’re showing them that from a very early age. Yep. To interesting stuff, so I don’t Yeah, we talked about the for the so for the first nine months, you know, dads really aren’t that? Aren’t that really necessary? I mean, that they are but like, they’re just not as crucial. You’re a protector and a supporter. Right?
Josh Simms 38:28
Yeah. What are you gonna do, you can breastfeed a kid? Somebody debate that and I’ll debate them but you cannot breastfeed your child as a man and so what value in just a sense of like, what what do you just naturally I’d ask somebody what do you think the role of a dad is at that time then it’s to protect protect mom provide for mom makes her she can stay with the child. Make sure she’s nervous so she can produce the milk to feed the child protect the child, you know, that’s from an evolutionary standpoint, if I look at it that way, that’s that is the role of the man at that time. Yeah.
Aaron Tharp 39:03
So the one of the things here too, that young girls when they get time with dad, when they get hangout time with that doesn’t matter what it is that that’s a really good it’s almost the single most important thing to like psychological centeredness meaning that you know, like we said before, they can kind of understand the difference between aggression and dominance and and remember the other one but assertiveness That’s right. Yeah. So it’s really good for for girls too. I mean, you know, we talk about men’s issues and a lot of this is a big topic right now with boys and fatherlessness but there’s a there’s a there’s a girls component to this as well. Yeah, I
Josh Simms 39:45
mean, think about it, dude, how many times you hear the joke she’s got daddy issues. Sure. I and it’s probably true guys script women all the time. I mean, it’s it’s it’s we’re not meeting the needs of young women. It’s just young women and girls. It’s just true. And and I spending time with my daughters, just one on one, it shows them that that dad is there for them. Right? And that Dad’s going to provide for them, he’s going to make them feel special on their time. He’s going to protect them if they needed to be protected. And that’s super huge. And you build relationships. And you’re able to be with your daughters and touch them appropriately. You know, hugging cuddling, those types of things are perfectly normal, right? with young girls, like my daughter’s nine mother ones, three, they love just to hang out with my daughter’s eight, sorry, she’ll be nice. We’ll just hang out and cuddle with that on the couch and watch a show.
Aaron Tharp 40:35
That’s really important to because then there again, to your modeling, what’s appropriate,
Josh Simms 40:40
Aaron Tharp 40:40
Right, exactly. That’s huge, right? Yep. I’m really glad that you brought that up. Because you know, if you don’t have any sense of that, if you don’t really know where the boundaries are at boy or girl, especially for girl like that’s huge.
Josh Simms 40:54
Yep. Yeah. I am not a perfect dad. So I’m not trying to come off like that when I say these things, but it’s important. I I’m talking from personal experience, and just my education from when I was a psychology and neuroscience was raised from Child Development, everything. And those things are critical for all kids, right? Knowing that they’re safe and protected, knowing how they’re supposed to safely interact with people. Parents model that to them, right. Okay. You’re not supposed to be touched there. This is okay. This is not okay. And so, it’s, I think people don’t understand how important that is for kids, mostly girls, like really, really, girls. I mean, like, my daughter doesn’t want to know how to mow the lawn. She doesn’t care, right? That’s not her thing. She wants to go get ice cream and hang out and show dad her dance moves. Right? Dad’s there to cheer her along and show her that he loves her and he supports her. It’s, it’s huge for her.
Aaron Tharp 41:51
Yeah, one he said the at the top something about that we are not always the best in our leadership or that, you know, he got daddy issues. I think part of that comes from a majority, not majority, but a large part of it comes from our are lying to them about that, that careers the most important orientation in their life. And it doesn’t mean that it can’t be. But by and large, it’s not. It’s not really how they’re wired. No. So when you fundamentally tell them at a young age that like careers, your pursuits, it’s, it’s it’s really that and nothing else, and you don’t need men, and it’s like, okay, that that’s that’s an extreme. And it’s also not how females are oriented. Not all females. Yeah. So I think it’s a it’s a disservice to two daughters to when they don’t get that time. And when we’re fundamentally telling them their direction, because it’s it’s what some sort of ideology that that is of our own experience. Yeah. Not for the best needs of the of the child. Exactly.
