What’s the story behind the RAD DAD podcast?
While starting a family Kirill and his wife were spending a lot of time with their kids. They read a lot of resources for new parents, but many of them had very definitive answers on how to do things; it seemed suspicious that someone would have all the answers. Kirill wanted to learn from parents he knew about their challenges and mistakes and to make up his own mind on what was most applicable to his family.
Rad Dad podcast started as a series of interviews with Kirill's friends and people he met. They were mostly parents in the tech world, balancing family life and work.
What is the story behind the naming of Rad Dad podcast?
After having their first kid, Kirill and his family moved to the suburbs. One day he was telling his friend, a cofounder of Boosted Boards about his experience riding the board through the neighborhood, and how excited local kids were seeing someone float by on an electric board. Turned out, the team at Boosted had different marketing buckets for their customers, and one was literally called "Rad Dad." It was about the time when Kirill was starting his podcast, and the name seem really fitting, so the Rad Dad show was born.
What have you learned from doing the Rad Dad Show?
Everyone is different and you should take every advice with a grain of salt. Listen and learn from others and see how their lessons apply to you, but don't stress about the big picture. You don’t actually know what’s going to happen to your kids down the road, and neither do they.
How do you raise the kids to stand up for themselves?
If you want your children to stand up for themselves and tell the world what they think, then it becomes an interesting parenting challenge because your kids will not follow orders, and you would have to be okay with that. As a parent, you would have to let your kids choose their own path.
How do you help your children to maximize their strengths?
First you have to spend time with your kids to figure out who they are; you have to tune into their personality. Mike, the host of 2 Cent Dad, is homeschooling their 4 kids so he gets to see their progress very closely. He can see that while one kid might be better at math, the other might be better at reading. It doesn't make any sense to force them all into the same track. Forcing kids to do something only creates more conflict and barriers. Instead, if you can figure out what your children excel in and encourage that, allowing them to self-pace their learning. You will be surprised how far they could take it.
How important is it to spend time with your kids?
Spending meaningful time with your children is the best way to connect with them. Your kids aren't going to change as much as you might think, and if you can understand who they are from an early age, ultimately, you would be able to help them and to communicate with them through their entire life.
What is a family board meeting?
Family board meeting is a way to unplug and to spend intentional quality time with kids. The board meeting is a way to give your kids the power of choosing their life, one day at a time. It works like this: (1) set a date, (2) get your kids to choose an activity they want to do (3) actually do it with them, and don't get distracted on anything else.
What is the greatest parenting challenge with young children?
Kids are just like adults, but since they cannot do or understand a lot of things in the world, they come with constraints. Imagine yourself in your kids' shoes, and you'd realize how disempowering and oppressive it is to be a child. Someone is always telling you what to do, and how to do it.
It’s hard to admit and even harder to practice, but as parents we have to be a lot more relaxed around our children, and we have to be more prepared. Our patience is always tested. Nevertheless, giving kids freedom to decide on their own is the best thing we can do, both for them and for ourselves.
How can I invest in my child's future?
If you can find the patience and time to communicate with your children, and to not just command orders, but speak to them in a calm manner and explain things, and get their feedback, then you can definitely build a rapport with your kids.
Why do we lie to our children?
It seems a lot of parents want to protect their children, and therefore lie to them about things that exist in the real world, as an attempt to somehow keep them in the baby phase for longer.
For reference, Paul Graham has an interesting essay on this, called The Lies We Tell Our Kids. In it, he mentions a theory that swear words, for example, are just a way to mark the speaker as an adult. From the essay: "There's no difference in the meaning of "shit" and "poopoo." So why should one be ok for kids to say and one forbidden?"
What are some methods for improving your parenting style?
It is easy to get into the routine rather than to take a step back to analyze and to correct your approach to parenting, when it is needed. One way to improve on this is by having frequent and deliberate conversations with your spouse. Consider discussing parenting styles you observe. What do you agree with, what do you disagree with? Remember, the point is not for your individual point to win, but to create a system which enables you to parent better together.
What’s the importance of RAD DAD interviews?
By listening to parents from all walks of life talk about their family life, you will eventually find something new, something of interest to incorporate in your own life. Everyone is different, but everyone also has something important to share.