The 5-Step Adventure from Failure to Father to Hero

The 5-Step Adventure
from Failure… to Father… to Hero

5 Steps to More Meaningful Relationships with Your Family

By Grant Cox

The 5-Step Adventure from Failure… to Father… to Hero

by Grant Cox

Shakespir Edition

Copyright 2015 Grant Cox

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

[To my wife and daughter,
the two women who inspire me to live heroically each day.
I dedicate this book—and my life—to you.]

Table of Contents


Step 1: Feast

Step 2: Squeeze

Step 3: Play

Step 4: Bow

Step 5: Listen

Conclusion: On Your Way to Hero

Your Free Gift

Thank You

Can I Ask a Favor?

About the Author

Contact Grant


If you’re anything like I was only three years ago, you’re struggling in your journey as a dad. You want to be the incredible husband and father your family deserves, but you have no idea how to start.

The ‘Perfect’ Guy Next Door

You know that guy who seems to have it all together? Maybe you work with him. Maybe he attends your church. Maybe he lives across the street. He has the perfect job, the perfect house, and the perfect family. And his wife and children adore him.

The more you think about him, the more you wonder how he does it.

You’ve tried over and over again to earn your family’s respect, but you fail every time. You take one step forward in improving the tone in your home, but you get tired or worn down, and end up taking three steps back.

Maybe you’re a good husband and father. Nothing is wrong in your home, but nothing is great either. It’s not broken, so you’ve taken the “no need to fix it” approach.

So life in your home became comfortable. Then it shifted to disconnected. Now it’s altogether stagnant.

I’m here to tell you it can be different. It should be different. And I guarantee it — you’re not the only one in your home who wants you to become a rock star dad and husband. Your wife and children want you to become one too.

La-Z-Boy vs. Leadership

I believe men across this globe — men just like you and me — truly want to be great dads and husbands. Sure, some of us love to plop ourselves down in the La-Z-Boy and throw back a couple beers while we watch the game. But deep down, we all want to get better at leading our families. We just don’t know how to start.

That’s why I created this book. It’s a simple, five-step plan that will teach you exactly what to do to begin making the impact you — and your family — desires. Throughout the five chapters in this book, you will learn:

p<>{color:#000;}. The exact steps I’ve taken to become a hero in my own home.

p<>{color:#000;}. How you can begin to actually connect with your family every single day.

p<>{color:#000;}. Practical ways to develop more meaningful relationships with your wife and children.

Are you ready to become a hero?

[“You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.”
__]—Bruce Van Horn, Author & Leadership Expert

Step 1:[

Eat dinner together every night

I already know what you’re thinking. You don’t have time to sit down for dinner every night. Understandably so, it’s the number one resistance to a nightly family dinner.

But no matter how hectic your schedules may be — your workload, your son’s sports practice, your daughter’s dance rehearsal, church activities, not to mention yardwork and cleaning the house — dinner together every night is a realistic goal.

The secret is to minimize the cooking. Find recipes that take less than 30 minutes. Then add another 30 minutes around the table for eating and talking. At 60 minutes each night, that’s only a few hours each week. And I guarantee it will become one of most transformative hours in your children’s lives.

The Food is Not the Point

The dinner table is not just for eating — it’s for conversations and stories that create comfort, laughter, and memories. Engage in conversations that interest your children. If your daughter wants to talk about her undying love for Justin Bieber, let her. If your son wants to go on and on about the game he just won on his PlayStation, let him.

Allow them to lead the conversation. Actively listen to what they say. Then engage in the discussion.

Harvard Medical School professor Anne Fishel, Ph.D., is founding member of The Family Dinner Project, an organization dedicated to the significance of what happens around the family dinner table. She writes, “When kids feel connected to their parents, it’s like a seatbelt on the potholed road of childhood.”

Over time, those moments together as a family will develop a sense of security for your children that — no matter how out of control the world becomes — their family will be there to comfort them at the end of every day.

Protect this special family time from interruptions. Turn off the television. Ask them to leave their phones in another room. (And you silence your phone too.)

You can afford to be unavailable to the outside world for a single hour each day.

