Our 620th Dad in the Limelight is strategic communication strategist Jarvis Stewart of IR Media. I want to thank Jarvis Stewart for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Jarvis Stewart with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge
A native of Houston, I am the youngest of five children – one brother, three sisters. My parents were hardworking, God-fearing people who taught us to value faith, family, education and friends…in that order. During my senior year in college, I moved to Washington for a short time to work in national politics. This experience afforded me the opportunity to travel the country, and to learn more about who I was and wanted to become.
I lived in Los Angeles for five years, but later moved back to DC to work in the Clinton Administration. I also spent time on Capitol Hill as a chief of staff to a member of Congress. Both of these experiences led me to create a government and corporate affairs consulting firm. Ever the entrepreneur, I recently launched IR Media a media and strategic communications firm to assist clients with message development, brand management and crisis mitigation.
2) Tell me about your family
My wife, Stacey, and I have been married for nearly 13 years. She’s the president of one of the largest non-profits in the world and remains on the go. We have two daughters, Madeleine Reid, age 12, a superstar athlete, equestrian and world-class student; and Savannah Francies, age 10, a budding young artist, vocalist and champion for social justice.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Largest challenge? Being patient. I’m very ambitious and personally strive to be better than I was yesterday. I’ve had to learn that my daughters are “wired” differently, and that they live in a totally different world than me. While I want the very best for them and for them to learn life’s most difficult lessons now, fact is – that ain’t happening. I’m getting better…hopefully.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
- Live, laugh and love WITH your kids
- Prepare them for, don’t protect them from life
- Resist the urge to pass your fears and anxieties on to them
- Let them see you love and be kind to their mother
- Be frank and honest with them – make sure they know you didn’t and don’t always get it right either.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
Communicate – with my team in the office, my wife and most of all my daughters. We also have rules in the family, which I believe help with balance. For example: no smart-phones or ipads at the dinner table. That time, which is very precious, is meant for telling goofy stories, laughing and bonding. Saying bedtime prayers together is also very important, and has helped with balancing my world.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
That I’m not alone, and if fatherhood (parenting) was easy – we’d all be much better at it. The world, I’m sure, would also be a much better place.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
The relationship between fathers and their kids (especially daughters) is obviously very special. The bond and trust I create now with my girls, I believe, will dictate how they’ll engage with men for the rest of their lives. The experiences we share now, I hope, will dwell in their hearts and minds forever.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
My most memorable experiences as a parent have not necessarily come from my interaction with my daughters, but rather from standing off to the side, watching and listening to them when they think I’m not around. I get a great sense of joy and reassurance when I see and hear them replay problem solving and judgment lessons drilled into them by my wife and me. For that quick moment, I’m convinced – they get it!
If you have any questions for Jarvis Stewart, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!