Episode 257 Transcript (Joey Odom)

Episode 257 (Joey Odom)

Podcast Intro: [00:00:01] Being a great father takes a massive amount of courage. Instead of being an amazing leader and a decent dad, I want to be an amazing dad and a decent leader. The oldest dad in the world gave you this assignment, which means you must be ready for it. As a dad, I get on my knees and I fight for my kids. Let us be those dads who stop the generational pass down of trauma. I want encounters with God where He teaches me what to do with my kids. I know I’m going to be an awesome dad because I’ll give it my all.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:00:39] Hey guys, welcome back to dadAWESOME. My name is Jeff Zaugg and it’s the 22nd of December. So let me say this, Merry Christmas. Thanks for listening this week. This is episode 257. My guest, Joey Odom, is going to go after the theme of presence, being present, fighting against distractions that would take our presence away from our families, and this is the perfect episode, the perfect conversation for Christmas week. So Merry Christmas, guys. Also, I have a Christmas gift for you guys and just remember this, dad22, remember that code, dad22 is your Christmas gift. I made sure as I chatted with Joey and the team at Aro, which we’ll talk about, this amazing invention that they’ve created to help families with presents. They they set up a special discount code, dad22. So remember that, it’ll make more sense, at the end of the conversation, I’ll explain how to use that discount code to get your Christmas gift. Guys, we are three weeks out from celebrating five years as a ministry, five years of dadAWESOME, we’re celebrating that in mid-January. And I’m just inviting all of our dadAWESOME community to do one of three things. One is to make a donation, an end of year, kind of one time, donation, we’re a nonprofit organization, so make a donation is option one. Option two is send an email. Send me an email, jeff@dadAWESOME.org, let me know just one specific way that dadAWESOME has been helpful. I’d love to hear from you, that would be a huge gift to me. Make sure to include a photo of your family. I’d love to see that photo and hear about how dadAWESOME has been helpful. The third option is to post something on social media, including dadAWESOME.org, the website or the #dadAWESOME. I would love and we will just appreciate, we’ve doubled up the impact of dadAWESOME as far as downloads over this past year, and we’d love to double up again going into next year, 2023. So, so anyways, all that aside, you can make a donation, you can send me an email or you can post on social media, those would be a way for you to give us as a ministry, a Christmas gift. Let’s jump right in, though. This conversation with Joey Odom is around being present with our families radically saying, I’m not going to give in to the temptation to be distracted and look at a glowing screen, the screen of my phone, I’m going to be present with my kids. So Merry Christmas and enjoy this conversation, episode 257 with Joey Odom. Just start, joey, just introduce your family, age of your two kids, how long you been married, and what has recently like, oh, that was a moment that I treasured. Any, any just recent story of, like, oh, that was a dad, dad moment?

Joey Odom: [00:03:24] Man, that’s good. I would say so, my wife, Kristen, I’ve been married for about eighteen years, about eighteen and a half. We have a 14 year old son, Harrison, and a 12 year old daughter, Gianna. And that I’ll I’ll come out of the gate, she may be annoyed that I tell the story, but one that’s just within this week just kind of rock me was the other day my, my daughter, she was sitting on the couch and she came up and cuddled with me and and I just had this moment where I said, you know, this is let me just be here for a moment, little bit more than than before, probably. And I just sat there and just, you know, she just kind of cuddled up in my armpit and, you know, and just put her head on my chest. And it was great. And then my wife told me a few minutes later that that was a horrendous day for her at school, that she had been and she’d had some mean girl stuff go on. And it was one of those moments I just kind of wipe my brow and think, Gosh, I’m so grateful that I didn’t dismiss that moment, that it was just that moment for Gianna and me to be together. And that was a that was it was a good it was a good dad moment. And we know, you know, we had the context for life, we know that’s going to be okay in the long term. But to 12 year old girl that doesn’t feel that good, you know, I mean, and she did need, she did need dad to just put her arms around, and later after learned that I look her in the eye, took her by the face, I said, Let me tell you all the things you are. Let me tell you what what Psalm 139 says you are. Let me tell you that you are beautiful. Let me tell you you are wonderful. Let me tell you of all the things I’ve seen in you. Who knows if that sunk in? She goes, Oh, thanks, Dad, but it’s one of those things you just got to hear those words of life being spoken over you. So it was it was from a moment of just me, a rare moment, where I wasn’t being, wasn’t being selfish and I just kind of focused in on her. It was a, it was a good moment.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:05:03] So part one of the moment was accidental, intentionality, you just chose to be a little more present, a little more time, that’s what it feels like. And then part two, though, after you learned, you used your words to just add identity affirmation, right? Like, that’s part, what I mean that’s such a good I mean, this morning my 18 month old, my youngest daughter was doing the same cuddle and she’s feeling a little under the weather. And so my words in that moment, less important, but my like just softness in my like I’m you’re safe with me. Isn’t that crazy to think, fast forward, I mean basically a decade of difference of age of daughter? Oh, man.