“When kids feel connected to their parents, it’s like a seatbelt on the potholed road of childhood.”
—Anne Fishel, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Step 2:[

Hug your family every day

Failure to Thrive

Germany’s King Frederick II conducted a study a few hundred years ago to find out which language children would speak if they never heard another human being talk. He took 50 infants and hired foster mothers to care for them.

He instructed them to do the bare minimum — feed them, bathe them, change their diapers. And they were to never cuddle, rock, or talk to the babies. All 50 infants died from failure to thrive.

Mary Carlson, a researcher from Harvard Medical School visited an overcrowded Romanian orphanage shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Countless babies laid in their cribs almost silent — no crying, no babbling, no sounds at all.

The staff was overworked and the infants were touched only when fed. When she followed up on these children two years later, she discovered high levels of a brain-damaging stress hormone. The children’s growth was stunted. They behaved as though they were half their age.

These are only two real-life, horrific examples that prove the significance of human touch and affection. Without it, children not only fail to thrive, they can even die. As humans, we all are designed with a true need for love, affection, and communication.

Hugs Change Your Children

You and I want our children to thrive. We want them to feel happy and know they are secure. The best way to do that is to simply hug your children every day.

Don’t just hug them when they leave for school in the morning or when you get home from work. Make it a point to hug them throughout the day.

Hugs are an important step in your quest to become a hero in your home, but hugging also offers these important benefits to your children:

p<>{color:#000;}. Lowers blood pressure.

p<>{color:#000;}. Develops a sense of belonging.

p<>{color:#000;}. Expresses love.

p<>{color:#000;}. Promotes growth in every aspect of their development.

How many hugs does your child need each day? According to research by Virginia Satir, an author and psychotherapist, children need 4 hugs to survive, 8 hugs to maintain, and 12 to grow.

Step 3:[

Offer undivided attention to your family every day

I can’t take all the credit for everything I’ll share in this step. My wife is a marriage and family therapist and most of this section comes from her professional experience in helping families improve child behavior and enhance the relationship between children and their parents.

She tells her clients (parents of children 18 years old and under) they need to spend a minimum of five minutes engaging in a one-on-one activity with their children each day. In psychology circles, it is called “Child-Directed Play.”

There are a few requirements for the activity:

p<>{color:#000;}. It needs to be an activity that the child chooses, so it is interesting to him or her.

p<>{color:#000;}. It must be non-competitive, so it doesn’t lead to an argument.

p<>{color:#000;}. It should be uninterrupted, so your focus remains on the child the entire time.

Child-Directed Play

Let your child lead this time together with you. Play what he or she wants to play. If your son wants to go outside and dig in the mud, you go outside and dig in the mud. If he wants to go turn on the Xbox and play a shoot-em-up video game, grab a controller and do your best to avoid getting shot. If your daughter wants to paint your toenails, then start unlacing your shoes.

When you dive into this one-on-one time, remember it actually has nothing to do with the activity itself. It’s all about creating positive interaction between the two of you. Show your child that — in the middle of the busy life you lead — he or she is so important to you that he deserves your undivided attention.

Daddies, Daughters & Bedtime

Before my daughter turned two years old, we had our share of difficult nights. It was hit-or-miss. Some nights were a cakewalk and she would go right to sleep. Other evenings were a nightmare and we would fight for hours to get her to sleep.

After several months, it finally dawned on me. There was a direct relationship between the length and quality of one-on-one I spent with my daughter in the evening and how her bedtime routine unfolded.

On evenings when I spent time in the floor playing with her, reading books, or holding her, she went to bed willingly, fell asleep quickly, and woke up less frequently throughout the night.

On the other hand, when I didn’t give her any undivided attention, she would go into tantrum mode, fight us throughout every step of the bedtime routine, take an hour to fall asleep, and wake up far more often throughout the night — usually ending up in our bed before morning.

Your children are looking for ways to connect with you.

And when you give them that positive attention they need, you will notice a huge change in their behavior. Their focus in school and other activities will increase. Their tantrums and defiant behavior will decrease. They will act out less. They will look forward to making choices that please you because of the positive attention you give them when they do.

Step 4:[

Pray with your family every day

You’ve seen the bumper sticker a hundred times: “Families who pray together stay together.” It’s cheesy. It’s cliché. It makes my skin crawl just to write it. But it is true.