Josh Simms 42:59
Yeah. I mean, I don’t talk to my kids about like, what they should or shouldn’t do, or what they should focus on. I mean, their kids, but even as they get older, it’s kind of like, hey, let’s try some stuff. And whatever you like, if one day you come home and you say, Dad, I just want to be a mom, I would say, okay, that’s fine. My husband that just wants to, you know, a wife that just wants to be a mom, like, that’s a perfectly noble and awesome thing to do. And I think also It teaches I think, one of the things I I was, I think I misunderstood what you’re saying and then and that got it at the end. But what I was thinking at one point was like, women, you know, we always talk about career and guys, like, what do you do, right? So if a guy is like, Oh, I’m pre med, or I’m gonna do this or that everything like women, they kind of are impressed by that for a second. But then the thing I think that’s going through the back of your mind is like, Okay, this person will be able to provide for me, Oh, for sure. It’s safe. Yeah, I won’t have to worry about money. Right? So I think that’s, I mean, I don’t really care what you do, right? They care that you can provide, keep them safe, and then still be a husband at the same time. A small portion of it. So I mean, I think our social media lifestyle and all that stuff is work that a little bit, right, like you don’t drive a BMW, you don’t have a vacation house and blah, blah, blah, but not many people do. Right? It’s not reality. So I think from from that standpoint, I misunderstood I think that’s an important thing to kind of understand I think the one brain obviously works a little bit different than the man brain I think that’s an that they see it a little bit different than the way that we would portray it right. We’re trying to get this one hook up with this girl. She’s like, well, how are you gonna keep me safe able, right, you know, so right but and I think dads give girls that feeling like okay, my dad was there. He would when he went to work, you’d come home he keep me safe. We always were able to eat I was close. I was able to do activities he provided for me, he kept us safe. Now what are you gonna do? Right so that’s where the dad portion of that comes in for girls. Yeah. Well, I don’t have anything else to add, but this has been really good. I think we should run down some of these. These these stats and kind of maybe pick out where a dad would have helped With that, so four times greater risk of poverty and fatherless families. It’s clearly just a single income. Family mother, usually
Aaron Tharp 45:11
probably some government assistance there. If there’s not a good family support system, you’re also you’re also dealing without. We’ve talked about at length, the discipline piece, you know, there’s a lot of aimless kids without fathers, they don’t know which direction to go. They don’t have the discipline, the grit, they haven’t developed any of those coping skills.
Josh Simms 45:30
So they’re aimless. So let’s say you have a single mother with four or five kids, right? And dad splits, you grew up in that family of poverty? Well, you get buku government assistance, right? So you instantly learned to rely on somebody else to provide for you then yourself, because dad isn’t there to provide for you to show you that you can do it. And so you start a generational problem, right? Because then Okay, well, if I’m not around, I know that she’s going to be provided for because we were provided for by the government, and we got checks every month and got a big tax return. So I must, I must not play that big of a role in kid’s life When I grow up, right. And so you create that generational issue. And that’s, I think that’s a big one, it drives me crazy to think about that. More likely to have behavioral problems. That’s the ADHD, depression, anxiety stuff. There’s a lack of discipline, there’s a lack of comfort, lack of safety, knowing that they’re protected. So that creates uncertainty creates bigger issues within their life, just in any challenge that they would meet, they never feel adequate. And it just starts to perpetuate from there. Seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen from a female standpoint, and probably males are probably more likely to impregnate women more likely to face abuse and neglect because they’re not in a protected home. Right. Well, it’s
Aaron Tharp 46:44
their it’s their norm. Yep. So if that’s your norm, when you grow up, if if if strife and arguments, and if a lot of that movement and contention was what you were used to when things are calm when you’re an adult in a relationship. That’s when they’re uncomfortable? Because they’re not used to that chaos. Yep. Or that lack of chaos. Excuse me. So they’ll seek it out.
Josh Simms 47:07
Because it’s a company. Exactly. It’s a company. And I think that abuse and the abuse portion comes from mom has a few kids. But then a guy comes into the into the family who doesn’t have kids, and it’s not their kids, they don’t give a damn about them. We don’t listen to them and beat the shit out of you then. Right? That’s where I think that abuse portion comes in. But then that becomes normal for them. So yeah, it does create that that hindrance later in life.
Aaron Tharp 47:33
I want to add on something to that to that if there’s multiple if mom’s bringing in multiple guys. Not at the same time. But if if if the every six months, there’s a new guy, right? Right. So then it would be natural for guys to take on this like, okay, you’re we’ve had this before. Yeah, so they kind of get resent full against men in general, too. Yep. Because it’s almost like this patriarchal resistance that they have.
