Father's Day Bonus: Amanda Glass on Dads

you Jun 20, 2021
Amanda B Glass Knows What Dad's Are Made For

Amanda B Glass, author of "That's What Dad Are Made For" talks about the father-child relationship, what inspired this book, and how it can be used to open new conversations.

Connect with Amanda at her website, on Facebook or Instagram

Take advantage of 2 special offers Amanda has for you:

  • Use coupon code FREESHIP for free shipping on any order from themadeforbooks.com
  • Grab the free conversation starter guide for parents by going to themadeforbooks.com and entering your email address

Amanda's favorite gadget is Revlon Hair Dryer! (I have the same one and absolutely love it!)


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This is a transcript of the This Mom Knows Podcast - Bonus Father's Day Episode

Jennifer Uren
Amanda Glass is an author, wife, and mom helping families make big changes in mindset through small practical steps. Caring about kids and the adults in their lives. She has created the "Made For" books to help provide positive tools that help families connect and grow together. She married her high school sweetheart loves to scoot around town and -- I especially love this because it's practical -- her favorite Mother's Day gift was a leaf blower. So welcome, Amanda.

Amanda Glass
Hi. Thanks for having me today, Jenn.

Jennifer Uren
Oh, I'm sorry. I'm so glad you can be here. That gave us a glimpse into who you are. But why don't you take a moment and tell us a little bit more about where you're from? And maybe a little bit about your family?

Amanda Glass
Okay, well, I grew up in a small town in West Virginia, at the very northern tip of the northern panhandle, so a small little town. And that's where I grew up. And my family is mostly still there now. My I had I was the youngest of three girls. So it was a house of women and ladies. And

Jennifer Uren
Your poor dad.

Amanda Glass
Yeah, I know. I know. And I met my husband in high school. We were highschool sweethearts, and we married one week after college graduation. So we are about to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. And we have three kids, ages 16 - I have to think about this - 10 and eight. And so we've got a new driver in the house. We are busy with lacrosse, gymnastics, baseball, and we're all adjusting to this new busy period after such a long, quiet season of quarantine. So we're all we're all readjusting and getting used to being busy again. So that's we live near Pittsburgh, and families pretty close by so that's nice. We get to see them quite a bit. And yeah,

Jennifer Uren
That's great. That's great. Having a driver having a child who drives changes everything. It's wonderful.

Amanda Glass
It is wonderful. You know, there's a lot of you know, anxiety I hear a lot people talk about Oh, no, and, but I'm excited for him. I remember getting my license, I remember how freeing it was and how you could drag yourself to practices and and that has become my favorite part. That he's able to get himself and like last night he picked up my son from his practice and Charlotte from hers. And life is easier.

Jennifer Uren
We have five kids and my older two are both going to be gone in the fall. And it dawned on me this week I went I will not have another driver. I will be back to the driving. And I that's the worst part.

Amanda Glass
I love that that thought gave in your mind. Did you remember those days? Right? All of a sudden, forgotten. And now you remember them? Oh, no, I gotta do that again.

Jennifer Uren
Right? We need more kids in the gaps. We don't need more kids. Yeah. Oh, well, before we start, we're going to talk today about dads. That's our topic. But before we start talking about this great book that you wrote about dads, let's back up a bit. And let's talk maybe how you even got started as a writer? Is it something that you've always wanted to do? Or did you stumble into it?

Amanda Glass
No, writing was not on my radar. It was the farthest thing from my mind. I thought I was a math girl. I always liked the clarity of having a right or wrong answer. And knowing that what to do and the order of math. But in college, I switched my major from math to psychology, and it really was to just graduate faster. To be honest, I didn't love. I didn't love the idea of doing math my whole life, but I didn't really know what else to do. And I thought well, I'll just go to graduate school anyway, so I'll just get my bachelor's degree. So then I started a graduate program in guidance counseling, switched my major in the middle of that program and to human development. I kind of followed my heart and wanted to learn more about communities and, and not only children but but adults too. And so for all of those moms listening, and maybe you have a child who's switching majors, God can still guide and direct. He did, He did that for me. So I graduated with my master's degree, and didn't really know what I was going to do. And I just fell into behavior analysis and the autism spectrum, which I didn't even know was a thing when I was in college. And so, in that field, I got to use math, and I got to use my love of people and children. And so I landed into that, and really fell in love with the idea of quality of life, and how we could increase that within children's lives and families and schools. And so I really enjoyed making tools and books, visuals, systems, that helped kids navigate the world, make better connections, and communicate clearly. And so that became my, my favorite part about my work and seeing those things as changes. And so I got to write some stories in that time, some social stories, and that was fun to create in that way. And it wasn't until I started having a health problem. And I had a lot of questions. And I needed to find answers. And so that's when I became a reader. And I started reading for answers I read, for hope. I read for plans. And I just read and read and read, and my eyes were opened, and my heart was open to how words can change lives. You know, it's, it's weird if you can pass hope to somebody else, because I look back on that time. And I was a young mom, I had a baby who was one and a half, I had no guidance from the doctors that I was seeing. And because people chose to write about hard times, or write about their own journey, I had hope to move forward. And so there was a seed planted, and I thought, okay, God maybe this really difficult time. And I don't see any way out of this. But maybe I can share hope to somebody else. And so that's when I started thinking about writing and I became a reader.

