Skip to main content
Foundation Father

Foundation Father

By Matt
Become a better father. A podcast about fatherhood, leadership at home, ancient wisdom, educating our children, and masculinity. Build a foundation for your great-great-grandchildren foundationfather.com
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Fix Your Own Face
Being a man means doing the right thing even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you know you will suffer.  And not complaining about it.
01:26
June 09, 2022
Be Like the Unicorn
You should be able to have a conversation with anybody. If you think you are high above a certain class of people, or that you think thoughts too grave and mighty for the peasants, you’ll come off as an insufferable boor.
02:14
June 02, 2022
Just Say “Yes”
“Yes” should be your default answer whenever your children ask you to do something. As I look back on the times I have said “yes,” I realize I have never regretted saying “yes.”
02:04
May 12, 2022
Echoes of Your Own Words
Children learn to speak to themselves based on how their parents speak to them. They are mimickers. Their thoughts will be echoes of your own words.
01:38
May 05, 2022
Boys and the Dangers of Homeschooling
There is no better environment than homeschooling to tailor the education of your children to their specific needs. But... There might be a reason to send your boys to public school. Eventually. This has to do with the differences in how you treat boys and girls.
03:08
April 21, 2022
Be Thankful
We are so busy doing things for our children that we risk never stopping to recognize what they are doing for us. They are a gift.
01:30
March 31, 2022
When Apathy Leads to Anger
If you are getting angry at your children, it’s your fault. Every time.  All of the time.
01:42
March 24, 2022
10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Children - Part 2
Based on Anthony Esolen's great book, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. This is part 2, going over items 6-10.
04:29
March 17, 2022
10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Children - Part 1
Based on Anthony Esolen's great book, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. This is part 1, going over items 1-5.
04:21
March 10, 2022
Pulling a Solomon
This is the most important thing we can learn from Solomon: his humility. Without that, we will never be able to do justice.
02:23
February 03, 2022
Do or Die Moments
Every boy needs a “do or die” moment to consider himself a man. His confidence depends upon it. It doesn’t have to be drastic. It doesn’t have to be literally life or death. But there needs to be some risk. Some serious consequences for failure.
02:22
January 27, 2022
Book Recommendations from 2021
I read over 50 books last year. These are the 7 you should read this year.
04:40
January 20, 2022
A Garden Untended is Not a Garden
Many fathers don’t tend to the garden of their family and then get mad when it doesn’t bear any fruit. Years of neglect, and they are surprised at the thorns and thistles that greet them.
01:42
January 06, 2022
What to Do When Your Kids Won’t Answer Questions
Whenever we ask our kids a question, whenever we try to get them to open up, there are two dreaded responses: Silence “I don’t know.” When this keeps happening, we should first check that we aren’t asking boring questions. Or that we are asking questions that deserve to be asked. They need to be worth the effort and breath we are expending. But sometimes, kids just need a primer.
01:59
December 23, 2021
They Might as Well be Orphans
You can tell when a little boy has had no masculine influence in his life. When I take my kids to parks that contain lots of other children, these emasculated boys stick out like a tone-deaf singer in a choir. They might as well be orphans. They are desperate for a father. They’ll take a fake one. Anything.
03:05
December 16, 2021
The Lowest Stakes Imaginable
And this is what childhood is all about. Learning to make the right decisions when the stakes are small, the risks are minimal, and the consequences minor.
01:51
December 09, 2021
Don’t Assume They Know
When we teach them something, we are coming from a position of experience and knowledge. It’s hard to go back to the beginner’s mind and speak from foundational principles. What words do we need to define? What concepts do we need to elaborate on?
01:47
November 23, 2021
Require Excellence
As your children grow and you begin to give them jobs, you will quickly find yourself in several predicaments. And you must require excellence. This episode goes over several reasons why a child might be do something with excellence and the different responses a father should have.
03:19
November 09, 2021
Listen to Both Sides
Never reward the first one to come yelling to you for help without having a firm understanding of the situation. There are no easy answers here. But if both sides feel they have been listened to, things usually go better, no matter what your decision.
03:13
October 12, 2021
How to Homeschool Your Kids in Under 2 Hours per Day
The book has been launched. This is a free preview. Buy it at https://foundationfather.gumroad.com/l/hSKHP
01:44
October 04, 2021
Admit Your Fears
Admit your own fears, and your kids will trust you to help them deal with theirs.