Something incredible happens when you pray with your family. Those moments together in prayer develop a sense of unity and purpose. Family prayer is intimate. It is powerful. It connects you to your wife and children — and your God — unlike any other activity.

As you begin to pray together as a family more frequently over time, you will begin to notice the relationships in your home becoming happier and healthier.

The Scriptures say when we pray in faith, we will receive. (Read Matthew 21:22)

God uses prayer to strengthen our faith; He uses our faith to energize us. He uses prayer to reframe our perspective, shifting our focus back to His own goodness and greatness. And when you and your family speak with Him, He changes your hearts.

Pray with each other as a family.

If you don’t already pray when you sit down for a meal, start tonight. Family dinner is on the lineup every night now that you’ve worked through the first secret in this book, and meals are a natural time to introduce prayer to your family.

Once dinner prayers are routine, pick one night each week and get the family together to pray as a group. Alternate who gets to pray from week to week, or let everyone take a turn each time you get together to pray. It doesn’t have to be anything formal. Just gather everyone on the couch and get comfortable.

You’re the leader and your prayer will set the tone, so you go first. Thank God for each person. Thank Him for the way He provides for your family’s needs. Ask Him to lead each of you through whatever is going on in your lives.

Remember to keep it simple. As Bible scholar Dale Bruner says, “A little bit will do it. Prayer isn’t a ‘briefing session’ for God.”

Pray with each child individually.

Find a quiet moment to pull each child aside. Ask, “How can I pray for you?” and take it from there.

Don’t get frustrated when they don’t have a response — or their response seems superficial. The day will come when they choose to share their struggles with you. But for now, just realize you are opening the lines of communication and leading them to God by example.

Trust me — they are watching you and learning from your every move.

I recently read this quote: “The more you lead through the moment, the less you will have to lead through the aftermath.” I think the same concept applies to prayer with our children. Teach them to pray now when nothing is wrong, so when something goes wrong, they know how to pray.

When you begin to pray with your children, you’ll also find it easier to love them. As you learn about what’s going on in their lives, you become more patient with them and see them in a positive, healthier perspective.

Pray with your spouse.

Nothing strengthens the relationship between a husband and wife more than prayer. It reframes your perspective as a married couple and reminds you that He is the glue that holds you together.

Marriage is difficult. Life will tear your relationship apart if you aren’t actively protecting it.

By praying together as husband and wife, you put it all out on the table — every fear, every worry, every emotion — before God and before each other. I understand it’s difficult to find the time. It’s even more difficult to find the courage.

But I promise it’s worth the effort. It will make your marriage stronger than you can imagine.

Step 5:[

Seek God’s guidance every day

According to the U.S. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development:

p<>{color:#000;}. 50% of all North American children will witness the divorce of their parents.

p<>{color:#000;}. 50% of those children will also see the breakup of their parents’ second marriage.

Stronger Than a Statistic?

One of every two marriages in this country are failing! What makes you think yours is stronger than those statistics?

You cannot do it alone. You will fail. You need help from the same God who created the universe. It is so important that you pray and talk to Him about your marriage and family every single day.

He wants your home to be healthy. He wants your marriage to succeed. And He will give you everything you need to do it. All you have to do is ask.

Hands down, I struggle with this step more than any of the other four. By nature, I am a doer. Give me a list and I’ll work until every line is crossed off. When I get busy, it is so easy for me to let my time with God slip. Rather than praying and waiting for Him to answer, I roll up my sleeves and do it myself.

I get overwhelmed. I develop a short fuse. I become irritated and angry at the drop of a hat. It’s a slippery-but-all-too-familiar downward spiral — wreaking havoc in my life and the lives of those around me.

The Day I Kicked the Door Down

Several years ago, my wife and I bought our home. Our daughter was only a few months old and life was quickly wearing me down. We were moving into a new home, painting walls and unpacking boxes, adjusting to a new job, and not getting any sleep because of the baby. As if that weren’t enough, money was so tight we were barely making ends meet. It was the perfect storm.

One Saturday afternoon, Talacey and I were talking about bills. One comment led to another and before I knew it, I was out of control.

I’m ashamed to say I kicked the door as I left the bedroom — and my foot went all the way through. It was one of the worst moments in our marriage — all because I couldn’t control my own temper.

