We’re joined today by Neil White from This Dad Does. He released his book A Father’s Mission this past summer. If you want to find out more you can check out my full review of A Fathers Mission here. Or you can click here to get A Father’s Mission on Amazon and see more reviews and details.
I wanted to ask Neil a few more questions about his book. Check out the interview below:
What was the motivation to write this book? There doesn’t appear to be a lot of info out there on fatherhood, particularly quality material, so the book definitely has an important role to play.
That was a big motivation for me to start writing my blog – the fact that there wasn’t much information or content for fathers like me. So much literature on fatherhood is watered down, feminized garbage that I would read and then throw across the room in disgust. As my blog grew, I started to develop A Father’s Mission which has become my manifesto of what modern fatherhood should look like.
I go by the mantra: To become a better father, you must first become a better man.
The book is also about having a vision for the outcome of your journey through fatherhood – what do you want you’re kids’ outcomes to be? What do you want for your son, daughter and encouraging men to raise kids intentionally.
Is raising children in the West still feasible? If so, how can they be isolated from harmful ideologies?
The only way to completely isolate yourself would be to live in a closed community and homeschool your kids. That doesn’t work for most people for various reasons. A more practical approach is to raise your kids to make good decisions and to teach them about what’s valuable and what’s untrustworthy. That way they can make an informed decision when it comes time for them to choose their own path. That’s the way I’m raising my kids and it was the way I was raised.
What is the biggest fear new fathers have? How can they overcome this fear?
My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t have a clue what I was doing. That turned out to be true but you learn quickly. With learning and experience comes confidence and ability. I was also worried that I’d be inadequate as a father – I think that’s one thing that has spurred me on to be the best Dad I can be.
How do you deal with parents, teachers, and others who may look down upon your parenting techniques, even though they are perfectly reasonable?
As our society becomes increasingly feminised and fathers become more and more despised, it’s going to be harder to express yourself and discipline your children in the way you believe is right. In Scotland just now, the government wants to put fathers who currently legally discipline their kids in prison – men like me who love their kids and want the best for them. Fathers need to take a stand on such issues – what ever our age and moral sensibilities. The ultimate freedom of parents to bring their kids up in the way they choose should be protected.
I do meet resistance or intolerance from others about the way I raise my kids but I’m so focused on my vision for them for the future that I don’t tend to take much notice – that’s their problem for being so narrow minded.
On that note, any thoughts on homeschooling?
I think there are a lot of benefits in homeschooling, especially where your situation demands it – that could be lack of suitable schools or an education and social system which is at odds with your values. But I know that it doesn’t work financially for a lot of families. I’d put myself in that category – it’s a decision based on economics. I also live in a rural area with a small village school which is working well at the moment. I have friends and family that have or are currently homeschooling even though it’s much less common here in the UK than the U.S. It seems to work well for them so I’d say, if it’s an option and you want to do it, then go for it.
Is there an ideal age to get married and have kids. You said you settled down at a young age–I’m wondering if you recommend that in general?
I’m not sure there’s an ideal age to get married and start a family. I was married at 25 and had my first kid at 27. It’s funny that that’s considered young in our times – a few decades ago that would have been considered very old. There are definite advantages to having kids while you’re relatively young. Firstly it get’s it out of the way – that’s not a negative swipe at fatherhood, but let’s face it, you’d rather have an empty nest at 50 than 60 wouldn’t you? Time’s more of a factor for mothers – the older they get, the more likelihood there are of complications and birth defects – better to have them young and avoid that if possible.
Any other projects in the near future we can expect?
I’m going to put a big effort over the next few months in promoting A Father’s Mission. I’ve also got a couple of other ideas for my next book. I’m torn between a book on gardening or a look at Christian fatherhood and raising kids in accordance with Biblical principles. I also started to write a children’s story book but that’s on the back burner for now.