Joey Odom: [00:05:45] Just safe and safe in dad’s arms that there are some real, real power there. That’s amazing.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:05:49] And it applies further than us for our kids because we are safe. And we talked about starting a new business, starting a new ministry, like there’s so many moments we just have to remember we’re safe. It’s actually going be okay, right?

Joey Odom: [00:06:01] Yeah, I remember there’s a story when my son Harrison, who’s now 14, when he was when he was a baby and he was he was in, you know, bottle time. He was, it was right, he was right on, you know, right on and the 3 hours he would have his bottle. And so there was a moment where I was I was getting this bottle ready and he was screaming at the top of his lungs. And I remember exactly where I was living room chair. And he was just ready to eat. And I and I as I was giving him his bottle, he doesn’t understand my words, and I said out loud to him and I caught myself in mid-stride, and I said, and I said, Harrison, I said, I’ve fed you every time you’ve needed to be fed. I’ve never missed a feeding and I’m never going to miss a feeding. I’m always going to feed you. And I got I thought, holy crap. Like, it’s just like God himself said to me as I scream and wiggle and cry all the time, just in everyday life, metaphorically, God would say the exact same thing. Like, dude I fed you every time I’m going to feed you every time, you’re good, it’s all right.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:06:54] We need that reminder. That’s so, that’s so good. It’s so easy to fixate on things that aren’t working. And I actually, I’m as we’re recording this, I’m across the country from you. So I’m in Arizona and was with a group of dads at a campfire last night. And one of the themes that came up was just like, we can judge the inputs, but we should be judging the outputs like like the outputs of the parenting game, like we are responsible for the inputs. What are we putting in? What do we, but the outputs and there’s a so many levels that if we’re just like rocked every time an output does it because it’s so often, and one of my mentors says Live in the day, measure the decade. Right? And that’s what I just heard from you talking about a decade later of of dad, daughter cuddling. What do you think, when you think inputs, what was the first couple of things that came to mind of like, oh, these are things I want to I want to measure or I want to just like I can be proactive with these inputs in, in this chapter of you being a dad?

Joey Odom: [00:07:51] So I’ll tell you I was a, to a fault, so this is not me, this is not braggadocios, this is actually an informal 0 to 10. I thought I was the freaking best dad in the world. And you know why? Because I ruled with an iron fist. You know, I was, I was, you know, and not, not in, like, not in a really bad way, but just it was it was I was very stern with my kids.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:08:10] Controlling? Maybe.

Joey Odom: [00:08:11] Yeah. Yeah, probably so. Like, very, you know, just making sure that their behavior was really good and there their things that they probably took, they were very, very good from that. But I’ve learned as my kids, I’ve grown from there like and John Aldridge wrote a book, Fathered by God, which was so good. And it’s just like a God, like He just accepts us at our faults and he accepts all the idiosyncrasies. And so I think I’ve learned from that and I think I’m in the season right now that this input that I want to communicate to my kids as you are fully accepted by me. I don’t think they’ve ever questioned love, but you are fully accepted, everything you do, I accept and you are mine. And nothing you could do, love is it’s not fall short of love, It’s fall short of my acceptance, Like you are good enough for me. You know what I mean? I think that’s one of the biggest things and a lot of times that, you know, that shows up and just being there. And then I think for me it also shows up, I’m learning this more and more and I’m not great at it yet, is in being there on their terms, doing something that they want. When my daughter wants to go get an acai bowl, you know, I’m not going to go and tell her no we’re going to get burgers, instead, we’re going to go get an acai bowl because that’s something that she loves. When my son wants to watch, you know, another Marvel movie, the guy instead of, you know, you need to watch Rocky, you know, Rocky four with me, you know, just like now let’s watch another Marvel. You know what I mean? Whatever it is on their terms. So it’s acceptance, but then it’s acceptance on their terms. I think that’s, those are a couple of those inputs I really, really want because, eventually I want them, Andy Stanley talks about this is, you know, parenting towards your kids wanting to hang out with you later. I’m also a little bit more in that phase right now.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:09:45] Yeah. Now we all experience a father, those of us who had a dad who was present and at home. It’s like we saw what fatherhood looked like, and then we get to choose forward, am I going to copy or am I going to add extra emphasis or making a subtract and not do that because I saw my dad do that? Talk a little bit about your dad and first of all, the side of like, man, I want I want to be like he was in these ways, any, any areas that you’re like, I want to pass that down?