When I consistently read God’s Word and spend time talking with Him, those reactions rarely happen. First of all, He gives me a different perspective — His — so I see my life differently. Second, He gives me patience and joy and love, so my interactions with my wife and daughter are completely transformed.

I hope you won’t just take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Start small. Take five or ten minutes each day to simply read a few verses from the Bible and then tell God what’s going on in your life. He already knows anyway.

He made you.

He loves you.

He just wants to spend time with you.

Just ask Him every day to lead you so you can lead your family.

**]On Your Way to Hero

No dad is perfect.

I know I’m not. But being a hero in your home isn’t about being perfect. It’s about doing everything you can to lead your family well. And if you’ve read this far, then you’re well on your way.

The first time you make your family sit down together for an actual family dinner, or squeeze them all onto the couch for your first family prayer, it will seem awkward.

It may even feel forced. Make sure you are prepared for that from the start.

If a child doesn’t want to participate, don’t overreact or make a scene. Wait until later and talk with him about it.

Ask why he’s uncomfortable with it. And don’t be afraid to get vulnerable about your own feelings toward prayer.

Turn it into a teaching moment.

Stay committed to it. In just a few short weeks, you will begin to sense a different tone in your home. And your family will love you for it.

Even Heroes Lose Battles

The five steps in this book aren’t meant to beat you down. They’re designed to free you as a dad and husband. So when you miss a day — or when you screw up and kick down a door — don’t feel like a failure. Accept it, get back up, and move on.

Even heroes lose a battle from time to time.

This book won’t eliminate arguments or prevent tantrums. No home is immune to those. But by committing to these five steps, you will begin to play an active role in the social (step 1), physical (step 2), psychological and emotional (step 3), and spiritual (steps 4 and 5) development of your family.

You have a huge responsibility as a husband and father. I hope this resource provides you with practical ideas to become the heroic husband & father your family deserves.

Your wife and children need you now more than ever.

Are you ready to be their hero?

Your Free Gift

As a thank you for your purchase, I’d like to offer you a free gift – a cheat sheet that outlines the five steps in this book and gives you a step-by-step action plan for implementing each one in your own home.

This is a beautiful, color PDF you can print and take with you. You can keep this cheat sheet in your car or on your desk at work as a roadmap for your journey to become a hero in your own home.

>>> Tap here to download your free gift <<<

You can also download your gift at http://www.fiercedad.com/hero-free-gift

Thank You

I want to thank you for purchasing this book. You could have picked from dozens of books about parenting or fatherhood, but you took a chance and chose this one.

So thank you for downloading this book and making it all the way through the end.

Can I Ask a Favor?

Did you like “From Failure…to Father…to Hero?”

Would you please take a minute and leave a review for this book on Amazon?

Your feedback will help me as I develop future resources related to marriage and parenting.

About the Author

After working for more than a decade in two of the largest churches in Central and Northern California, Grant Cox started FierceDad.com, an online ministry devoted to helping dads become heroes in their own homes.

His education in journalism alongside his passion for ministry give him a unique ability to communicate God’s plan for marriage and parenting, equipping men and women to lead their families more effectively than ever before.

He and his wife, Talacey, have one daughter. They live in the heart of central California.

Contact Grant

To get the latest Fierce Dad updates and resources, visit www.fiercedad.com

Grant speaks and writes regularly on the topics of parenting and fatherhood. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact him at www.fiercedad.com/contact

You can also connect with Grant here:

Blog: www.fiercedad.com
Twitter: twitter.com/grantcox
Facebook: facebook.com/fiercedad

The 5-Step Adventure from Failure to Father to Hero

Are you struggling in your journey as a father? Do you want desperately to become the husband and dad your family deserves, but don't know where to start? This simple, five-step plan for dads and parents gives you practical steps you can take today to start developing more meaningful relationships with your wife and children. In five to-the-point chapters, this book will help you begin building the legacy you want to leave, and teach you how to become the hero your family deserves. No matter how good -- or how bad -- a father you think you may be, this quick read will give you a quick win that will positively impact your family for years to come.

  • Author: Grant Cox
  • Published: 2015-11-25 17:40:09
  • Words: 3668
The 5-Step Adventure from Failure to Father to Hero The 5-Step Adventure from Failure to Father to Hero