Jennifer Uren
That's really cool. And lots of parallels to me. Interesting. I was going to be a math teacher. So that's that, really, that's great, because words are powerful. And spoken words are powerful but there's something about that written word because it's like a time capsule. And it can it can reach so far beyond a conversation. So that's really cool.

Amanda Glass
Yeah, or in the dark of the night when, you know, you're not going to talk to anybody else. But you need some help. Right? You can, yes. Open the Bible. You can open a story and yeah, that you can find some safety in that. So. So yeah, that's my Yes. Right.

Jennifer Uren
That's great. Well, tell me a little bit about your dad. What was he like?

Amanda Glass
Well, my dad was an only child. And he married my mom. They were also highschool sweethearts, and she came from a big family. So he came from a very small family with a lot of like a small group of adults, and he was the only child. And my mom was one of six. And they've all had lots of children. And those children have had children. So it's it's quite a difference. But I think that he probably grew up without in a way that that he was the only one and maybe he was he related to adults and, and probably was on stage a lot for them. He was a tap dancer. My grandma had him in piano and guitar, and he sang in a band. And so he had a childhood that seems like maybe all eyes were on him. And then he married my mom. And they had two girls pretty close together. My sisters are only a year apart. And then I came seven years later, so yeah, so he was when I was probably around five or six times got a little bit tough in our area and steel mills were closing. And a lot of the laborers were left to find other jobs which were very few and far between. So my memories of my dad are him working multiple jobs, trying to keep our family afloat financially. He was home, but did a lot of shift works. You know, different times that he'd be home and when he wasn't but he was home. I remember him being there a lot. He would be really tired. And he was probably looking back pretty stressed about keeping our family fed, and clothed and all of those things that a parent, you know, has to do. And so he was a funny guy with, I remember him just always trying to make people, strangers, you know, smile, he would crack a joke, he would say something to make them smile. And he was just a nice guy. And he was, he was at our home, but he wasn't emotionally available if makes sense.

Jennifer Uren
Yes, he was physically present, but not there.

Amanda Glass
Yes. And I just remember feeling at a very young age that I wasn't really connected to him. I was the youngest. And so a lot of my experiences for, you know, living through my older sisters go into their activities, doing their things, we went to church a lot as a, as my mom took us three girls to church, my dad didn't become a Christian until he was, I was in middle school. So my childhood, I remember doing a lot of things without him. And then things changed a bit when he did become a Christian. And he started going to church with us. And that was a different experience and more richer experience. But he wasn't an emotional guy. We didn't talk about feelings or have tender moments. He wasn't a hugger. He didn't tell me he loved me. I knew he did, because he worked and he took care of us. But I didn't really feel that he was someone to go to and have a conversation with. And that that was that was I thought normal, which and now I talked to a lot of people about my book. And it's pretty common. But that was just what it just was what it was. And that was our life. And you know, as a kid, you just sort of this is just it. It wasn't until I grew up, had my own children, that I started to understand why he wasn't able, or maybe he was doing the best that he could, but that he just wasn't who he was.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, it becoming a parent changes everything. It shifts that filter in that lens, and you start to see your own parents through a completely different set of eyes and you understand things very differently. That's true.

Amanda Glass
Yes. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Jennifer Uren
Well, you wrote, what dads are made for. And this book was inspired by such a great story, would you would you maybe share that story with us?

