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We go deep today talking about:

  • Being a resolute man and rejecting passivity
  • Isaac’s nuanced take on quantity vs quality time
  • Connecting deeply with your kids, even if you’ve got a large family
  • How to lead well as a man, husband, and father
  • Reaching out for help before you get hit by the proverbial Mack truck
  • Truly aligning your life with what you say your values are

Isaac is co-founder of Be Courageous ministries with his wife. They have best-selling courses, books, and the Be Courageous App. He’s a top-rated podcaster with over 2 million downloads doing their weekly show Courageous Parenting. He is driving forward the Resolute Man movement to help Men reject passivity, stand for truth, and lead unapologetically. He has 9 kids and has been married for 22 years.

Find Isaac online at:

resoluteman.com

courageousparenting.com

Curt Storring 0:00

Welcome to the Dad Work Podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of dad work. today's podcast is called courageous parenting and being a resolute man with my guest, Isaac Tobin, we go deep today talking about being a resolute man and rejecting passivity, Isaac's nuanced. Take on quantity, time versus quality time with your kids, connecting deeply with your family, even if you've got a large one, how to lead well as a man, husband and father reaching out for help before you get hit by the proverbial Mack truck, which is the point at which most guys will finally reach out for help when it's too late. And truly aligning your life with what you say your values are. And you know what, guys? There's a whole lot more in here too. I asked Isaac a lot of questions because I had a lot of questions for him. And let's talk about Isaac Prozac. He is the co founder of be courageous ministries with his wife. They have best selling courses, books and the Be courageous app. He's a top rated podcast with over 2 million downloads, doing their weekly show courageous parenting, he is driving forward the resolute man movement to help men reject passivity, stand for truth, and lead unapologetically, he has nine kids and he's been married for 22 years. And like he said, In this episode, he's about to become a grandfather, which is amazing. You can find Isaac online at resolutemen.com courageousparenting.com or on Instagram resolute.men, I really enjoyed this podcast, I have been listening to courageous parenting. And I'm actually going through the courageous parenting course. So here's another man who I'm actually following and implementing the teachings he has. And I just wanted to bring him to you guys, because he's such an incredible guy and doing a great job as a father and a husband. And you know that this is the case because man with nine kids, to see them how they're turning out. That's, that's a big testimony to the type of father that he is. And from the sounds of it, by the looks of it, you know, the these children that he's God, who are now launching, as he puts it from the home and starting their own families, just amazing, just an amazing family. So I'm really encouraged and excited to have Isaac on. And I think you'll get a lot of this from a very experienced father. So if you guys have been enjoying these podcasts lately, I know the last number. I mean, we're at over 100 now. So we got quite a lot out there over the last few have been really exciting for me, especially. And I hope you guys have been feeling the same, please make sure you leave in a review. That is one of the best ways that you can help spread this work, and the word of this podcast to other men who need it. And honestly, guys, if there was a podcast like this, when I was going through my hardest time, I would have listened to every episode. And that's not tooting my own horn horn, I'm literally only bringing on guys who I want to learn from. And I hope that you value this as well. So if you have been getting some value, it'll take literally 30 seconds. And you know, for the price of a 60 minute episode, I think that's a pretty good deal. So I would really, really appreciate that. Personally, guys, if you could do that on Apple, and leave a rating on Spotify for listening there or wherever else you're listening. That'd be a huge, huge help. And I appreciate that so much. And thank you guys for listening. Honestly, this has been a fantastic journey. You can find everything we mentioned here in the podcast, show notes at Dad.Work/Podcast. Everything else follow me on instagram dadwork.curt very active there and we can connect. Anyway, let's get to this amazing episode with Isaac Tobin. Here we go.

Alright, we're back for another amazing episode of the downward podcast. I have Isaac here with me. And I'm really excited to have you man, cuz I'm actually going through one of your courses. And I don't take a lot of courses anymore. Because you know, some times people are coming to me for courses. And so I just look up to you as a father, and a husband and a man. So I'm really excited to have you on here. And I would love to start by maybe just giving us the quick bio. Because I think that when people hear the family that you have and the success you've had with that, they're going to probably perk their ears up a little bit and listen. So would you just give us a sense of your family? You know how long ago you became a father, how many kids you have? And sort of what your days look like these days? And what do

ISAAC TOLPIN 3:36

you first of all, so glad to be here, Curt, I love what you're doing. And what an honor that a Course Builder is in one of our courses. And so everybody go look at what Curt's doing. Because I'm sure it's amazing. And so glad to be here. Yeah, I, you know, I became a believer, my faith Christian faith when I was 23. And prior to that I wasn't raised, necessarily with a strong father figure around trying to navigate things I really had that question in my head is when did I become a man? You know, it's hard to know when that happens. You know, there's certain things that the world says okay, that's when you're a man, you moved out and these kinds of things, but really, that was there was some vagueness there. And I really like him in the Lord. I was married, you know, eight months later, four months later, our first child came and I had this really awesome vision. And the vision was it I was gonna have two kids, a dog, beautiful house, and retire, but 35 is gonna be the most amazing life. You can imagine the American dream. So, but God had other plans for me, and yeah, now we have nine kids been married 23 years. You know, I'm really passionate about helping men reject passivity in their lives and leading the families standing for truth and leading, unapologetic quickly. So you know, that's really my passion. I join my wife with courageous parenting podcast top rated show. Every week we have an episode come out with courses and things like that. So there, there's just

Curt Storring 5:13

yeah, that's, that's so good man. And I love what you said about rejecting passivity. I actually just read that in raising modern day knights. And if you guys haven't read that book, definitely highly recommended. And that's one of the things he talks about. And that's kind of what I wanted to get to first is just your particular vision as resolute man, because that's something you're also working on. And I'm very curious about what that is. But also, why is that so important? And I think that we'll get into sort of what we see in the world today, and why men need to take note of what you're building here.

