As fathers, it’s our natural instinct to act like everything is under control. We don’t want our kids to see us failing or hurting. We don’t want to appear weak. But true strength lies in being real, and if we don’t allow our kids watch how we navigate the ups and downs in life, they won’t know how to deal with adversity themselves.
We have an awesome guest for you today. Green Beret, Special Forces Sniper, and former top 5 UFC Middleweight, Tim Kennedy, is on The Dad Edge! He is one of the few fighters to serve in the military and fight professionally at the same time. Tim’s the creator of Sheepdog Response, a training program that gives good guys the tools they need to effectively respond to violence. He’s also been married for 13 years and is the father of four kids.
Tim Kennedy talks about how his parents balanced nurturing, protection, and damage control. He tells us why he appreciates the highs and lows of parenthood. He also reveals his biggest failures in life and why being a real, transparent, imperfect dad is what our kids really need.
“You’ve got to let your kids have room to spread their wings. You have to give them enough rope to literally hang themselves, which I did.”—Tim Kennedy
Timothy Kennedy is a retired, professional mixed martial artist who has competed in the UFC’s Middleweight division. He has also formerly competed for Strikeforce, the WEC, ShoMMA, HDNet Fights and represented the Chicago Red Bears in the IFL. Kennedy is one of the few fighters to simultaneously serve in the United States Army National Guard while also fighting professionally.
Tim Kennedy is a Ranger qualified, Green Beret, Special Forces Sniper with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other locations around the globe. Tim serves with the Special Operations Detachment (A) as a Senior Special Forces Weapons Sergeant.
Married with has three daughters and a son, Kennedy played himself in the Indie film Range 15 and is a co-owner of Ranger Up, a military-based clothing company.
The sheepdog exists to protect the vulnerable from the wolves. People face threats of violence every day, ranging from large-scale terrorism to one-on-one assaults. Most people are unprepared, unequipped, and untrained to respond effectively. This weakness in the flock allows the wolves to attack with great ease and success. This is precisely why Sheepdog Response has developed a curriculum that addresses the skills you need to successfully respond to threats.
“Hurry up and fail.”—Tim Kennedy
What You’ll Learn
- Tim’s mother’s simple parenting strategy— “When they’re young, you keep the blood in the body and clean them occasionally.”
- The balance of damage control, protection, and nurturing
- Giving yourself room to succeed or fail
- Resilience strengthens like a muscle. You can’t build it unless you do reps until failure.
- Appreciating the highs and lows of parenthood
- Why transparency is good for your kids
- Time is a precious commodity. Try to be as strategic with your time as much as possible.
- Strive for success but not at the expense of your marriage and kids.
- How Tim stays humble
- Why it’s a lack of masculinity, not an excess, that is causing violence.
- The only way you can be tender is if you have the ability to be strong.
- If you’re weak, you don’t have the capacity to be gentle.
- To be a powerful leader, you also have to have humility.
- Your daughters will choose their man depending what they see you do—how you treat your spouse, how you speak with hate, how you react to the world.
- Be a real, transparent, and imperfect dad. What’s important is that your kids see you try your hardest.
- Why dads should take family security more seriously after the pandemic
- The working titles of Tim Kennedy’s upcoming book!
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