Joey Odom: [00:10:11] Well, I’ll start with the story, you know, from 1985. So I was born in 1980. So, you know, I was I was five years old. And I remember sitting at my window one day and just kind of sitting there in anticipation of a moment, sitting there watching. And then, you know, this all of a sudden this this, you know, blue Buick pulls into my driveway and my dad, you know, my dad wasn’t home yet. So the blue Buick pulls in my driveway and out steps a guy in a suit carrying a briefcase, and he walks to our front door. And I thought, okay, you know, it’s my time. Like, I got to go. So I go up and I run up to this guy and I pounce on him, I attack him, and he grabs me right, and then he lifts me to the sky to kiss me. He said, Joey, I’m so glad to see you, it was my dad, of course. So, ya know, so Dad, Dad lifts me, grabs me. And I know, I know now because I’m you know, because I’m 42 years old now. I understand what it was like to, he was an entrepreneur himself, like what it was like to have a long day trying to he probably wanted to sit and watch some TV or having an iced tea or something like that. But instead he changed into his superhero costume. But his superhero costume was, you know, seven inch inseam, Riddell shorts and, you know, a t-shirt and tube socks. And we went and we played catch and I have two other brothers. He may have done that with them as well, but for whatever it was, I always felt like I was the focus of his day and I’m sure they felt the exact same way because he loved us individually, but we would go play catch and it may have been 5 minutes, but I’m telling you, Jeff, it felt like 5 hours and it felt like it was every day, whether it was or not. And so my dad had, my dad was always present. My dad’s business really struggled when I was in middle school and high school. He never missed a single basketball game. He was always up there. He was always the first to talk with me after. So my dad’s presence was very strong and his his upbringing was was a lot different. When he was three years old, his dad passed away in a car accident. My dad was in the car as well and his father passed away. He was there in the moment when his father passed away in the car accident. And so I think his whole life he was it was really important to him to be present like his father was unfortunately not able to be. And he’s just about the most patient, wonderful, loving, still with us, just the greatest, greatest man who taught me about being present with my kids. And I actually look sometimes and I just think, gosh, I don’t know, I don’t know that I’m doing it as well as my dad did because he was just always there.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:12:42] Thank you for sharing that story. And I know that that’s part of like center of your passions and your work is around presence and want to bring this. That’s pretty cool to know the backstory and we’ll get into it in a moment, some of what you guys have created. But let’s jump to your wife for a second. So, Kristen, if I was to interview her and say, hey, give me just a couple, not not everything, but a couple of ways that like Joey, like he struggles as a dad, like a couple of the ways that, like, you missed it. And because when we miss it, we can cause pain to our kids and we all miss it. Being dadAWESOME is not is not in perfection. It’s, it’s a pursuit in a direction of like, no, it’s my heart, but I stumble. And so, what would Kristen like maybe mention as far as areas that that you’re still a work in progress as a dad?

Joey Odom: [00:13:27] Well, she wouldn’t even let you finish that question before she jumped in and said, I’m just an impatient monster, sometimes. I just just just the impatience and, you know, irritability. So I think that the I think impatience would definitely, we’ve work, we worked on that a lot. I mean, and it’s it’s so I think impatience would be would be number one. And I think I think now she would say another way is that I’m an over talker, so I’m reactive. When she you know, the kids will say something, and I’ll say, well, you got to do a, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I go through all you know, go through Z and then double A, double B. So I gave all the lessons and she just said, Hey, sometimes just chill out. It’s just that you don’t need to give them the lessons, just, just be there for them. So I would say those are probably the two most, the impatience probably more the 0 to 10 years and now trying to be a little bit too much of a kind of a, you know, a lesson teacher to some degree and and not letting my words be few.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:14:26] Yeah. Your story with your with your dad and him getting out of the car. My dad drove a red pickup truck, a smaller pickup truck, but he had a car phone system in it, that was like flashlights or honk, I can’t quite remember, when he was at a job site to alert him. And there was no chance that when he got out of the truck and I was shooting hoops in the driveway, there was no chance he would bring the box with him like it was a for sure.

Joey Odom: [00:14:53] Yeah, right.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:14:54] For sure that he was going to be phone free when he was hanging out with the kids. Now, the two of us, I’m 40, I think you’re a couple, yeah, a couple of years older. We, we have our phone with us, you know, it’s so accessible versus the car phones latched to the center console. I want to talk about presence and screens for a little bit and, and this this makes so much sense because this is an area you’re so passionate about. Is, is the like we have a perspective of this is what I desire is to be present, but there’s all the things that fight in war against that. Would you take us into a little bit what you’ve observed over the last decade and then what’s what’s kind of brought you forward into some of the work you’re doing now?