ISAAC TOLPIN 5:44

Well, one, I had to learn how to become a man, really a godly man, a man that leads his family and takes care of jurisdictions, well, loves well, is transparent and tender, well, same time being strong and protective, and casting vision leading well in the family and those kinds of things. And so, as I was discovering that doing it, and I used to be a vast student of leadership, I would say still am just in a different way. And I was in the business world, and so forth an entrepreneur. And so while I was raising my family, I was also building business and in the world doing that, and I just, it really continued to press on me that society continues to be widdle men to call masculinity toxic. For example, while there is toxic masculinity, most masculinity is not it's a God given thing. And so I think that we need to reclaim our masculinity in good sense. And that is leading our families well, nurturing our marriage, making our family the number one priority, not just saying it's the number one priority, but living that out and having a decision just like we wouldn't business have, what is the next five years look like? What does the next 10 years look like? What is way down the road when my kids are having kids? And what do I want that legacy to look like? And what am I doing today, to actually reap that fruit that I see, and I just think a lot of us are good at that in the work world. But then we don't apply it when we get home. In fact, we get dumbed down, when we're at home, we get preoccupied with other things. And we were tired. And we let our sense of being tired getting away of being intentional. And these challenges that exist. And I just think, man, there's so many good men out there, there really are, there's so many good people out there. And sometimes we just need a jolt and a reminder of wow, we have an opportunity here to influence the most important people God put in our lives, our children, our wives, to steward and lead in love well, and there's so it's so much fun. In fact, the more I find that I dig into my family, it just seems like everything else goes better. Also, you can't disconnect. You can't compartmentalize can't be successful in business, and not be successful with family. That's called failure.

Curt Storring 8:19

Yeah, well said. And I actually just had a post like that where you know, you got a million bucks, but your wife and kids don't respect you, you got nothing. And I love what you said. And what I took from that was there's this element of balance, that I am trying desperately to figure out how to tell man this in a way that they will listen, because on the one side, you've got the gentleness, and you've got the ability to love and to be you know, kind in your own home. But you also have to have that warrior spirit, you have to be able to protect and to provide and to discipline at some point. And I see people who are on extremes of each spectrum and very few in the middle, which is what I think a good you know, masculine man is is knowing each extreme in a sense, but having the discernment with which to use to decide when to go to each pole. And do you think about that, like, Is there is there? Is that one thing to you? Or do you consciously go like, Okay, I need to work on my ability to sort of see my children's inner life here and my wife's in her life and be able to speak to them. But on the other side, man, I gotta lead. I gotta step up and like, like your head says, I gotta stand firm here. Is that like intentional learning on your part? Or is that just part of the process that comes together with being a mature man?

ISAAC TOLPIN 9:35

Well, I think that yeah, I think it's learned. I think that we're all wired so differently. You know, some people, some men are more tender than other men and some men are more on that protector side. But I agree with you, no matter how we're wired. We need to be a balance of loving well in protecting Well, the entender but being strong when needed, you know, not being a pushover leading, while encouraging our families to be part of it, not just being a dictator. There's there's this, there's there's both sides to everything. And I, you know, I think it's like a path or maybe a road, we want to be on the road, and those ditches on both sides. And the sometimes people fall in the ditch on this side, because they get impatient with their children. And so then they get angry. And then they lash out and yell, and it works. They think, because it works in the moment and the short term because it's a short minded person, at least in that short sighted person in that moment, at least, because it work, you got what you wanted obedience from children, but you're not nurturing a good relationship, you're not doing something you would actually want replicated when they have kids. It's so short sighted. So how do we do that? We need to be transformed, we need to have an understanding that there's a better way we need to be self disciplined with our emotions, we need to understand that that's wrong. Now, sometimes we can be stern, but not angry, we need to understand the difference of that. And then on the other side, there's some people that are really motivated go getters, but they never slow down enough to ask questions, wait for answers, to really have a dialogue and understand the hearts of their children. And so it doesn't matter who you are, we're all different. We need to have the discipline and the knowledge to slow down the moment and look for the opportunities to know our kids hearts, look for the opportunities to be creative and how they need to be recommended. Look for the opportunities to always be building a stronger relationship with them not doing things that may be pushing their hearts away from us, even though we're getting obedience in the moment. Because this is a tough world they're going to be launching and do you think about the world right now? What's going on, regardless of your faith, you have to agree there's weirdness going on. There's crazy things going on. There's anti family initiatives going on in the world, okay. I believe there is evil, there's a spiritual battle happening. And you have to think through that it's very visible. Now, even if you're a person, not a fake listening, it's very visible, just look around. There is good, and there is evil from a spiritual sense. And so you what kind of world think about things happening now? Are your kids going to be launching into 10 years from now? Well, what you're doing today is preparing them to be able to stand strong to be a good man, leading their families loving well, and being the example you would want them to do with their own families. So remember, you got grandkids someday. I have my first one coming. Any day now. Super excited.

