Be a Hero This Father's Day: An Interview with Jay Payleitner

Posted on 06/11/15 by Jay Payleitner


Whether you're a dad looking for inspiration or someone looking for a way to show your own dad how much you love him, Jay Payleitner has a fun new book for you! We caught up with Jay to chat about The Dad Book, Father's Day, and how dads can be heroes in unexpected ways...

In addition to words of wisdom on fathering, what else is included in this A-to-Z book that makes for a unique reading (and gifting) experience?

Jay Payleitner: Kids need to think their dad is a genius. Even if he ain’t one!  

This book will instruct dads on:

  • how to slice a banana before peeling it
  • the two most important things newborns need to know
  • how to blast through the invisible force field and be welcomed into your teenager’s bedroom
  • when and how to give noogies
  • when and how to rescue your kid from tragic decisions
  • the official names of all the big land movers from Caterpillar
  • what to do every time you pass a tree stump
  • how to find 204 squares on a checkerboard
  • what the Bible says about waffles
  • how to sharpen a broken pencil at Wrigley Field
  • how and when to make Yeti tracks
  • the innovative “Zoo Splurge” philosophy

You have a section in the book called “Statistics.” Which father-related stats do you find most motivating?

Jay: I hate pointing fingers and judging other dads. (We’re all doing the best we can, right?) But one stat in particular points to the idea that kids without dads are going to act out to get the attention they crave: “85 percent of all children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.” That motivates me to help dads everywhere see that fatherhood is not a burden, but a gift and blessing.  

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received for Father’s Day? What would you say is the best way to celebrate the day?

Jay: Sad to say, my birthday is about a week before Father’s Day. So celebrating me is old news to my kids. That means it’s typical for the third Sunday in June to be just another summer Sunday and I usually cry myself to sleep.  

Truthfully, the best way to celebrate Father’s Day might be for a man to connect (or reconnect) with his own father, stepfather, or father figure. Model for your children how to celebrate and respect the older generation. (That practice will come back around to you before too long.)

What are a few unexpected ways that dads can be heroes?

Jay: When your kid comes to you with a deflated soccer, basket, volley, or football, be ready with one of those 2" silver inflating needles. 

Spring for pizza for your high-schooler’s study group.

Teach your middle school son how to tie a tie.

Make sure your kids know where babies come from before they cover it in school.

Hit the batting cage with your son or daughter before tryouts.

Do not exasperate your kids (Ephesians 6:4).

* * *

Jay Payleitner is one of the top freelance Christian radio producers in the United States. He’s also a popular speaker on parenting and marriage and the author of more than a dozen books, including the bestselling 52 Things Kids Need from a Dad. He and his wife, Rita, live near Chicago, where they’ve raised five great kids and loved on ten foster babies.

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