Amanda Glass
Sure. Sure. My dad passed away about four years ago. And like I said, I had spent a lifetime really feeling like I wasn't connected to him deeply. And when he passed away, it was a, it was a surprise to me that it was so overwhelmingly hard. You know, I had never lost a parent before. I had heard people who had lost parents and how it can really affect you. But so I guess I didn't, I wasn't surprised by that. But I was surprised at how long and how hard it felt compared to what I was expecting. And, you know, here I was. I was in my mid 30s. And I just thought, you know, I thought that I wasn't connected to him. Why is this so hard? And of course, I wasn't using words like that. But that's how I felt. And two years had passed. And just when I would think that, okay, I've, you know, I've grieved all there is to grieve, like, the wave would come back. And I would think, what is this? What is going, you know, why is this so difficult? And, or, and I was even I remember googling, like, what are the stages of grief? And how long? How long should I expect this to last?

Jennifer Uren
And as a math person, you're linear. You're like, this should be...

Amanda Glass
Right, right? I was trying to make sense of the whole thing. No. And, um, I was on a family vacation with my husband and our three kids. And we were, we were there for an extended period of time. We were my husband was between jobs. And we thought, let's celebrate this moment and really go so I went there, and I was practicing writing. And he was thinking about what he was going to do with the future of his career. And it was my dad's birthday. And so I started writing about him. And I was writing about the grief that I felt and as I watched the waves, literal waves come in and go out and I was writing about that. And then at some point, I just It just occurred to me to write down all the memories that were special that we did share. Because I would go through the grocery store. And I would see strange items that my dad would just think would be funny to buy like, ginger beer or hot peppers, or, you know, junk food that he would buy that I don't buy now, but I look at it. And I remember my dad, I'd be like, why? Everywhere I look, I see my dad. And then finally, all of a sudden, I realized, you know, all these small moments that we shared that were small, like when we would sing in the car together. Yeah, they were my dad's favorite songs. And they were oldies. But we did do that together. And that that was a moment that we shared, or when he would offer strange, weird drinks to the, you know, to people when they came in the house, that was a moment that we shared, or when we would play cards on the floor together when I was really young. That was one memory I do remember spending time with him doing and we would would do that. And then all of a sudden, I started thinking that maybe he didn't meet my expectations, or my needs, the way that the way I was built. But all these small moments added up to fill up that big hole that I felt. And for the first time I thought, okay, like this is enough, it might not have looked the way I wanted it to look, it might have been different. But this is enough. And I can ground myself in these and I can celebrate this, just like Philippians 4:8 says, dwell on these things that are honorable and praiseworthy. And just I just started thinking how about instead of focusing on what wasn't met, how about I focus on what was and anchor myself in that. And so I had a had a revelation, I wrote about it, I felt so much healing in that moment. And then later that day, my family was walking along the beach, and there were all of these rocks piled up and my daughter, she climbed up and she needed help getting down. And she reached out her arms, and my husband picked her up, put her back down on the ground. And she said, "that's what dads are made for". And I thought, you know, she just realized in her little five year old heart that her dad was made just to pick her up and put her down. And if if I would have known that, that instead of looking for moments that I you know, that suited my, my heart at that time, but to focus on the good, how different my life might have been. And so that's why the title of the book is That's What Dads Are Made For. And that's why the book follows a little girl's journey. She She wonders, this man is my dad. But what does that mean? And she looks at all the other dads that she knows in her life. And she sees things about them, and she compares them to her dad. And then finally she decides I'm going to make a list of the ways my dad makes me feel special. It helps me feel cozy. And these questions I can settle. And that those are my favorite lines. Because once she turns her eyes to what is unique about her and her dad, then she can identify those, she can celebrate those moments and move forward.

Jennifer Uren
Yes.

Amanda Glass
And and the tension can be relieved, you know if there is any? And oftentimes there is Yeah.

Well, this is it's a great book, The text is wonderful, the pictures are fabulous. And one of the things that I especially love is the diversity of the dads and the kids that you have shown in there. Because you know, my husband and I are white parents with some mixed race children. So when I saw the picture of the white dad with the mixed daughter, you know, my heart melted, because that's, that's our family. So what was it that caused you to think intentionally about including variety, rather than just simply only telling the story of this girl and her dad, but including all these other varieties of of parents of dads and daughters?