Curt Storring 12:58

Man, congratulations. That's good. Yeah, I there's so many things in there. And I'm just like, I'm looking at my notes. I'm making notes because I want to dive into everything. But before I lose track of this thought I heard you talk about, I think was discipline on either the podcast or in this course. And you guys, you and your wife, Angie, it's a right. Yeah, you and your wife, Angie, we're talking about when you are disciplining or or correcting your child, it should not be so much about the behavior or the action, but about where you're guiding their soul. And that threw me for a loop man, I'd like that was just an extra level that I never even thought of. And I think you mentioned I wrote it down on my whiteboard upstairs to remind myself to correct and to instruct, before disciplining. And that was just such a deeper look, when you're talking about getting obedience with this, you know, anger, for example, that immediately stops me in my tracks and goes, Wow, what am I doing on a soul level here? How am I shepherding my children so that they become obedient not to me, but to God? And that's a whole other level. Can you maybe talk a little bit about what that looks like? Practically? So, you know, your kid does something that's, it's just a bad behavior, and you need to correct that. And some dads like you said, and I work with a lot of these angry dads will yell, and they'll get what they want, and they'll storm off and they might feel bad after but they don't come back to correct it. What would it look like to shepherd the soul rather than the action? Good

ISAAC TOLPIN 14:30

question. I'm going to start by asking everybody listening a question. And that is, let's say you work at a company and the owner of the company doesn't like something that you did, and so they come yelling and screaming at you until you are in a submissive mode of being willing to do whatever they want. You do they want they calm down, and they go away. You Is that boss building a good relationship with you? Or are you immediately going to start looking for another opportunity a place to be? Well, God, I believe God put you, as the father of your specific children on purpose, and for a reason. And, but we are not to be that kind of leader, the most important leadership job you have is in your marriage, obviously, but leading your children, leading your children. And so in the challenging moments, you can really till the strength of someone's leadership, wherever that is, when there's challenge, think about things that happen in the world. And when good leaders respond, and they're remembered for it. And when bad leaders respond poorly, and they get blasted everywhere for, okay, you want to be that good leader in challenging times and waiting for a child, when they're being corrected. That's a challenging experience for them, even if you're doing it well. Because for them, their capacity is so small in the world of challenges that have happened to them so far. These are some of the biggest when they get up when mom and dad are upset at them. Those are some of the biggest experiences I've had of challenge. So it's a big deal to them. So we want to tread lightly, but accurately, we want to do it well. So it's effective, whatever it is, and but we want to have progress and so shepherding their souls. It's funny when you say soul, because I know there's a mix of people listening, all walks of life. You know, it's like, I think of neuro link and Elon Musk. He, you know, has this company in Jeff Bezos has talked about this with Amazon and so forth where, you know, the desire to upload your brains so that they can live forever, because they don't believe in faith, right? They don't believe in God and heaven and these kinds of things, living forever with God, they don't believe that. So what if you have billions of dollars? What do you try? And do? You try and live forever on Earth, this is being worked on. This is not a theory, it's not an idea. They believe it works, they have enough traction already to believe they can literally upload someone's brain into technology, and put that brain into things and live forever? Well, the truth of the matter is, that is completely doesn't even take that much intelligence, and they're very intelligent people to know that that's just not going to work. Because if you upload the brain of somebody into technology, that is only part of what in who somebody is. And I mentioned that because you mentioned soul. So we have souls that actually do exist for forever, it just depends on where we're going to exist, right? So with your children, what is most important from a biblical perspective, I want them to have a strong relationship with me. Absolutely. Even more importantly, I want them to have strong relationship with God. And in the Bible says obey your parents in the Lord for this as right. So they actually have a directive to be obedient to good leaders called parents. Now, they have a directive to be obedient to bad leaders too, unfortunately. I mean, fortunately, I guess, because what the Bible says, but it's unfortunate, the leaders will be bad. So we don't want to be bad. I give this business perspective, because I think a lot of guys get that, okay. And so we want to be good leaders in my goal is to seek understanding first, a lot of times with children's, there are things we don't understand about what happened. There are things they need to tell us and regardless of whether we know everything or not, because a lot of times we do know everything. They want the ability to verbalize it first. What does it feel like? If something happens, you're accused of something, but you don't get a verbalize your thoughts about it or clarify what you did. And someone's just coming down and go, I know what you did. I don't need to hear. That is not a person that feels understood. even see it as human beings. I just, I look at my kids and I know they're human beings. I'm a human being how do I want to be treated? Okay? So they're human beings. I

go, okay. So, tell me, you know, if there's something they want to tell me, I make sure I listen, you can't do that when you're angry. So therefore, you actually can't do any of this process. If you're angry. If you're an angry man, leading your children, just don't try and correct them. Okay? You need to cool off. And once you cool down, now go approach your children, you can put them in timeout or something like that until you're ready for sure. Okay, but now go talk to him and talk to him about what they did. And I would pray with them. I would point them to God and talk about sin and pray together and repent and hug it out and that kind of They have a good thing. But then I would pick my discipline. And sometimes, they're already feel bad enough about what happened. And there's no extra discipline that's needed. Sometimes their toys need to be taken away, sometimes privileges, sometimes time away from everybody, which is the worst discipline for some outgoing kids. So you find what works, sometimes other things, right? You find what works for your particular kid, because all kids are wired differently.

Curt Storring 20:27

Right, man, that was so good, thank you, I'm thinking about all this kind of stuff with myself. Because my propensity until recently was to just get angry. And I'm seeing in myself the ability or the actions of coming down before understanding and not giving them the chance to speak because like you said, I just know. And even if I know, and, you know, that's being a little bit facetious, because I don't always know the answer. But even if I think that I do, am I always asking them for their opinion, or their side of things? And not always? So I feel that personally, and I'm curious about, you said earlier self discipline on your emotions? Is that something that was part of your story? Or how do you see how do you encourage men who might be, you know, written with anger? To to find that self discipline? Are there are there things to do? Are there you know, reframes they can have to start to bring those under obedience to, you know, if that's the right word, so that they're not reacting so poorly?

