Today I have another interview for you (shout out to Mr. Ivan Throne for arranging this) with Hunter Drew. Hunter is a family man, author of his blog, The Family Alpha, as well as cofounder of the Fraternity of Excellence. As some of you who read this site may know, I’ve been exploring some themes surrounding responsibility and the role of parents, so Hunter was a perfect fit to help shed some light on the subject.
Garrett Dailey- One of the first things that I’ve noticed about you that stands out in contrast to a lot of guys in your area of Twitter is that you’re focused on having a family. You’ve said a few times on different podcasts that you always planned on having kids- was this something that was inspired from external sources like culture and your father, or did this come about unconsciously?
Hunter Drew- I’d say it was a combination of the two. Seems like a cop-out or political answer, but it’s the truth. I’d watch movies like Conan the Barbarian and Rambo and think, “I want to be like that guy” yet it was always with a woman hanging on me and children running around.
I have a larger family with many uncles, aunts, and cousins who’d get together often in my youth. Immediately I also have two brothers and a sister so I was surrounded by family my entire life and I’m sure that impacted me in a way which created the “I want to build this too” mindset.
Something I’ve considered while working to flesh through this question, is the fact that my parents split when I was young, my mother remarried and had my brother sister (twins), then she killed herself and my step-father adopted me.
It’s entirely possible that I wanted a family because then I wouldn’t be alone and as any adopted child can tell you, the fear of being “kicked from the family” is always there.
Maybe I think this way because it was a chance for me to “do it right” and create the life I never had.
GD- I’ve written a few times about the need for us, if we’re going to survive as a culture, to move from the sort of hedonistic, one night stand focus (that both genders are displaying) towards a newfound appreciation for the roles of motherhood and fatherhood. What do you think we can do to work on this, both as individuals and as social figures?
HD- I really don’t believe there is any reason for us to lead a charge against ONS towards monogamy/LTRs.
I say we let individuals do as they please and own the consequences of the choices they’re making.
Now, when it comes to parenting, if you don’t want your son to become an involuntary celibate or your daughter to become an Insta-Thot as seems to be the case for many out there the burden is on you to set the example and instill the values.
How do we get rid of the hedonistic mindset?
We have parents get involved in the rearing of their children.
Too many send their children to school for all educational matters when in fact, public education should be the minimum and supplemental to learning taking place inside the home. Also, when these children return from the drone creating institutions (school), parents are then plugging them in front of screens creating Tablet Toddlers (shout-out to Kyle Trouble for that perfect alliteration).
If parents do not instill values and morals, someone else will and right now that someone else is our attention whoring society.
As for the what to do as social figures, I find that one to be quite easy.
We simply begin sharing our story
I am a married father of two living the most average of lives.
You get the idea.
I never thought my message would catch on because, there’s nothing that grand or flashy about it. Yet, I’m near 20k followers on Twitter – why is that?
It’s because the average nuclear family has been surgically targeted for deconstruction by the powers that be and thus, the average family becomes less average year by year.
The action I can take to help families and promote the family lifestyle is to simply share my storey, which is what I do.
GD- Are there any particularly good paternal role models that you’ve had in your life? Any bad ones? How did these people shape your approach to fatherhood?
HD- I have had many mentors throughout my life, none rise significantly higher than others as I’ve always taken what works and disregarded the rest.
My father did a lot of things right, he also did some things wrong, this can be said for all the men and women who helped create the man I am today.
People need to stop hanging on to resentments or regrets when it comes to those who raised them. Simply look for the useful information, take it, apply it, then disregard the rest.
I’m sure there will be things I do that my son and daughter do not pass on to their children, we do our best as parents and hope we get it right more often than we don’t.
GD- Are there any exceptional paternal role models you see in the culture or media? I’d ask for bad ones here, but they unfortunately seem to be the norm.
GD- What can we do to promote a premeditated mindset for parenthood among young men and women, rather than the accidental/late in life approach that seems to be the norm?
HD- This goes back to my previous answer, we simply live the message.
It is not our place to tell kids they should go out and start families. My son may want to travel the world and never have children, my daughter may become a nun, who knows what the future holds and who am I to judge those who have chosen a different life path than I?
All we can do is live our lives and share the story, those who relate will follow.
The biggest thing that can be done for my demographic is fathers and husbands can show that marriage and fatherhood is not a death sentence.