Joey Odom: [00:15:35] Yeah, I think I’ll start with the, if it’s okay, start with another story. So in the the story I gave with me and my dad, I was five years old. So when my son, Harrison, was five years old, he was playing soccer. And by the way, Harrison’s 14 years old. He’s the greatest kid in the world. He’s a great tennis player. At five years old, he was not a good soccer player. He was he was he was not a good soccer player. And he he just rolls his eyes when I tell this story, but, you know, five years old, everybody on the soccer team had scored a goal except for Harrison. And so, you know, you think back on this moment, you know, we’re on the sidelines on a Saturday and Harrison is in the game. And and he it’s almost this cinematic moment with him being over the last kids hasn’t scored a goal it’s him, the soccer ball, the empty net right in the middle of all the chaos. And he rears backs his leg he kicks the ball end over end into the back of the net. So Harrison scores his first goal, is the last kid on the team to score a goal. The crowd goes wild, coach comes out, lift him up. And of course, what is what is a five year old boy do but look to the sidelines to make sure that he captures that moment with his dad. It’s this magical moment where he looks over to lock eyes with me. Except I didn’t see it. I didn’t see any of it. I was looking down at my phone and I missed this moment, this of Harrison scoring a goal. So, Jeff, I can’t get the moment back. I can’t. And I look back at that story because I want I don’t want any dad listening here or any future dad who might be listening to have to tell the same story. And I think those stories are really, really avoidable. And so we’ve noticed and we know how it is, think about it, so think back to my dad, 1985. It was still hard to be present. It was still hard to be a good dad. To do all the things you’re supposed to do, but they didn’t have this boulder that we carry around in our pockets, that is. And we can say it and it sounds ridiculous to say it, this is the biggest distraction in our lives, without a doubt. Our phones are the biggest source of distraction. I describe to find distraction is anything that gets in the way of your intentions. So anything gets in the way of intention, intentions. My intention is to be a great dad. My intention is when I speak with somebody to be the most present and engaged person they’ve ever spoken with. And you have very similar ambitions. And I think everybody listening to this has very similar ambitions. And so it’s not for lack of intention that we’re not achieving those things right. It’s for lack of systems and tools. And we’ve grown, and I and I and I believe that most men out there, not most, excuse me, I’m going to restate that, I believe that a lot of people, including men, including dads, have a sort of resignation to, well, that’s just how it is. That’s just how the world, hey, you got to accept technology. Sure, but we can actually wield a lot better. And I am a firm, firm, firm believer that it can look different. And we don’t have to miss soccer goals and we don’t have to miss moments and we don’t have to miss moments where your daughter comes up and silently needs a little bit of affection that we can be fully present for there, in fact, the term the name of our company is called Aro. Aro is a term that means to notice, and that’s what I want we got to figure out. And there’s no way in heck that we can notice if this screen is in front of us all the time. By the way, we need our phones. I’m not getting rid of my phone. I’m not going I’m not going to flip phone. I’m not getting rid of my phone, I need it. But I believe we as a society, and especially dads, we need to build a relationship with this phone that allows us to have the great relationship with others. We need to redefine that relationship with our phones.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:19:07] When someone offers me a 6x return, whether it’s investment of time, money, if I can do hard work and get a 6x return, it’s like, that sounds pretty good. 600% right. So the work that I do in this area of let’s call, in some ways, at times the phone is the kryptonite that keeps me from being superman, dadAWESOME. Right? The phone is that. It totally is. If I figure this out, whatever figured out, not perfection, but if I figure out a plan to not have kryptonite destroy my strength and my focus and my shiny eyes, we talk a lot about shiny eyes, like I want to be a dad who has shiny eyes, not the glowing eyes from the screen.