ISAAC TOLPIN 21:27

Yeah, I think when you're talking, I was thinking about, like, if we're in a restaurant and waiter offends us, or it's horrible service or something like that, do you like stand up and start yelling at them and throw your chair down? No. And the reason that I'm saying that is because in contrast, why is it that we get angry with people in our family for smaller things, and not show anger in public? Is because as man, I think men are worse at this, we tend to take for granted, but we already have. Okay, so this happens in marriage. I got her. She's loyal and committed, I'm loyal and committed. But now you don't even realize it's a subconscious thing. You subconsciously neglect just a little bit a little bit over a long timeline leads to divorce. Okay, so we tend to neglect. And so I think that one of the disciplines is to understand this concept, that I have their love, they're my kids and so forth. So therefore, I, you know, I can be off the handle a little bit Plus, they're supposed to listen to me, Well, no long term that's harmful. What the your short term thinker, I use, things like that, because I know no men want to be short term thinkers. So don't discontinue listening. I'm not trying to talk at you trying to just make sure you're hearing the point, which is, we all want to be long term thinkers. We want to be visionaries, we want to lead well, and these kinds of things. But we're the opposite of how we believe ourselves to be with the people we love and value the most. And so then sometimes I think understanding the real reality of what's happening, and how our behavior isn't good in certain situations, is the first step to having self discipline. You have to be transparent, introspective, to be able to create any change. And sometimes we even pull in someone else. Well, I know someone sort of yells way more than I do. So I'm like a saint compared to him. Now, now, there's no comparison. We don't need to compare with anybody. We just need to be the best dads we can possibly be. It's the most important job we have. So let's do that. Well, now, now that we understand this problem, we can start to be self disciplined about it. One of the ways to be self disciplined is ask for help. Oh, I know I just said another thing that Me included men hate to do is in general, generalizing is to actually ask for help. This is a muscle that has cost me so much because I didn't use it when I was younger. And I've been flexing the I need help muscle more as I get older. And wow. Is it amazing? Like when I lost everything financially? That was a wake up call that a flex a muscle of getting help. And then when people showed up, wow, did it nurture deeper transparent relationships with people that have never had? So I think that, you know, we need to ask for help. Because when we ask for help, that person is going to ask us about it. And you have that in the back of your mind. And you know, they're going to ask about it and that holds accountability. We all need a little accountability. Now being a faith based person God is holding me accountable. Also, my wife is a wonderful person to hold me accountable. Okay, in me to hold her countable, that's part of what marriage is for, to helping encourage each other. So we need to not be prideful, and not be able to take things from our wife. And I feel like I'm rubbing a lot of edges off here, Curt.

Curt Storring 25:15

That's great man, that's, I find, at least in the way that I tried to bring ideas to guys, at least on Instagram, is that I mean, it's different when we're working one on one. But on Instagram, my point is almost to trigger something in them to get them to stop and almost feel convicted, like, oh, man, he's talking to me. And unfortunately, I think the only other thing that guys use to get to the point where they're willing to take help, is being hit by the proverbial Mack Truck, when it's already too late. And they've already you know, the wife has already left or you know, the kids no longer talk to them, or whatever the case may be. And I see this so often, it's heartbreaking. So I think that if you're feeling called, oh, by this, it's a great opportunity to not let it get so far to consider this, the the two by four in the back of your head not being hit by a truck. You know, that's how I like to look at it at least. So I'm glad that you're going there. And I appreciate that. But I've got a ton of other questions. Yeah, we just go plowing forward here. I heard you mentioned on a podcast quantity, time versus quality time. And wonder if you can just give us your sense of the importance of each and if we should be because I think a lot of guys talk about quality time over quantity, time. And even I have gone like look, as long as I can give them like 15 minutes per kid per day of like one on one. Absolutely unencumbered. That's better than you know, spending three hours on my phone kind of together. But I wonder what your thoughts are, because I heard you say quantity time was also important as well. So can you just run us? Yeah, that was really

ISAAC TOLPIN 26:41

convicting when I learned that from somebody, I don't know where probably a book or something. And I just because I used to be that business guy working really hard. Lots of responsibility, and building something meaningful. I loved it. And I love my family at the same time. And so I would say things like, yeah, you know, yeah, I'm working hard. I hustle hard. But when I spend time with my family, it's quality. The first thing is that was only partially true all the time. Okay, is that it actually was quality. There's this factors of getting distracted with things like your phone and different things, right. That's a whole nother subject. But but we're quantity times important. Quality time is important. But where quantity time comes in and quality time can't do it is you never know when kids are going to ask a question. You never know when there's an opportunity, a teaching moment to teach them something experientially. And the more I spend, walk quantity time with my family, the more of these opportunities I see, to either build good friendship, relationship, or friendship, but good relationships with my kids, but also hold them accountable catch things really be in the know, when I'm doing only quality time. They're on their best behavior. I'm on my best behavior. We have kid and dad on our best behavior, and we have a great time. But that's not necessarily. They're not necessarily gonna bring the question in such a short prescribed time. Sometimes it takes fishing. I'm not a big fisherman. That's not something I actually have done with my kids very much, although they fish now. But it is a good example. Some people go golfing, there are things that are taken a long time. And I think we should start hikes, trips, one on one time long drives bringing your kid with you on that business trip to drive with you. And those kinds of things. How can you find some quantity time with your kids? Those seem to be really memorable, and actually the most impactful.

Curt Storring 28:56

Oh, man, thank you for laying that out like that, because I don't think I got to the point where you'd explain that. And I was like, oh, man, what am I doing here. And that actually feels very good. Because we're about to start homeschooling for the first time this next month, and I work from home, I have my own business. So I feel like I'm with the kids a lot. And as I was just reflecting on that we actually two days ago went for a hike with a friend of mine and his daughter. And as we're going through my middle son, he's seven and he was feeling a little bit scared because we're on a you know, pretty steep, rocky incline. And it was a little bit unusual, because he's usually a go getter. And as we went along, I realized that suddenly he was like, I can't even see him anymore. And he had taken on the role of trail guide. And there was something about taking on that even imagined responsibility that gave him this confidence to push through. And because I was there with him, we spent five hours at the lake and hiking. It's like, Oh, I could do exactly what you just said, which is noticed that and then encourage him in that. And I don't obviously wouldn't have been able to do that. If it's like hey, let's go play Lego for 15 minutes. So that Man that feels really good for me to just click that into my thinking. So it's not always like, Okay, here's my 15 minutes case, let's go. Just like almost, it's almost like garbage time in a sense, but in the best possible way, because you'll notice those little things about who they are. And I think like you said, when they're not trying, that's really good. Yeah, thank you. And you've got nine kids now, how are you getting quality and quantity time with them? Because this is something like, I'm feeling really good. Right now we're about to have our fourth, well, not about, you know, a few months. And you know, hopefully, that's not the the last one either. And so I'm looking at men like you going, man, what do I do? How do I how do I do this with three or four kids? Never mind nine. So what does that look like? And I was gonna say, sort of daily, but maybe weekly or monthly? What does it look like for you to take quality and quantity time with that many people in your family? Yeah,