I have two kids and have been with my woman for 16 years, I’m 32 so we’ve together roughly half our lives and we are still laughing and loving daily.
It’s only getting better and I share that on my social outlets.
Too many start families then kill their hobbies, lose their mission, and view their family to be anchors as opposed to fuel for growth.
Don’t do that.
GD- Are there any books on fatherhood or parenting in general that you’d recommend to the audience?
Every book I read I run through the filter of:
Then I do so.
Any book read has the potential to make you a better person and parent, you simply need to learn how to not only consume, but apply the content you are taking in.
GD- What are some of the core values you’ve made sure to instill in your children?
GD- Do you differ in your approach between your son and your daughter, and if so, how and why?
I’m fair with my children but the manner in which I speak to them, the chores I give them, the expectations I have for them, and the leeway they’re granted differs.
Because men and women are different and my children, while sharing similar DNA have totally unique personalities as well as the fact that my is son nine years old and daughter is six.
GD- How do you manage raising children with your wife? Obviously it’s a team effort- how do the two of you handle task delegation, disagreements, and aligning values between the two of you?
HD- My wife follows my lead when it comes to the children. Her and I are on the same page and when we do disagree about parenting decisions, she will present her case, I’ll share why I want to do whatever it is I’ve decided on and we come to an understanding of what is best.
There are times where I say no and wife says yes, if wife presents a solid argument, I’ll change my decision but if I don’t agree, then the answer is no.
We’re a team and with all teams, someone has to lead.
My wife is a solid mother who enforces my boundaries when I’m not around. Some freeload and let the kids go crazy when dad isn’t around, not Jackie she doesn’t mess around.
GD- Have you ever experienced intractable disagreements with your wife, and if so, how did the two of you handle or move beyond them?
HD- No, we’ve disagreed as I said above, but at the end of the day she is following my lead because she trusts me to get our family where we want to go.
GD- What do you do to stay involved in the lives of your children?
HD- Where to start?
One of my messages to all parents to give their children presence over presents.
Your kids need you, they need face time with intentional time and energy being directly channeled to their efforts.
I read to and with my kids.
I’m the head coach of my son’s Little League team (2018 Champions, humblebrag over)
I play outside with them daily.
We go on family hikes.
We play board games.
I’m involved in their education and instill my own curriculum at home.
I coached my daughter’s soccer team and attend her horse riding lessons as well as dance.
I teach the kids of historical events and then I bring them to those places.
I buy them books all the time as opposed to plugging into screens.
I get involved where I can when it comes to school work.
Every evening we sit around the table and share one thing we’re grateful for and two things about our day.
This is all on top of working 50 hour weeks, running The Family Alpha Blog, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and also the Fraternity of Excellence as well as speaking at 21 Conventions, and hosting Red Man Group: Patriarchs.
GD- What are some of the most rewarding parts of being a father? The hardest?
HD- The most rewarding part is seeing them go through their little milestones, becoming their own individual and succeeding at life.
Each of those milestones is bringing them closer to total independence and no longer needing me in their day to day life.
I know the goal is to have raised functional adults, but I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to them growing up.
I soak in every day because they are numbered and that saddens me quite a bit, it is what it is and I will do my best not to be that dad who shows up every day with coffee and a smile, though I’m hoping that’s exactly what they’ll want.
GD- Are your parents still alive? If so, how do they play a role in your approach to parenting?
HD- They are alive and they don’t play a role in my approach to parenting. I took the best they offered and disregarded the rest, filling in the gaps with my personal approach or things I appreciated from other role models.
GD- Is there anything you wish you had known before getting married and having kids? Is there anything you would tell your younger self in that vein?
Where I’m at is where I want to be and the highs and lows were needed in order to get me to where I am today.
GD-Where can our readers find you on the internet?
I am most active and accessible inside the FraternityofExcellence.com which I CoFounded with Craig James. We’ve built our online tribe which has continued to grow month after month and this year we’ll be having our first “real world” meetup which will be awesome.
My email list is where I am sharing my more personal stories and insights I don’t want free to the world via the blog; you can subscribe at TheFamilyAlpha.com/Newsletter
The blog has my larger written works and a pretty solid archive. It’s ⅓ Masculinity, ⅓ Marriage, and ⅓ Fatherhood – TheFamilyAlpha.com
Social media side of the house, I’m @HunterDrewTFA on both Twitter & Instagram