02:21
September 16, 2021
What Makes a Good Friend
While there are many attributes that a “good friend” will have, there is one that is critical. A lack of envy. Agamemnon gives a clarifying speech about so-called friends.
02:45
September 09, 2021
7 Ways to Cultivate Gravitas
Gravitas means you have weight. People tend to conflate it with somberness and over-seriousness, but the men who have the most gravitas usually have an equal amount of charisma. But true fathers have gravitas. They have a weight that attracts and influences. If you want to have influence on your children, and on others around you (including young men who are looking for good models of fatherhood), then you need to cultivate and promote your own gravitas.
02:59
September 02, 2021
Stay Married
Good fathers are good husbands. How you treat your wife will be mimicked by your boys and expected by your girls. At a minimum, this means you should stay married. It is one of the most important things you can do as a father.
03:42
August 30, 2021
Nate Dean - Life Insurance & Generational Wealth
Nate Dean is the co-founder of Unlimited Life Concepts. He does financial coaching and mentoring, helping people build up wealth while they start to erase their bad debt. I consider myself pretty good with finances, but Nate has taught me some things that completely blew my mind. How to be your own bank Leveraging loans that you make to yourself Making every dollar that comes in earn you more money Grow your wealth tax-free, without an IRA You don't want to miss this one. *None of the info in this podcast should be considered financial advice.
01:04:19
August 24, 2021
Earning Respect From Other Men
You aren’t owed respect. You have to earn it. If you want to be treated like a man, you have to act like a man. This means taking on responsibility without grumbling or complaining.
02:12
August 19, 2021
Killing Envy in Your Children
If not kept in check, envy will destroy relationships. It can also twist a person’s affections beyond recognition, making them chase things they don’t even care about. Here are 4 ways to kill envy.
03:50
August 10, 2021
Don’t Make Your Daughter Beg for Attention
If you have sons but only one daughter, you can inadvertently cause her to beg for your attention. Even if it is an accident, you are responsible. Don’t start relating to your daughter as if she is one of your sons. This can lead to resentment and insecurity. Be intentional about relating to her as your daughter. Here's how.
02:19
August 05, 2021
Limiting the Freedom of Teenagers
We get a lot of things backward. With children, we must move from strict to permissive. Not permissive to strict. When your child becomes a teenager, you want to start giving them more freedom and more responsibility. You want them to start exercising more self-control.
04:41
August 02, 2021
How to Protect Your Daughter from Insecurity
A girl craves male attention and validation. She seeks it out. She desires it most from her father, and a good father will provide that attention and validation. Let’s walk through a common scenario that plays out day after day, time and again, in homes across the world, and how it leads to broken, insecure women.
03:51
July 29, 2021
Focus on Your Future Grandchildren
It is not enough to think about the future of your children. If you are not at least thinking about what you will leave your grandchildren, you are not thinking long-term enough. It is a poor legacy indeed that only lasts a single generation.
02:40
July 26, 2021
Respecting the Strength of Her Brothers
Prepare your daughters to respect the strength of your sons. She should treat their potential strength as actual strength. Don’t put your daughters in a position where they are naive about the strength of men and the respect it deserves.
02:58
July 22, 2021
The Best Habit to Build as a Father
Reading to your kids every night is one of the best habits to have. Start immediately after they are born, before they can hold their head up, before they can crawl, before they can read. The earlier the better. Tips to get started and some book recommendations.
03:31
July 15, 2021
Choosing Your Wife Everday
Marriage is not choosing your wife.  It's choosing your wife every day. What your wife wants is for you to have lots of other options…and then choose her, no matter what. To choose her every day. To come home every day. She chose you when you were still a boy. Choose her after you have become a man.
02:13
July 12, 2021
King David - The Quit Porn Strategist
Interview with King David - The Quit Porn Strategist.  Porn is poison. It will cause you to rot from the inside and prevent you from enjoying life to the fullest. David has made it his mission to help people quit porn for good. He shares why porn is so addicting, why treating it like drug addiction is useful, why real-time accountability is important, and some tips on what NOT to do if you find out your sons are looking at porn. Check out his master class on how to quit watching porn: https://gumroad.com/a/459347059/WinfK Find him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KingDavidTKA
01:05:14
July 07, 2021
Growing Generational Wealth
It’s hard to create a legacy without wealth. And by wealth, I mean valuable assets: real estate, investments, intellectual property, etc. I wish I had discovered this secret 15 years ago. Grow your cash, tax-free, at a guaranteed rate Help pay off your bad debt while growing your pool of money Bypass banks to fund your big purchases (cars, mortgage down payments, etc) Provide emergency cash when needed Help fund your other investments Reclaim opportunity cost Take care of your family in the case of your untimely death I’m pretty good with money. No credit card debt and I save up for big purchases. Learn more about the solution here.
