By Amanda Grandlienard
Sean is a dad from our Antioch program. He was recommended by his program Director, Cris Goodfellow, to give this interview. At Kindred Life we are dedicated to supporting young dads on their journey as fathers. We believe fathers serve an important role that cannot be overemphasized. As Dr. Dobson points out so eloquently
“If homes are going to survive, it will be because husbands and fathers again place their families at the highest level on their system of priorities.”
As you get to know Sean more, we hope you will continue to pray for our mission to support and helpdevelop young parents.
Amanda: Sean, thank you so much for giving your time and being willing to let me interview you for the February newsletter.
Sean: No problem at all!
Amanda: Tell me a little about Elliott… how old is he?
Sean: In 5 days he will be 16 months old.
Amanda: Oh, I can hear his little sounds in the background.
Sean: (With pride) Yeah – he’s our little beast. He’s getting so big and has been walking since 10 months – we say 10 months but it was actually earlier.
Amanda: What is his favorite game or toy right now?
Sean: He loves music – and sports; we play a lot of music; I play guitar and ukulele and drums – he loves it.
Amanda: How did you first hear about KL?
Sean: Joann (Elliott’s mom) had heard about through a friend. She went a few times, invited me once to eat and I pretty much get there every time I’m not working. We love it.
Ivan (my mentor) is awesome. He’s a super cool guy who would be there anytime you needed him. I’m a fireman so I have a lot of older mentors but some guys don’t have that so KL is a really good outlet for them.
Amanda: Is Joann also involved with KL?
Sean: Yes, Joann loves it… even if gets hectic we always make it there. Once she considered not going anymore because our schedules just got so hectic but she said,” It would be awful,” so we decided let’s just make it work, whatever it takes.
Amanda: What is your favorite thing to play with Elliott?
Sean: I love playing music and dancing with him. (Laughs) Is that embarrassing? He strums the guitar with me. And playing catch. Joann is not as big a fan of the throwing things.
Amanda: Not at all! Dancing is a great way for toddlers to learn rhythm. What would you say is most important to you as a father?
Sean: The most important thing to me is giving him someone to look up to, not just as a man but being a good partner to Joann as well so he can learn how that’s supposed to work.
Amanda: Is there anything from your childhood you hope to pass on to Elliot?
Sean: My parents are awesome and my biggest support system. That’s something I want to give to him and a super positive attitude. I believe a good attitude can do more than a lot of people think.
Amanda: What has been the biggest surprise watching Elliott grow up?
Sean: I think his ability to already show affection towards Joann. He’s showing me his foot right now actually – he likes showing me his stinky feet he thinks it’s funny. Anyway, the way he shows me and Joann he loves us. It’s one of my favorite things about being a dad. The first 6 months – he was iffy with me. I was working so much. Then we really clicked on a camping trip.
Amanda: If Elliott was 15, what would you like to tell him?
Sean: I would tell him that it doesn’t matter what he does but do it the best he can. Put everything into it and be the best and always move forward.
Amanda: What do you think it the most important lesson you’ve learned as a parent?
Sean: I think the most important lesson is patience. You gotta have patience with things – I’ve learned a lot but patience is the biggest thing. Because of my training as a parametric, I was really paranoid as a new dad. I’ve learned that it’s okay to ease up and let mistakes happen – that’s how they learn.
Amanda: Do you have any advice for fathers considering being involved with Kindred Life?
Sean: Being a young dad is tough. I don’t have a lot of peers that are fathers. Talking to someone who is going through the same stuff as you is huge.. Your buddies who don’t have kids don’t know what’s really going on because there is just so much to being a dad. It’s so good to have a group of people who get it…
Amanda: What is your favorite thing about KL?
Sean: The people. I immediately felt at home. I never felt like and outsider. They are super nice. And I have to say – the food! Getting fed is awesome too.
Amanda: Wow- Thank you so much for your time Sean. it was so nice talking to you about Elliott. You are so wise and I really appreciate you sharing your experience.
Sean: It was totally my pleasure.