Joey Odom: [00:19:50] I like that. I like that.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:19:50] But if I figured out in that I can lovingly help our marriage figure out there’s there’s one X, there’s there’s a double right there, my wife and I, can bring double. But then I have four daughters who I’m training that the hard work we do, they get to grow up in an atmosphere of they understand how to. Right? So that’s what I mean by success. Like this feels like one of those areas that a lot of dad life actually could potentially, the work that I experience, like the input could get multiplied out to my girls, to their future husbands someday, to the, but this feels really tangible to me, it’s one of those areas. When you when you said earlier, the name Aro means observant to notice. Notice. Thank you. Thank you. Our RV that we’re traveling in is a Forest River, Georgetown, Curious George. Right. Georgie, We call it Georgie, but curiosity is a major asset when it comes to the dad life. Staying curious that curiosity and noticing are like synonyms, I think. I mean, we have to you, we have to you. I wanted to just before we talk a little more about Aro and how this could be a tool that helps all of our dads listening, the families. I wanted to quick just thank you because I don’t have, I have very very few times in almost five years of dadAWESOME, talk about your tools to your tool belt, like I want to help dads have more tools and more encouragement and I’m cheering for them. But like we talk about the tool belt, the dad life tool belt, and I actually, I can’t think of a time that I’ve had a friend who’s created something that’s a tangible tool. It’s often a book as a like a new habit, perhaps, different things like that. So I want to just thank you for doing this, it’s a whole I can’t imagine the back story of how many years and and you guys shipped me, so it’s over my shoulder, in fact, I’m going to run over and grab the Aro, just to give people an idea of what we’re talking about here. So hold one second.

Joey Odom: [00:21:44] I love it. That sounds great.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:21:46] Because you’re the first and you sent me an early, I’m cutting edge, I’m cutting edge, you sent me. So what are we looking at here? Describe what this is in my hands.

Joey Odom: [00:21:57] Yeah, what your holding is, it’s a beautiful, by the way, fellas, this is wife approved, home decor. This is, we consulted a lot of interior designers to build this. It’s a device, a place, you know, shaped, shaped like a box that, that holds your phones. It’s the place for your phones. It’s a white fabric wrapped, with a bamboo lid, four slots on the inside, charges your phone while it’s in there and it’s a beautiful piece of home decor and what you don’t see underneath it is that it is it is tech, tech packed. So it’s a tech device that with the, you know, when you drop your phone in Aro, it automatically connects to an app and starts tracking the time away from your phone, so you don’t have to do anything, you just you just start putting it in there. So we all get our Sunday screen time reports from Apple that says, you’ve been on your phone for 7000 hours a day. Well, this this says this tells you, hey, here’s how much time you’ve intentionally spent away from your phone. And so what happens then, Jeff, we know this when you get it, when you get a little atta boy, you get a little pat on the back, that feels good and then you want to do it again. And so what we’re doing, the problem, a lot of people will use the term phone addiction and there are probably people who are addicted to their phones. But I actually think we just have we’ve built bad habits in our muscles are atrophied. We have these muscles that have that have had that have told us that we need to have our phones with us all the time. Well, I don’t think you do at family dinner. I don’t think you do when it’s time to, you know, get in the Word a little bit, when you when you’re journaling, whatever that is. So I think that, I think things are a little bit different. Um, I think that our, our, our muscles have been atrophied and all we need is to build up our muscles a little bit. And when we do that, it’s going to feel a lot different. So that’s what the whole system is designed around is is that and I can go to all the science about it, but that that’s, that’s the basic premise of it.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:23:38] Well, gamification and tangible like I want to improve and there so many areas in the dad life, I can’t know for sure, am I improving? I actually paid for two different apps, probably didn’t need both of them, but I was in Southern California and I wanted to track my surfing. So I hopped in, I’m like, okay, it’s just one month, I’ll use these. But I surfed more and I surfed harder because I knew I was being tracked because my, you know, my, my watch is synced up to these apps and told me how many waves I caught, how long I rode the waves, how my average heart rate was, so I couldn’t just slack and sit out there. It’s kind of silly because surfing’s epic like regardless, but I still wanted to get better and I wanted a little bit of that coaching side of I’m being coached with these inputs of how many sessions, how many waves, how many. And this is where I think in the dad life, any way that I can have a, not only a prompt to do the action that my intent says I want to do, so that’s where the beautiful box it sits in our RV, it actually sits right next to the door in a spot where it’s seen and the girls know my my daughters know what it’s for and they don’t have phones yet. So it’s just at this point, it’s one layer. It’s parent down, but they benefit. They still benefit from it. the families with older kids, we’ll talk about how your family uses it in a moment, but the the prompt is there, but then the the nudge with the hey, way to go, hey, this is how you gamify. And my wife and I how much time we get that side the the weekly like it’s all like to me it’s designed for the dad like me that needs that extra on the tail end. Am I making a difference or not?