04:36
July 01, 2021
The Secret to Making Your Wife More Beautiful (Overnight)
If you could instantly make your wife more beautiful overnight, would you do it? It's in your power.
06:45
June 28, 2021
Love is not Inclusive
Love creates boundaries. It sets up exclusionary relationships. Those you love have a claim on your time. They have a claim on your attention. They have a claim on your strength and treasure.
02:07
June 24, 2021
Ask Them to Teach
Are you having problems connecting with your children? Ask them to teach you something. If you ask them to teach you about something they love, they will not shut up about it. You will be drinking from the firehose.
03:30
June 22, 2021
Replace a “No” with a “Yes”
You will be forced to say “no” to your children for various reasons. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give them something else.
01:14
June 17, 2021
Chores and Money, Identity and Obligation
A family is about a shared identity. It runs on something more important than money: shared obligations and responsibilities. Your children should learn to fulfill their obligations without expecting any kind of monetary reward. Just like their father. Just like their mother.
02:11
June 14, 2021
Basic Financial Education for Your Children
You can start the financial education of your children early. And the earlier the better. It doesn’t have to be elaborate.
04:12
June 10, 2021
Make Home Economics Redundant
How far our households have fallen. The word “economics” now needs the qualifier of “home” to have any semblance of its original source, despite having the meaning of “home” in the word itself! Modern households have become places of personal fulfillment and entertainment. They used to be the core productive unit of society.
02:05
June 07, 2021
Mothers do not Know How to Attract Women
Boys should not learn how to attract women from their mother. It’s like asking for a recipe and getting all of the measurements but with no ingredient names. Meaningless. Fathers should take the lead on this. Which means they need to know what to teach and how to teach it.
04:06
June 02, 2021
Reclaiming Authority as a Husband and Father
You are a husband and a father. You have been invested with real authority and you don’t want to squander it anymore. You want to change. You want to lead. Like you are supposed to. How do you do that? Start small.
04:01
May 27, 2021
House Rules vs. Universal Rules
Universal rules never change. House rules can vary from house to house, from town to town. House rules are important. They will be part of what makes your family different, what defines its culture, and what helps form a legacy. But remember to never conflate house rules with universal rules. Equating them does not elevate your house rules. It only lessens the universal rules in the eyes of your children. It drags them down.
03:20
May 24, 2021
Teachers are Agents of the Father
As the father, you are responsible for your children’s education. As you attempt to manage this responsibility, you may decide to delegate part of it to others. Teachers would fall under this umbrella. And yes, this also means public school teachers.
02:40
May 20, 2021
Don’t Associate the Good with the Negative
As much as it is in your power, do not associate anything that is Good, Beautiful, and True with negative experiences. That association can last a lifetime. Maybe for generations. Take care of the negative associations you create. You are cultivating their affections.
03:09
May 17, 2021
Teach a History Timeline
Our children are forgetting the past, and so they will be susceptible to manipulation by nefarious actors who seek to rewrite the past. One thing you should do, starting from an early age, is to saturate them in a timeline of the history of the world.
04:19
April 21, 2021
The House of Mourning
Death is an inevitable part of life. Our children should grow up saturated in this truth. "It is better to go to the house of mourning..."
02:40
April 13, 2021
The Selfishness of Showing Emotion
Masculine men do not have the privilege of showing their emotions whenever it feels convenient. That is the realm of children and immature adults. Your life is not about your own personal emotional fulfillment. Morale matters, in armies and in families. How and when you choose to show emotion will affect those under your care, whether you want it to or not.
05:36
April 09, 2021
Let Their No be No
You provide them a safe space for them to fail, so they come to no real harm and the consequences are minor…but fail they must. And there should be consequences.
01:53
April 07, 2021
Set Clear Expectations
Good leaders lay out their expectations clearly. In order to be a good father, you must do the same. Don’t waffle. Don’t interject a bunch of “maybes.” Don’t qualify. Be a man and state your expectations clearly.
