Our 781st Dad in the Limelight is Charlie King of the Heroic Fatherhood blog. I want to thank Charlie King for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Charlie King with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
I’m an entrepreneur, an adventure seeker and an explorer at heart. Most awesomely, I get to share my love of fun and adventure with my wife and two great teenagers. Parenting and marriage have been an adventure, creating the steepest personal learning curve I’ve ever encountered. My experience has focused both my priorities and my values. I am a clearer these days about who I am and who I want to be than ever before. I totally credit my amazing with and kids with that journey.
I share my stories and support other Dads to take action and become the Dad they’ve always wanted to be for their kids. I do through social media, my Heroic Fatherhood blog, coaching, and speaking opportunities.
2) Tell me about your family
I have two kids, (ages 13 & 16) who are engaged, funny, pushing back, frustrating and always amazing. I have a 16 year old daughter (now driving!) and a 13 year old son. Lots of balls to juggle with schedules, sports and work commitments. My wife Jamie is a Kindergarten teacher and an amazing chef. The way she manages the 5 year olds under her care isn’t much different from what’s often needed with teenagers some days. We have been married for 21 years as of this year. That still seems like an amazing amount of time.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The balance of knowing when to lean in and went to lean back as a parent has probably been my biggest challenge as a parent. When my kids were younger it seems so much of our parenting was leaning in, supporting them to make good decisions and teaching them about making good choices. As they’ve gotten older the challenge has been leaning back, allowing them to make their own choices and focusing more on mentoring, leading by example, and supporting them when things don’t go the way they expect. Right now we’re in s place where a lot of our energy is on teaching them about dealing with adversity, and consistently handing responsibility back to them to solve their own problems, needs and desires.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
In everything, trust yourself. If you’re a follower of a blog like this, I already know you’re a committed father. Don’t be afraid to lean in, share yourself and be authentic with your kids. Be willing to learn during the process of parenting. You will evolve and grow as your kids do. I fought it for years, and am so much more excited and engaged now that I’ve allowed myself to learn from my experience of raising kids.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
There’s a balance? Absolutely no such thing in my experience. That’s why it’s so important for me to recognize the importance of structure and really look at what’s needed in the moment. This allows me the bandwidth to give all my focus to where I’m at right now. If I’m at work, I give the best I know how to in a given day. When I’m at home, I lean in and do the best I can there. And I make sure I have a life outside of work and home, a “third space” filled with friends, fellowship, and ease.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I am humbled and amazed by other men’s stories. I hear stories of overcoming childhood tragedy, parenting health challenges, and daunting family circumstances. So many stories of bravery, compassion, and perseverance. I am constantly reminded the power of being an open hearted man. I am inspired by other mens’ stories.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
It’s a wild ride, and it gets better every year. If you have kids that are in the single digits I want to share this one thing with your readers: it gets better every year. Every year your kids grow, develop and become more themselves. Every year has a new and difficult challenges, but it gets better every year.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
For me I always recognize the adventurous times. My definition of an adventure is as follows: if everything goes to plan, it can be boring and predictable. For instance, vacation at an all-inclusive resort is “nice”, but often not memorable. But, when things start to veer off course, “go wrong,” then you’re on an adventure. If you have young kids, EVERY day is an adventure. As they get older, you can engage them in adventures, and instill them with curiosity and wonder. I think of our 4 day, multi-family mountain biking trip across the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington state, our week-long motorcycle trip with my daughter to go see a Rodeo in Idaho (and see as many horses as possible), or the five-day bicycle trip along the Eastern Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada with my son. A week of shore camping with my family on the Oregon Coast. Each of these trips required us to face some unexpected adversity or challenge (small or large) that included memorable situations and stories we still re-tell. The pictures I included for your interview were from two of the trips I mentioned above.
If you have any questions for Charlie King, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!