And yeah, I'm really glad you noticed that because it's so important to me to show diversity and because I do believe representation matters. And when we can see ourselves in a story, it becomes not just a book, it becomes like a personal love letter to us and so, so there are characters in the story and I searching for an illustrator was a process of so we could probably talk about that for a long time, but when I finally found, when I finally found Bev Johnson, and I shared with her that diversity was important to me, and that I wanted as many children as possible to be able to see themselves in the book. She, she got it right away. And so many of these are just her, I think she talked about going to the park, I think she talked about looking and seeing what was kind of families were, that she saw. And I was so glad that she did that. Because in the work that I did with children on the autism spectrum, it was really important for the tools and the stories to be personal to them. Otherwise, it didn't mean anything, you know, generalization is pretty difficult. And so we would have to do things that were specific, you know, pictures of them pictures of them in their classroom pictures of them with their, their peers, just to make it that they can identify with the story. And so knowing that it was really important for me to have a dad in a wheelchair, because there are dads and wheelchairs, and how often did those children see a dad that looks like theirs? Or different skin tones, different ages, and doing different activities, that was important as well. And so I'm glad you noticed that. And it's one of my favorite parts. And it's actually a pillar of the made for books I want every tool, every book that I create to be something that someone can see themselves in. And you know, my favorite compliments when I hear from parents, or if they send me videos of their themselves with the book and their children is when the little boys are going, that's me. That's my daddy, or someone else sent me a message that said her son looked at the picture of the where they're at the playground and said, That's me. And so when they can find themselves in the story, it just means so much more.

Jennifer Uren
Yes, yes. Yeah. Well, and I love, too. that the way that this book is written, it really seems like it serves to deepen the father child relationship, no matter what separation there might be in distance or time. Was that intentional? Or is that just sort of a natural byproduct?

Amanda Glass
I'm going to guess a little of both, but mostly intentional, because I wrote it from a daughter's perspective. Um, but yet, I was thinking of my daughter's age. And I wrote the story of her age level. I tried to include thing, examples in there that would apply to many. Yes, I tried to include, there's about five examples of what she finds that her, her dad makes her feel special. And I have one a simple I thought, no matter what the situation, what is the most basic thing that a dad could do, he could say hi, at the door. And I thought about kids who don't live with their fathers, I thought about kids who don't see their fathers often. But hopefully, the majority of kids say hi to their dad at the door. And so that's something that they can they can identify with. Another example is the dad just tucking the daughter in when she's watching TV, I thought, okay, or they're singing in the car. I thought that that was probably a very elementary one. And then I put one in there that I personally didn't experience that was important for me to share, because I wanted to give words for dads to use, you know, sometimes dads have a heart to grow close, they just don't know how. And so the one example where they're sitting on the blanket at night, and things feel right. And he tells her, she's important to him. So I wanted to, to include as many different types of relationships with dads as I as I could. And so I thought that I was really happy with, I'm happy with the feedback that people are giving because sometimes, I've heard a few stories of adult daughters filling out in the margins, memory memories they have with their dad and giving the book to their dad for a holiday. And I just thought what a, what a great gift that is for an adult daughter, you know, even though that period of childhood is over, it can still be used as a as a tool to connect which is the ultimate goal.

Jennifer Uren
He's stillyour daddy, you know,

Amanda Glass
yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Uren
In your bio. You talked about, you know, helping wanting to make big changes to mindset through small steps. Can you tell me a little bit more about that? And what kind of your mindset changes are you talking about and how do you do this?

Amanda Glass
Yeah. Well, in my work with families and schools, we would have, we would sometimes come in and say, "What would you like different? What would you like to be different at home? at school?" just in the students life, and we would get big goals. And they would be, let's say, the child doesn't use many words, but in six months time, we want him to have two good friends. Well, we're gonna have to break that down into really small steps, and build to that goal. And so we would say, what does it look like in five months? What should he look like in three months? What what are the steps we should take now to reach where he should be in one month's time. And what I learned over the years is that it works. Sometimes we can get overwhelmed by this idea, or this goal or this relationship. And we think there's just no hope. Or I don't even know where to start. But when we think about, okay, how do we break it down into small steps, and then we have to just trust that those small steps will add up to a big change. And so I know in my own life, that became true during that hurt health journey I spoke to you about I had to take small steps and trust that that would add up to a big change. And so, so I have really learned to live my life that way. And so I love to help others do the same thing. So if there's a relationship with a father, and child, and it isn't pretty, how can we start somewhere. And so that's what this book is meant to do. It's meant to meet a family in the beginning. And you can just follow the story of the little girl. And you can notice the tension that exists there. Because tension is real, and it is normal. There aren't any relationships without tension. So let's just acknowledge that first, right. And then we can watch what she does and how she grows closer so that we can start doing the same thing. And then, at the end of the book, I have those questions, so that adults can learn how to just spark the conversation sometimes just starting that conversation is scary. Yes. And it's hard, because we don't know what our kids are going to say.