ISAAC TOLPIN 30:50

I think it's, for me with such a large family. And I know there's large families who probably do this differently. But what I've noticed as the family got bigger and bigger and bigger, is that I needed to re orientate my life a bit. And at the reorientate, how money comes in, in these kinds of things, I needed to find a way, oftentimes, we as men only do things once they're necessary. Okay, so we can have ideas about I want to, I want to have some more free time, I want to, you know, find ways to be around my family more. But it's not until it's absolutely necessary for you to do both to provide and be there more. Now, sometimes there's nothing to change in terms of what you do. Because all you have to do is appropriate your time when you're not working better. So that's good. That's a given. But I have noticed something, the more kids I have, the more important it becomes to be home more. And I'm not seeing that as a prescriptive thing. But for me, personally, that's what happened is, as we had more kids, I realized, wow, I need to figure out a way to be around. So I work from home, I'm more flexible. Another thing I found is in my past, I'd be very vigilant about my work, even though I control my hours, and I went to work. And I was a hard worker, I was vigilant about keeping working and not being very distracted during the work time. One thing that has changed is I've become way more flexible. And somehow the work still gets done. It's really interesting. It's like, so if I needed for something in the middle of the day, I will orientate that day towards that now I have something I'm doing where I can do that. It doesn't mean I put less hours necessarily in the day, sometimes it does. And I just find a time to hustle and get this thing done around it. Sometimes I'm working at 9pm. Now, I'm not saying this prescriptive leave everybody here. But I guess what has happened to me is I've realized the family needs to be the highest priority. And my work needs to bend to my family, where it used to be. My family is my highest priority in my words, and in my heart. But the family needs to bend to my career. And I would say I have shifted, I've been in both. And I've shifted. And I think it might need to be that way with so many kids to be able to do the quantity and quality time. And by the way, it's still struggle. I'm not perfect at these things. I still have these things in my mind. And wow, I really need to spend more time with someone. So I'm spending one time with this certain kid in a long time. Another way to do that is I try and pull them on drags with me. When I was in the work world, the business world I would have my son helped me run conferences for like 1000 people. And he would be greeting people at eight years old, nine years old. 10 years old. He had a suit on little top hat because he liked it. And he was greeting people and he was working he made friends with the sound people in the back and the media people and he sat with me while the conference is going and saw me have to let somebody go. And then he saw me encouraging another person. But all of those experience not only to get quantity time with them, but all of those experience helped form him into such a mature man. You know he's 19 Now I'm married and doing incredibly well and not to have his first kid and it's really neat to see it's because he matured faster because dad was including him is partly including him and what he's doing his mom had a huge influence in that too.

Curt Storring 34:40

That's awesome and yeah, that I was talking to Matt Boudreau on this podcast before he was talking about how much responsibility kids can actually handle and mature if you will at a much faster rate than what society is giving them these days where it's like you know coddled and helicopter parenting and I even heard someone call it lawnmower. Parenting where you're writing the kid, basically, and like making him do everything, but bringing them with you. I think a lot of guys be like, well, I can't take them to the business office or whatever. But if you're truly aligned with that being the most important thing, like you said, We're business is bent to family, and not the other way around. That I think if you just maybe hearing Isaac, say that gives you permission, in a sense to try those things out in your own life. Because, man, I want to do that with my kids, I want them to see what I'm doing here, I want them to be able to learn all these things. Rather than just go through and go, I got to do X amount of school, and I don't have to get my job till I'm 20, or whatever people do these days. And that's, that's so encouraging. I think it's unusual, unfortunately. And I hope this is very useful for guys listening. But part of that is also like leadership, by showing up as the man that at least for your sons, you want them to be in a sense. And I wonder how you think about leading as a father and as a husband? Is it simply it continuing to show up? Is it continuing to improve? Is there anything else that comes to mind with leading because at least I've found that our kids just pick up so much from who we are. And they're proud of us when we do good, hard things. I've just experienced that my own life recently. So could you talk a little bit about how you view leadership in the household and how you sort of raise your family, as the intentional leader of that, you'll

ISAAC TOLPIN 36:23

just think I mean, in business, again, using another business example. But when you delegate something, or you have another leader that works with you, you work together, you're trying to make sure they're doing the best job they can, so that when you're not there, that part of your business is happening really well. So now let's take that to your marriage for a second. So when you're gone working, don't you want that home experience to be amazing, and your wife to be doing an incredible job? Well, let me ask you, are you supporting your wife making her feel like that is an incredible thing she's doing? Are you nurturing it? Are you spending time with her date night just having fun together in nurturing your marriage? are you acknowledging how important it is? Are you in front of the kids acknowledging how amazing she is, and, and all the things that she does for them and how amazing that is, and making sure they respect her and, and ask nicely for things and thank her for things and all of these things. That is part that's leadership that is helping your wife do what she does so well, right. And I think that that is a first step. I think another thing is, a lot of times, marriages have a lack of communication in them. This is a devastating real pandemic, which is marriage communication. It's really wild how little men share with their wives. When you're a team, maybe your wife isn't right there doing your business with you or your job with you, or vice versa. But you need each other support, you need that communication happening. If there's anybody that knows you the best, it's your wife. She's an amazing sounding board. Yeah, maybe some wives give more details than you want to hear in the moment that can happen sometimes. But actually, we should start looking at where we're different, as a strength as a good thing, versus being frustrated by it, see where we're wired differently, or where the friction points are. And we need to start embracing and loving how different our spouse is, even though in the moment, sometimes it can feel like it doesn't have to take so long or whatever the feeling is, we need to be patient and appreciate that because when you're different that makes you a stronger team, when you encourage that, and then you appreciate it. So I think the marriage first of all, the number one tip to parenting, to being a good dad is nurturing your marriage is to cultivate a great marriage because you're not there all the time. And you want a good example for them. And now you're both doing it better. You both love being home more when you're home. And with the kids more. That's your biggest thing as far as leadership and leadership is Servant Leadership isn't lording over some guys get down to you're a servant in your marriage, you're making sure that the marriage relationship is going in a good direction. Right? We need to take ownership over that and have that intentionality and then we need to be building relationships with our kids, too. So hopefully that was helpful.