03:58
April 06, 2021
Where There are no Children, the House is Clean
Having a house to clean, and that needs to be cleaned, is a blessing. A house that is always clean is just an elaborate tomb. It might look nice, but even tombstones can have a nice wreath of flowers hanging on them. Where there are no children, the house is clean, but a legacy is passed on in the heart of a child.
03:35
March 26, 2021
When Masculinity is not Masculinity
There is a way to pursue masculinity that is the opposite of masculinity. Doing the hard work of leading your wife and children is the ultimate in masculine responsibility. If you fail to do it, it doesn’t matter what you can bench or squat.
02:59
March 24, 2021
A Wife So Valuable You Become Her Servant
The goal was to have a wife so capable that he could put his entire trust in her. If she became industrious and diligent, and she said something in relation to her domain, he would not hesitate to obey that word.
03:02
March 22, 2021
All Education is Religious Education
There can be no neutrality. There is no “secular” education that refuses to impose a standard of right and wrong on its students. In order to qualify as “education”, some standard of righteousness will always be promoted. If you send your kids to be educated by Romans, don’t be surprised when they pledge their allegiance to Caesar.
04:18
March 12, 2021
Do a 30-day Challenge
Discipline is a muscle and laziness is a drug. A good, time-boxed challenge works as both an exercise for your discipline and detox for your laziness. It doesn't matter what type of challenge you do. Anything works. The gains you get from doing the work will bleed into other areas of your life.
03:39
March 10, 2021
Smash the Patriarchy and You Get Tyranny
If you break down the fences of patriarchy, which enclosed a wide-open space where good things could run free, you instead get chains and shackles bound to the center. Everyone is huddled together, scared to move, a hunted expression on their faces. Nothing is free. Nothing is wild. All are in subjection to fear.
02:33
March 04, 2021
Do Not Trust Netflix with Your Children
Do not trust Netflix. In fact, you shouldn’t put your trust in any of the media-entertainment complex. Companies are beginning to get bolder in their attempts to corrupt. Parents are getting lazier in their defenses. A dangerous combination.
04:12
March 02, 2021
No Auto-Pilot for Parenting
Learn the type of soil that makes up your children's hearts. Each is unique. Parenting is a creative endeavor that cannot be put on auto-pilot.
03:29
February 25, 2021
You Do Not Choose Your Own Identity
We are not autonomous. Our many relationships define our identity.
04:40
February 23, 2021
Run the Risk of Investigation
Jane Austen offers some wisdom to fathers in her novel Mansfield Park. Value virtue over the appearance of virtue.
03:23
February 19, 2021
Write Things Down in a Commonplace Book
I cover my system of writing things down on index cards and what it has to do with fatherhood. Ryan Holiday's system: https://ryanholiday.net/the-notecard-system-the-key-for-remembering-organizing-and-using-everything-you-read/
05:04
February 18, 2021
For Men Only
Men need spaces away from the feminine, and boys need that space early. Spend time alone with your sons away from their mother and sisters.
02:56
February 17, 2021
Empathy and Immaturity
Empathy has been weaponized by the immature. It has become a power tool in the hands of those who want to be seen as helping victims. But you must refuse to be tyrannized by their sensibilities.
05:26
February 11, 2021
Teachable Moments Can Happen Anywhere
And they can be triggered by something as dumb as a Judge Judy marathon.
02:17
February 10, 2021
How to Play with Kids
Four tips for playing with kids and getting swept up in their imagination. A lesson from The Story of the Treasure Seekers.
03:47
February 09, 2021
Masculine Markers and the Language of a Culture
Fathers should be fluent in the language of masculinity, and boys must be able to express their masculinity in healthy ways.
04:40
February 08, 2021
Just Show Up
90% of fatherhood is showing up.
03:54
February 04, 2021
Rites of Passage for Your Sons
What does it mean to be a man? And how does a boy know when he has become a man? He needs a rite of passage to overcome. Masculinity must be sought out, hunted, and captured.
07:20
February 02, 2021
Have Your Child Memorize Anything in Four Steps
Have your children memorize things that are good, beautiful, and true. It doesn't matter if they understand it or not. Just get it in there. Understanding comes later. Creativity comes later.
05:52
January 29, 2021
Deflating the Balloon
Don't deflate the zeal of your sons as they set out to complete a task. Don't nitpick. Set the parameters and let them run wild and free.