Josh Simms 48:02
Yeah, and you see that in males now you know, the male feminist, right? I mean, it’s super common. Like you’ll see guys that are like, oh, half the patriarchy it’s like over. So yes, yeah. Yep, more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. Again, that’s a coping mechanism. More likely to suffer obesity again, that’s a poverty issue. People or poverty generally have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, so on and so forth discipline to yet but it’s it’s cheaper to buy frozen pizza than it is to buy vegetables and fruits and proper exercise. Like you just don’t kids don’t get enrolled in activities, because there’s not the money there. There’s no call for that to say dad was like, well, I grew up playing baseball and soccer. So guess what you’re gonna do and if you don’t like it, after three years, we’ll quit and find something else. But you’re gonna do it. Two times more likely to drop out of high school. More likely to commit crimes more likely to go to prison. These are all like, well documented statistics, but I don’t think people are super aware of them. And this transcends, it’s, it’s a little bit it’s a greater in, in African American communities, but it transcends all races and all economic statuses. You take the father out of the home, he intentionally leaves and does not help or he’s kicked out of the home and he’s not present. You see this increase? It doesn’t matter if you’re, if you’re worth $10 million, or you can’t rub two nickels together. It’s it’s a clear like, it creates issues and it doesn’t matter who you are. So it’s not like okay, the rich kids got it better because he’s got money. We still didn’t have a dad.
Aaron Tharp 49:25
Yeah, you can. You can be as wealthy as you want. But your parents are still gonna get Alzheimer’s. Yep. You still gonna deal with strife. Your Money doesn’t protect you as well as you think it does. And if you’re coming from the place of they have it better than I do. That’s groupthink. That’s I don’t have control over making my life better. It’s their it’s their issue that I don’t have it as good as they do. Exactly. It’s no accountability whatsoever.
Josh Simms 49:51
Yep. And that’s where dads come in to tell you like, Well, you know what, right doesn’t matter. Right. You want that? This is what you got to do to get it right.
Aaron Tharp 49:59
Right. Got the future? Or imagine who you could be? Exactly.
Josh Simms 50:03
And those are the steps that you’re going to take to have to do that. Right? instead of like, okay, cuz that’s remember, and I would do and I would sit there and look at, I want to go to school, I want to do this with my life and blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, how do I get there? Right, right? There wasn’t any I mean, I spent time and I talked to friends and it but I didn’t say, Hey, Dad, this is what I want to do. What do you think about it? Okay, man. So it’s gonna take a lot of work, you’re gonna have to do this, you got to do that. You got to do this, that the other thing and you got to be prepared to sacrifice ABC and D to get what you want. Now, how are we going to do that? Let me help you do that. I can’t do it for you. But I’m going to be there to help you with it.
Aaron Tharp 50:37
That’s encouragement. Yeah, he’s encouraging you to think through those. Not that he’s the only one that can do that. But he’s encouraging you to think through your issues. Not that it should just be owed to you, like we talked about before some of the stuff we’re repeating. But those are very critical questions to ask. Yeah. Okay. This is where we’re at. Well, what do you think happened? That he’s kind of empowering you to work through? That’s encouragement? Yeah. I mean, you want you I would imagine that if you’re a father raising kids, you want to, like I said before, raise your kids, encourage them, help them with coping mechanisms, so that they’re that they are kids that are welcomed by other kids, and that parents smile when they see them. Yeah. Last thing that you’d probably want is that your kids are tyrants. Yeah. And that they’re a problem and that they don’t know how to handle themselves. Yep.
Josh Simms 51:27
Yeah, it’s, yeah, that’s true. I
Aaron Tharp 51:30
mean, is if I don’t have kids, but like I would I feel like that’s a fairly common approach. Yeah. Should be an ideal. No, go. I
Josh Simms 51:36
mean, you want to raise Well, I mean, that’s the thing is you’re not raising kids raising adults, right? So if you treat a kid like a kid their whole life there was gonna be like a kid. Yeah. So you got to make you got to make them grow up at some point. And that’s through lessons like that. And I think that’s, that’s a constant theme through a kid’s life is like, Okay, this happened. Why did it happen? How can we fix it? What can we do against what doesn’t happen? Right? Those are dishes a good way to cope with issues and mistakes that you make in your life? So yeah, I mean, I think this is a good episode, I think. I think, you know, when we talk about Father’s Day, everybody wants to just just kind of go off and tell stories about their dad. Right? But I think it’s pointing out the gaps that are there when dad isn’t present is just as big because then it makes people realize like, my dad is actually pretty damn good. I’m glad that he was around or Hey, I know dad wasn’t around. It was hard for me. speaking personally, and there is a way out right? You just have to find the right resources and the right the right people. And I was able, I was lucky enough to do that. And to be in you know, there’s luck involved being the right place at the right time, but I had a lot of really good people support me to get to where I am. I’m very, very thankful for that.
Aaron Tharp 52:43
Full Circle, brother. Yeah. All right, that’s gonna do it. This one was for you, fathers. Thank you very much for listening.
Josh Simms 52:50
Aaron Tharp 52:52
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