Curt Storring 39:47

Yeah, definitely helpful. And are you finding now that some of your sons specifically are older and launching I love that word, by the way, launching is such an intentional, positive thing. Do you see a lot Have yourself in them? And are they following your lead? For better or worse? Yeah,

ISAAC TOLPIN 40:04

you know, every one of our kids are so unique and different. It's just really amazing. I love it, actually. And I would say that, yeah, I can see myself in them and in good ways. And sometimes you can see yourself and your kids in the not so good ways to write isn't that true? That's when actually dads get the most frustrated, I think is when you see yourself doing something you don't like in yourself, actually. And you don't realize that's why you get so upset about it. But yeah, I think I'm so proud of my kids that have launched two kids, and they're there. They're doing really well. They're providing for themselves, and they're out there. And it's really beautiful to see, I would say that everybody has their own journey. And everybody has their own path and rate of progress in the directions, God's called them and so forth. And so I think another thing that's really important is that we don't compare our kids, we don't create competition within our kids. That is really dangerous. If you want good sibling relationships that last a lifetime, then you need to not pit the siblings against each other. Often dads do that in sports. Now. I like friendly competition. I like sports. My kids do sports all the time with each other and they're competitive. But never that negative of like that feeling of why can't you be more like this other one? Or, you know, when are you going to beat him? Finally, this this more negative competition that I see dads inadvertently created? Yeah,

Curt Storring 41:43

that's a great point. And speaking of, again, with so many people, I'm so interested in this. And it sounds like you guys are doing such a good job. And I had this curiosity in terms of discipline, and there's boundaries, and there's consequences. And there's probably a lot of needs that exist in your household. There's, you know, 11 people, and I think you said, Seven children still wet in the home. So nine people I guess it is, but how are you managing those competing needs? And how? How are you sort of disciplining or setting boundaries? Do you guys have time where it's like, you know, Mom and I are gonna go out these days, and you guys have to do these tours. And you guys, you know, if you have a problem, here's how you work it out. That seems like a lot of interpersonal relationships and potential conflict coming up. And I wonder if there's a system or if there's general guidelines and principles that you use, for ensuring that, you know, people get needs met, while not being selfish and taking over the rest of the family without money? Yeah,

ISAAC TOLPIN 42:40

absolutely. We guide our kids, as they get a little bit older, we guide them to do resolution on their own. And we teach them, hey, you need to be quick to apologize, you need to be quick to forgive. And that's not simple in any of us, right? So that's a constant thing we're trying to get to happen. But things do bubble up to us for sure. And they can come to us about anything. One thing I find that makes this more efficient, this whole family system, is we start the day together. Okay, so we have breakfast, oftentimes, we keep it simple, and we do oatmeal, but then we have apples this day and mangoes the state of put in it and different things. And we do big huge spread of stuff to go on it. But a lot of times we'll do that. And we meet for breakfast, I'll have a little you know, some scripture I share. What's really cool too is I share what's happening in the world. I think this is really important. I tied in with whatever the scripture I was reading is. And the more you do that, the better you get, and give a biblical perspective on the things happening in the world, and so forth. And then we get on the same page. And I encourage Angie to share expectations she has for the day, the things we have in the calendar for the day, what needs to happen, reminder, the chores, hey, reminder, when you do this certain chore, we need to do this part better. So a lot of stuff in that you can get a lot done. And we find when we do that, right? Consistently, the days go so much better, which is really important. Right? So so we do that. And then I have some sporadic family meetings too. Whereas, hey, we just need to recalibrate for a second. You know, hey, we need to focus more on walking in love with each other to reference a scripture verse. So walking level together on these different things. Here's this thing's happening. I think we need to work on what do you guys think we discussed and those kinds of things. I think that's good to have dinner together. I think another thing is missing in family culture is having enough dinners together. I find if we're not at least eating dinner four times a week altogether. There's there's a problem that can have there can be exceptions for short seasons, you know, someone's doing soccer different things. But if they go from soccer, then to basketball and then to tennis or whatever, and it's always a thing I would say parents are doing making a fatal mistake. cuz you really need to build life together and you really need to fan each other's flames correct things have fun together, be together eat a meal together. I think that's super, super important. I know a lot of guys have to really rely on the dinner versus morning because they get up really early, and they're off to work. Awesome. So you're going to do what I do in the morning at dinnertime. And that's going to be really important. Oh, but no of them. Were at soccer news, other things? Well, wait a minute. Well, when did the all these other things become more important than the mental health of your children and the wife in your house operating correctly? Hey, there's a reason that somebody can't ever lead a church unless they have their house in order first, if they're not managing their household? Well, they can never be in any kind of leadership role in the church. You might be wondering, well, wait a minute. I know people leading churches that don't have the household in order. Well, yeah, that's unbiblical, actually. So there's a reason that God did that is because where are our priorities? First here, so we have to be able to do things if you're never all together, if you don't have that good time together, you're unable to do things in a, you know, over food. I think there's a problem.