Joey Odom: [00:25:14] That, well, it was. It was, it probably feels like it was designed for a Dad like you, because it was designed by a dad like you. Which is which is us. I mean, this this began as dads. And what’s cool, here’s what I love about your kids ages, where they are before they have phones. I think this is one of the we didn’t fully appreciate this at the outset. This is one of the hugest opportunities and it’s a wonderful, amazing opportunity when you have kids who are young and it’s for a couple of different reasons. When you put your phone down, what that does, it becomes an equalizer for you and your kids. All of a sudden, you’re on the same level, Kiva’s your nine year old, it it becomes, I’m reminding you, just in case you forgot, no I’m kidding. So for Kiva, it equalizes the two of you. No longer is there a piece of something between you. No longer do you have technology, she doesn’t have. All of a sudden, it’s just the two of you, eye to eye, so it’s an equalizer, which is amazing. The second thing it does is it it bestows value on people around you. So when you put your phone down and I make a display, when I go put my phone in Aro, I’ll make a production out of it. I’ll say, hey, listen, hey, everyone, I’m putting my phone down, I’m here with you. You’re communicating to them that you’re more valuable to me than this phone. That’s the really amazing thing. Third thing it does, it becomes the it becomes the reverse parental control. All of a sudden, it’s not you control the kids, the kids controlling you, kids without phones tell their parents all the time, Daddy, put your phone down and they get used to it. You’re going to create a monster if you get Aro, by the way, because your kids are going to say, Daddy, Mommy, put your phone away, put your phone away, put your phone in the box. They love it. They love they love to where they willed that level of control over you. It’s an amazing tool. One of the things that one of our members does, which I love, she hands her six year old her phone and she says, hey, will you go put this in the box for me, she calls it the box, will go put it in Aro for me? And so that also gives the opportunity for you to teach your kids here’s how you manage your device. So when they get their phone, it’s not shellshock to them that you put your phone away and don’t have it on your body at all times.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:27:20] Right. Right. It that’s fascinating that it’s actually a it’s a moment of we’re changing into a new moment as a family, because this is this is phone free time. This is the time that we’re at the yet again, seeing eye to eye, no device between us. And so I actually think it was one of our mutual friends mentioned, as I was doing a little research for this conversation, was like, hey, the thing in the thing that is closest to your eyes or the closest to you is the thing you value the most. And how often is that? Is that the screen of our phone actually impeding the connection of our eyes to our kids eyes actually falls in between or it’s we’re looking at it instead of. So the subtlety and the I know there’s a lot of research that’s already been done, but there’s a lot to be seen still and how it affects long term when a kid sees the eyes of their parent dart away from them to something that’s glowing and shiny.

Joey Odom: [00:28:16] Well, even even without the research, we all know it. If, if if my daughter Gianna, who’s 12, if she is having a conversation with me and she’s being vulnerable, let’s say she’s opening up a little bit and I pull my phone out and just glance at it for half a second, that kills vulnerability. That kills her vulnerability. And what does the next time there’s an opportunity for vulnerability, because vulnerability is named as a dangerous thing. Vulnerability is inherently a risky thing because you’re opening yourself up and literally, you know, comes from your exposing your underbelly, giving somebody the opportunity to stab you in your weakest, in your weakest part. And so when we crush vulnerability with our kids and I’m speaking to myself right now, when we crush vulnerability with our kids, that is a devastating thing for that relationship. And then the next time that that moment opens up where she would have been vulnerable otherwise and she doesn’t, it’s because you can look back and say, well, this is why I killed the vulnerability last time. And what what a thing is dads and I you know, I don’t want to speak in any shameful terms, but again, I’m speaking to myself. We have to recognize this. We have to embrace this as dads, because this we have until about 18 our our time with our kids drops off dramatically statistically when our kids are 18. So we have this finite amount of time. Life does not go on forever. Right? So we have to embrace this opportunity we have and not crush that vulnerability by throwing the screen up in front of us. So statistically or not, we know it’s having an effect in our own world. So on the world it is, but how about our own worlds when we know that we have this little opportunity and let’s not freaking waste it, you know what I mean?

Jeff Zaugg: [00:29:45] Yeah, yeah. Wasting the most precious gift and the gift that we can be to our kids. I mean, that would be the worst case is to look back and say, I wasted it, especially in this kind of like of unnecessary, unnecessary attention being drawn away. How would you coach me if say, like I’m all in or one of the dads listening is all in, but there’s a there’s a warming the family up to a new rhythm, a new habit form. Like, how would you suggest the conversation for me to go to my wife, Michelle, and say, hey, let’s, let’s try this, let’s try this. What coaching points?