02:52
January 27, 2021
Read to Speak
Read anything and everything to your kids, especially poetry, and you'll find that you have improved in public speaking.
01:46
January 26, 2021
Words That Live in the Bones
Your words should have weight to them. Treat them as if they mean something, and your children will follow that example. Do your best to keep every promise you make to them.
03:24
January 22, 2021
Let Older Men Be Useful
Men want to be used up and spend. They want to be respected for doing something useful, no matter their age. Do not let the older men in your life waste away.
02:42
January 20, 2021
Education is a Father’s Responsibility
Complaining and casting blame on something else is a failure of nerve. You are the captain. You are responsible. Do something about it.
02:38
January 18, 2021
Trust is Better than Accusation
Even if your kids lie and give you a reason not to trust them...you should trust first. Love covers a multitude of sins.
03:39
January 15, 2021
The Letter of the Law
When you are dealing with your children, you should encourage them to obey the spirit of the law. If you know they have tried to do that, then the letter of the law doesn’t matter so much. Give them credit.
03:29
January 14, 2021
Your Kids Are More Important Than Those Kids
Do not rob your children of your time, resources, and attention. They have a claim on you unique to anyone else in the universe.
04:50
January 13, 2021
Societal OCD and Boys with ADHD
Are 13% of boys really mentally dysfunctional? When it comes to boys, we are using the wrong measuring stick. Our societal OCD demands everyone fit into a single mold, but that way lies madness. What can you do if your own boy is hard to teach?
06:21
January 12, 2021
Friendship and Physical Affection are Dying
Male friendship is one of the tragic casualties of the sexual revolution. What can we do about this? Anthony Esolen's article: https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-07-021-f&__s=pdbs8icngri8ke5fgpmn
04:26
January 07, 2021
The Poison of Family Secrets and Weak Husbands
Define your own position. Lead your family. Do not cower in fear from your wife's disapproval. And don't keep secrets.
03:49
January 06, 2021
The Attempted Sabotage of Samson
Many would like to nitpick Samson's methods rather than fight their enemies. Don't be like that.
03:52
January 05, 2021
You can Say “Because I Said So”
Do not let anyone shame you for saying it. Sometimes it is necessary.
03:18
January 04, 2021
The Bible is a Dangerous Book
A church full of eunuchs is easier to manage. This is why we have made the Bible boring and castrated. But the Bible contains the greatest epic of all time, and it is meant to help create dangerous men.
05:19
December 31, 2020
The One Way to Lift Up Other Fathers
How do we fight back against the tide of father-ridicule? What is the one thing you can do to show respect for other fathers around you?
03:41
December 30, 2020
The Real Blessing of Adult Sons
What does it actually mean to have a quiver of arrows? What is the key blessing of adult sons?
02:50
December 28, 2020
The Legacy of Jonadab
A legacy blesses the descendants, but God also blesses the father who started it.
02:57
December 24, 2020
5 Ways to Forge Sibling Bonds
Will the bonds they have with each other outlast your own influence? You better hope so.
04:50
December 23, 2020
How Your Children Are Some of Your Best Teachers
They are a mirror to your soul. Do you have the courage to look?
02:42
December 22, 2020
Keep Your Playfulness
A lack of playfulness in any institution almost always means systemic anxiety and emotional regression. Why so serious?
04:20
December 17, 2020
Your Are The Head
You are the head of your wife. Your only choice: be a good one or a bad one.
02:06
December 16, 2020
Write Letters to Your Children
Your written word might remain an artifact that lasts long after you are gone.
02:36
December 15, 2020
They Are But Dust
Your children have a fragile frame. They are but dust. We should have patience and compassion, much like our Heavenly Father has for us.
02:51
December 14, 2020
Fitness and Fatherhood
Your laziness and lack of discipline should not be the reason your kids become fatherless. Fitness is important. Just remember to lift your kids up more than you life weights.
05:51
December 11, 2020
Your Household Needs a Mission
Households were meant to be productive and children should work to help build the legacy you want to leave them.
05:02
December 10, 2020
Churchill's Father was Disappointed
What is the power of a father's simple approval?
03:46
December 09, 2020
Children Need Men to Teach Them
The task of teaching our children should not be consigned to the feminine. Both boys and girls need men to look up to.
03:43
December 08, 2020
Fathers are the Foundation of Everything
The title seems presumptuous. Is it? Listen to find out.
02:37
December 07, 2020