Curt Storring 46:14

Yeah, man, making lots of notes. Because this is one of the things we're thinking about moving forward, because I have breakfast or dinner with the kids like even lunch sometimes. So I feel very blessed in that. But I want to start doing that intentional overview of the day and I love the expectations of my wife, what are your expectations for the day so that everyone knows? Have you got two minutes? Is that sort of hard cut off

ISAAC TOLPIN 46:38

for you? No, I'm good.

Curt Storring 46:40

Okay, cut just couple more questions. And, and we'll circle back to this in a sec. But I really want to touch on what I heard on one of your podcast, which is having men's meetings with some of your older sons. This sounds awesome. And I want to do this with my sons as they age, can you walk us through sort of what that looks like, and maybe where that came? Yeah,

ISAAC TOLPIN 46:56

it's just been a desire in my heart for a while, obviously, the resolute man stuff is getting going, I had written out this resolute manifesto of shared parts of it here. And there, all my posts on Instagram, and Facebook are little pieces from like this wrestling manifesto. And I started teaching it to my boys, I go, Well, I just need to make time. And to be candid with you. This is something I've started and not continued. So it really is a burden on my heart, because it's super important, right? But then this other thing happens, this other thing happens, family gets sick. It's really what I found is, it is super hard to stay the course with anything. But this is true, too. I, I was running a big business conference in those speaking on stage and there's like 300 leaders in the audience, or more, depending on the speech I gave. And I would go, hey, I want you to think of an intentionally written out culture driving initiative, that benefits your organization that you have carefully crafted and never stopped talking about for a year. And nobody raises their hand. Every time I do that, by the way. So it's really interesting. I will say I have I do do that. But as here's an example of a place where I'm not doing that, and I want to and so I have the same struggle. Everybody does good intentions that don't get follow through. But ironically, I was just with my 16 year old, his birthday yesterday, having amazing dinner together with mom and him and but I just said, Hey, I don't want to I'm sorry that we didn't continue that and we're going to start doing it again. I think this is the thing. Let's not overcomplicate it, how do you do it? Just pick one simple thing, spend some time with them. And then just one thing, what's it? What's it about? Is it about profit? entrepreneurship isn't about sex depending on their ages. Okay. By the way, when I say sex, it can be simply a question. It gives you notice girls are pretty. That question right there will tell you everything about where your boys are at. Okay. And they say oh, then then I go. Oh, cool. I just talked about something else. That's like, yeah. See, so you so you need to be the first one to talk to him about things. So what categories? Is it finances? Is it entrepreneurship? Is it sacks? Is it is it? What else could it be building things? Could it be siblings relationships in the family, friendships outside of the family, how to how to how to be a good friend. These kinds of things I think that it can be about but any topic but teach them something. Here's the thing. Do you want to be looked at by your kids is one of the two most important teachers in their life. You and your wife are the two most important teachers in your kid's life. But as adults, as they grow older, they stop looking at you as much of a teacher and they start looking at some external coach, some external pastor, some external teacher, as a more important teacher than you as more valuable teacher than you, they love you, your dad. But these people over here more valuable knowledge, more valuable wisdom they do. That's a big problem in the teenage years. Because when it matters most, they still need to look at you as their most important human teacher. Because the most important teachers got for the most important human teachers, you and your wife. I wouldn't say one is more than the other. They're both really important. Okay? So they're different to you offer something different. Oh, my wife's so good at that she teaches all these things she does homeschool should have

been limited. Okay. But you're different. Dad brings something different, even same words. And mom brings something different uses the same words. equally valuable, different impact different times different things. We both need to be influencing and teaching. You need to be your children's most important teachers. And so regardless of if they're in school, or whatever they're doing, so I find what are you teaching? When are you teaching? Always be teaching? Look for opportunities to teach? What can I teach him like different finish? Great, that's something I can't do. Good job. Okay, like Teach Manhattan great, something I can't do. I didn't grow up learning these things. In fact, I didn't learn hardly anything about being traditional manliness. I'm still learning with my kids. In fact, my kids are better at fishing than I am. Because another friend of mine taught them how to fish because I didn't know out. Praise the Lord. Don't you take offense that Isaac that someone else taught your kids how to fish and you didn't? Shame on you? What a bad dad you are? What are you kidding? I can't know everything. I have gaps. I need help people to help me fill the gaps. Thank you. I can't do it all I'm gonna have trusted people that I care about helped me want to help. Come on, and let's go join in you can teach me too. I think pride gets in the way of opportunity with our kids. And pride even gets in the way of us even taking action teaching our kids things. Wait, I'm not an expert on that. Wait, my pastor knows the Bible better meal, just they could ask the pastor, youth pastor or whoever? Oh, no, we're missing it. an eloquent words from you are more powerful than the most eloquent words from somebody else. Yes,

Curt Storring 52:56

man. And that's so good just for me, because I have just gone through this process with myself where I'm looking at the same sorts of things go on. I don't know what hunt, I don't know how to fish. And I'm doing the same sort of thing, which is like, Oh, I just I've met a man who knows that honey city take us. Amazing. And there's this list of things that I want to teach my kids. And I know like three of them. And I'm just having to humble myself going like, great, I get to have some fun and learn this too. But bringing in other good men into their lives. I think that's a whole other topic potentially get into it at some other time. But, you know, just to bookmark that, if you're listening. Who can you bring into your life that is not you who can teach you and your children because for me having other good men around almost nothing better than that. I have just been blessed so much with other good man, other good fathers who can fill in gaps that I just don't know. And like you said, not being prideful and not having that ego get in the way is a skill, another one of those, you know, muscle flexing skills to accept help, that I think we can all do a little bit better at. And I want to talk to you just maybe the last thing here about focusing on the marriage when there are so many things like business ministry, kids, keeping up with the house, all that kind of stuff. Do you guys have intentional date nights? Do you have time when you talk during the week does? Like what does it look like? And I know you've said a number of things already, including praising and complimenting your wife in front of your kids asking her expectations for the day. But when are you guys connecting? And how has that changed over the years?