Joey Odom: [00:30:25] Here’s one thing that I’ve learned and this is hilarious, you know, we’ve been on this journey for about three years. We’ve been using different versions of Aro for about three years, from beta to beta all the way to production units. In three years, my wife just started using it about nine months ago, which is hilarious. Hey, hey, we’re I’m going to quit my job, we’re going to go on this huge trek, and she hadn’t even participated the whole time. And so she and what it is, it has been this slow and steady, consistent practice, my slow and steady, consistent practice. And it’s a it’s a demonstration to them because my wife is very used to me having like I bet some other dads can relate to this, these really these ideas I’m really excited about. And she’s in someway, I bet you a lot of wives are kind of waiting to see like, okay, is this going to take root or not? Do I jump on board at this next crazy idea or do I let it take root? So I believe that the steady consistency will do it. I think it’s very counterproductive to shove it down anybody’s throat in your family. I will say that moms and dads have vastly different reasons for using their phones and putting down their phones. Dads, there’s thorough research, dads put down their phones to connect with others around them. Moms will put down their phones to have some me time. They don’t, they don’t, they’re good, they’re having enough time with their kids. They’re, this is again, through research, this is not my this is not my guessing. They want a little bit of me time and they pick up their phones to manage the family and they pick up their phones to connect with their friends. And so their phones can be a good tool for them. And so as dads, we have different use cases. So I would say don’t don’t shove it down their throats. Lead by example, be that steady rock that continues to lead by example. And if your kids are about to get a phone, absolutely, show them exactly what to do. But until that point, I would be that I would be that slow, steady rock that is using it every day and they’ll feel the benefit by the way, they’ll thank you for it.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:32:23] See that is fascinating because that gets right at conversations I’ve had with my wife and I know that I have, during a workday, I actually can and this is probably not a good thing, but I can grab and take care of some stuff on my phone throughout the workday and when I’m home I’ve already had some of that. Where Michelle will look at me and say, Hey, all day long I’ve had little fractions of 20 seconds here, 20 seconds there, because I’m in mom mode, with my four. And so the idea of saying, hey, check in like, you know, I’ll put your phone in Aro for 3 hours is like, no, this is actually I have time to connect with that friend or respond to this message. That’s taking her relationships versus enriching relationships. So it also, the, what you just explained is very parallel to what people, mentors of mine have coached around Sabbath, is don’t force that to your spouse, actually live into it and allow it to be a slow habit formation. So it’s fascinating that you’re actually talking similar coaching to observing the Sabbath.

Joey Odom: [00:33:19] And then here’s what, here’s what’s cool, Aro, Aro will be the scapegoat for you too, one notification that we send, whenever I put my phone in Aro it’ll send a notification to my kid, and both my kids have phones, and obviously my wife does, it’ll send a notification to them that will say something like, Joey just put his phone in Aro, would you like to join him? It’s a gentle and this is it’s a very gentle invitation, Aro in and of itself is an invitation for you to experience real life. But then it’ll send a gentle invitation, it’s not, you say, honey, will put down your phone? Hey, honey, because should be like, Dude, you don’t know the day I’ve had. Aro itself will send that gentle invitation to her to join you and if she accepts, that’s wonderful. If she declines, that’s okay too. Because they will find, our spouses and our spouses will find their rhythm, they’ll find the use case for themselves. But I think if you, if your wife’s anything like mine, if I, you know, if I jam some down her throat, the chances of her actually adopting it are much, much lower.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:34:19] Yeah, this is so this is our Zaugg Squad. So our, we have our group, the Zaugg squad and, you know, you got badges of just kind of those nudges, those rewards, that way to go. I mean, it’s a it’s a gorgeous interface like I’m thrilled with for what you guys are created. I, I know we’ve spent the second half of this podcast talking about a product, and that’s never really happened before. Here’s why I want to celebrate this, some of the dads listening right now. They have this idea and very just I have not seen this where guys are like I believe so like so much in family, being present, staying curious, observing like that actually you go three, four years into, I’m going to bet I’m going to bet everything on this and build it. I mean, you mentioned it earlier, the guys watching on YouTube are seen. We actually did an unboxing as a family that I’ll share my Instagram so you guys can see my girls unboxing and kind of showing like like it’s a it is you guys, your wives are not going to be like they’re not going to be like, what have you done? It’s gorgeous and it’s so strategic. It’s all about the family values that we talk about for five years on dadAWESOME or being present looking at the eyes of our kids. And we’re talking about like a audible subscription type, $18 a month type, we’re not talking about a huge expense. So without going any further, because I’ve I’ve shared a lot of my passion, and your passion, Joey, I wanted to ask you, is there anything else when you’re thinking I get to talk to some dads, some dads who are going after it imperfectly, but saying, I’ve chosen to be dadAWESOME for my family. Anything else that you’ve, in this journey of launching Aro, and all the strategic work you guys are doing around family and presence, anything else, you’re like, I’d want to share this?