ISAAC TOLPIN 54:29

Yeah, so important. And we have different kinds of date nights and we kind of talked about the intentionality of them beforehand. Sometimes they just happen. But we do have some more management kind of date nights where we bring our journals and our computers and we work on things together. Like shopping lists for Christmas, for example, like that's a big project for such a big family and just have a certain budget and all those things like we'll go on a date night and work on that or something business related or ministry later financial or things like that. Then Is the times where you just have fun. You just go do things and you date your wife and you plan, you make reservations, and you're intentional about it and you get dressed up and you do those things, I think both are really important. And you just got to make it a priority. You've got to find qualified people to watch your kids that you know for sure, are not going to be doing things you don't want them to do. That's a whole nother topic. We have podcast episodes just on that, like how to find a babysitter or whatever those things are. But you've got to get time. Now let's say you don't have that person. Well, you can do time in or the you know, the money, spend time, quality time at home, and the kids are in bed, looking each other in their eyes. We did a photo shoot not too long ago, because we have to do that for the ministry. Because there's pictures of our families and things like that. We're doing a photo shoot. And I was locked eyes with my wife. And they're getting different pictures, they wanted us to keep looking at each other. And there's something about looking each other in the eyes close. When we started like giggling and laughing and really enjoying it. And I just kept going I just kept looking at her. And I'm just like all those feelings those really, you know, wonderful love feelings come about when you look each other in the eyes. It there's so much time we're looking at something else like our phone, we're looking at different directions. Some people wandering eyes, focus on your wife. Focus on her. You can always tell a good leader when you see a happy wife. So when you see somebody's wife, you yo, wow, he's doing a good job. She's like glowing, she's vibrant. She's happy. Not always. Right. Because having kids there's difficult things that have nothing to do with husband. But overall, in general, if you see someone that's always not happy, that's probably a husband. Not doing great. And also, what is your I guess the question for everybody? Is it was your wife happy she bubbling? She's is she enjoying? Is there vibrancy to her? Or do you do you need to leave better and love better, and spend intentional time more often, to cherish her make her make sure she knows she's the absolute most important to you not just with empty words, but with action.

Curt Storring 57:39

Yeah, that's such a good litmus test. And I think a lot of guys don't understand that. And how important their leadership and the influence that we have, as husbands, not sort of power over our wives, but power to influence the mood power to influence the relationship. And I think a lot of us sort of abdicate that responsibility with what you said earlier, which is like, Oh, my God, or now I'm good. And then you don't put any more work in. It's like, Oh, man. And one of the things that has always been in my heart with my wife is that like, she's supposed to be your number one human relationship. And we heard that in sort of premarital counseling, and it's stuck with me forever, even though we you know, we never went to church again after that for until, you know, just a few months ago. But it was like, Man, she should be number one. And I think a lot of men and women are putting their kids number one. And that I've never seen that in well, because then you know, by the time the kids leave, there's no relationship left. And they're playing mom against dad and all this kind of stuff. So I love that you mentioned that marriage is actually the first step to great parenting. Because I've also witnessed that in my life and other people around me. Man, thank you so much for this. This has been such an incredible journey. And this is one of the ones where I'm taking notes for my own use, which doesn't always happen. So I really appreciate that. And I wonder if you can just tell people where to find you. Because like I said, I listen to your podcasts. I'm taking your course we'd love to just direct people where they can find me.

ISAAC TOLPIN 59:03

Thank you so fun to be here and what great questions. I think things come out that I don't usually talk about. And so you're just a great interviewer and I love your podcast. So good job. Courageous parenting.com podcast courses, swag, things like that resolute man.com is the man gear like this hat and so forth. And at some point, the resolute man podcast and free resolute man, Festo that I referenced earlier, right? So we hope that that's going to be a main thing. We also have some exciting things coming soon we're launching a coffee subscription. So be on the lookout for that. That's going to be it's just incredible coffee to door for shipping, high quality premium, and it supports what we're doing. So pretty excited about that.

Curt Storring 59:53

That's amazing. I just got the email with that action. As I saw I was like, you know, shipping to the states and I'm up here in Canada going oh man, other ones below.

ISAAC TOLPIN 1:00:00

Yeah, you're in the outrageous app, right? That's right. Yeah, exactly familia platform be created. So you can find that.

Curt Storring 1:00:06

Yes, that's right. So I'm taking your course I'm listening to podcasts. It's really a blessing for me. So I was actually gonna ask you where to get that. Because I'd love to pick one of those up. Stand firm if you're listening. So, man, Isaac, thank you so much for this. I really appreciate this. And great to be here, Curt. Thank you for listening to the Dad Work Podcast. That's it for this episode. But if you would like to stay in touch between the weekly episodes, why don't you go over to Instagram and follow me there because I draw up a number of things throughout the week that are related to what we talked about on this podcast, but usually go a little bit deeper, provide some tips you can find me on Instagram at dadwork.curt. That's DADWORK.CURT And please, if you have been getting something out of this podcast, if it has touched you if it has improved your marriage or parenting or your life, would you please leave a quick review on Apple or Spotify. leave a rating. If you have a few extra seconds, leave a quick review. That's the best way that we can get this work in the hands of more fathers. And I truly believe that we change the world, one father at a time, because each father that parents better that loves better raises children who do the same. And in just a couple of generations. I feel like we could be living in a world much better than the one we live in today. Your review will help along that path. And I thank you so much for being here to listen until next week. We'll see you then.

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