Joey Odom: [00:35:58] I think the thing that I that has been impressed upon me lately a bunch and I was thinking about this a couple of weeks ago, and I don’t want to be shameful. I don’t want to be morbid about this, but I want I think it’s so important that as dads, we recognize something, that all of us have one thing, we have a lot of unique things, but there’s one thing that’s unique to every human, including us dads. And that one thing unique to us that all of us have, all of us will have one final breath on earth. And if we got a real grasp of that, I sure hope mine is a lot of years from now, my last one. What if it’s today? What if it’s, what if it’s next week? What if it’s 20 years, 40 years? And again, I’m not being morbid by this, not being shameful, but I believe if I had a grasp of that, I would change the way that I live all of my moments. I mean, it’s it’s funny, like sitting here talking, right now, I can’t wait to hug my kids tonight and put my phone away and just be with them. And not to be afraid of the boring moments and the mundane moments, we repel from the boring and the mundane. Because it’s true, a scroll on Instagram is a lot more interesting than sitting with our kids, isn’t it? But same time, cotton candy tastes a lot better than broccoli. But we shouldn’t eat that for dinner. Right? So, again, I’m not being, I’m not, I mean, I’m not I’m trying not to be shameful here in any way, but we got to grasp that, this is finite. We have finite moments with the people that we love here. So let’s freaking take the opportunity to savor all of it. They’re not all going to be magical, that’s okay. They’re not. But we’re going to look back and be really, really happy for how we used them and the legacy we leave behind us is going to benefit from all of those things. So we have an amazing opportunity to put aside our biggest distraction in life and really be present, be here in the moment. It’s an incredible opportunity and we can do it. I’m telling the guys this right now, like, you can do it. Listen, like I was the worst perpetrator with all this and I’m getting better and I’ve gotten a lot better and everybody around me is better. When you change your relationship with your phone, you change your relationship with everybody around you and you can do it. I don’t care if it’s with Aro or not, put away that biggest distraction and just be present and look in the eyes and have the shiny eyes.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:38:08] Yeah. Thank you, Joey. Thank you for your, your heart, your passion, your work. I can’t wait to learn and hear stories of dadAWESOME, our community, that’s like, I’m in and I’m going to make this a priority, getting rid of that distraction. Would you say a short prayer for all the dads?

Joey Odom: [00:38:24] Yeah, bro. For sure. God, we love you. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for fathering us in all of our insecurities and our inabilities and our idiosyncrasies. God, thank you for that. And I pray that you will help us to be that type of father for our kids. God, we know that you have filled us with the Holy Spirit that allows us, enables us to do those things. And God will walk in confidence with the identity, knowing that you love us, that we made Righteous by Christ blood, and that because of those things, we have the ability to go be that to those around us, that we could be the wall for our kids, for our families. God, we love you. We thank you. Thank you for dadAWESOME. Thank you for all the fellas listening today and God I pray you’ll continue to be with us and we will walk in confidence that you are with us. In Jesus name. Amen.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:39:10] Thank you so much for joining us for episode 257 with Joey Odom. All the conversation notes, the links, the details about the Christmas gift, a discount of one month free of getting an Aro subscription, are all at dadAWESOME.org/257. You can also, if you want to skip a step, you can jump right over to www.goaro, goaro.com and use the discount code dad22. When you check out, if you do a month by month, it’ll save you 18 bucks, it’ll get you a free month and if you do a year subscription, it’ll save you 15 bucks, so it’s a little cheaper if you pay for the whole year. Guys, this is so affordable for the impact your family, having this beautiful device, the device is worth like three or 400 bucks, like the technology and the beautiful design. And like this, this box is crazy, but it’s I felt it right when I unboxed it, I was like, this is high, high quality. And it’s, the reason is, you want this to be out as a visible trigger to remember, let’s put the phone away. So goaro.com, checkout and use the discount code dad22, no space, dad number 22. Again, all of this is going to be listed in our show notes, whatever podcast app you’re using, or dadAWESOME.org/257. Merry Christmas, guys. I’m so thankful you listened today and thankful for you guys as we approach the five year celebration. The three invitations they are simply make a donation to the ministry, dadAWESOME.org/give or send me an email with a photo of your family and just any encouragement of how dadAWESOME has been helpful, jeff@dadAWESOME.org is how to send me an email and the third is post something on social media include dadAWESOME.org and the hashtag, #dadAWESOME. Okay, enough information, go have an amazing Christmas weekend with your family. Thank you for listening. Thank you for adding life to the dad life.