Jennifer Uren
Right. But this neutral third party of a book, right helps us do this. And this right, beginning of a series, right as a whole series you've got planned?

Amanda Glass
Yes. Yeah. I do I have it planned to, to, I'm thinking about all relationships that are within a family, right? So grandparents, okay, what I'm hearing for most people is that the grandparents book should be the next one, because of COVID. And how difficult it has been for children to connect with their grandparents. And I know what it's like to have grandparents who aren't capable and able of having a deep relationship, it's more of a relationship that our children, honor, grandparents. And so I'm gonna, I'm gonna pursue that. Next. I'm that books almost that books almosy written but of course, I want to do a book for mom who are sisters? Yeah. Brothers.

Jennifer Uren
Will you author all of these? Or are you looking to be more of a publisher where you'll find other people to, to do some as well?

Amanda Glass
Well, I think that I, I personally have it in my heart to author the first five or six those those I already have sort of planned out. And then I'm open to if I get feedback, and things, you know, I just have to I just always am saying, you know, God open doors, and and I'll just walk through them. So if if people have a heart, and they have a story that they would like to share that's that fits along with this idea of being grounded in this book was grounded in Philippians 4:8 but every book should have a vision of what it's based on. And the stories are, are moving forward and getting people unstuck. That's, that's really what my heart is. So I'm open to that in the future.

Jennifer Uren
That's great. Well, this question is a little bit more about you as a mom. So you're obviously a mompreneur. How do you balance being mom with building this business?

Amanda Glass
Oh, Jenn.

Jennifer Uren
What is balance?

Amanda Glass
Yeah, what is balance? What is balanced during COVID? What is balance during because this book I signed to start publishing it and I made a commitment in February of last year. And so March came and the kids came home. And, you know, I still had deadlines and things that needed to be met. And so that that was actually probably really helpful last year, even though it was stressful it was it was, it was a good way to keep going and moving forward on something. But my balance looks like I naturally have a bend to be present with my kids. So I, in the situation where I can do that. I can, if they need me, and being being present when they come home, and now that things are opening up a little bit, they've enjoyed bringing kids home after school with them, just one or two that, you know, are in their classes. Yeah. And so that's really my most important thing right now and this season, because I still have little ones and, and that's, that's the most important thing to me. So the book, and this effort, gets what's left is really how it goes. And unless it's important, like, when I was launching the book, that took a lot of time, and so I had to be more specific and carve that out. And right now, because we're approaching Father's Day, and Father's Day is here, we the podcasts kind of took priority and marketing took and so I'm learning how to do all those things, marketing and, and just walking through doors. So, so yeah, it's it's a balancing game, for sure. And it's, it's hard to do. Yeah, it really is.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. Well, if there's a mom listening, I'm just gonna speak to mom's listening right now, if you're listening and you have a hard relationship with your dad, or you're no longer with the father of your children, and that's a hard relationship between them. I'm going to encourage you to get this book and use this as a starting point, to begin to, to shift that to at least viewing that relationship through a healthier lens and helping make dad a positive person in your life. So there's my plug, get this book. It's really good. And Amanda, as we as we wrap up here, one thing I ask every guest, it's a little more lighthearted and it's a fun way to end but what's your favorite time saving gadget or tool?

Amanda Glass
Well, I am in love with the Revlon hairdryer/curler combo. So I got it for my daughter...

Jennifer Uren
Is it the one that's the brush?

Amanda Glass
Yes, it's a brush, but it's super high powered. You know, it was at Costco, and I got it for my daughter for Christmas. And my daughter has only used at once because it's in my drawer, and I use it all the time. It cuts my hair time down from whatever it was before probably 15-20 minutes to under 10.

Jennifer Uren
Yes, I have the same one.

Amanda Glass
Do you you you know what it it has like a pink pinkness to I don't know what the name of it is. But I love it. And it's just so easy on. You know, you use dry shampoo. Let's say that's the other time saving thing I love and then you I put that thing on do a few swipes and voila, we're done.

Jennifer Uren
It's wonderful. I know I was air dry only before. And then I got that I'm like, Oh, I can style my hair. I have time!

Amanda Glass
Yeah. It's my favorite.

Jennifer Uren
Oh, so so how can people connect with you?

Amanda Glass
Well, they can go to my website, themadeforbooks.com. That's where you can buy every book that comes from that my site gets an autograph. And there's a little dog in the book that is present on almost all the pages. So her name is Holiday and she paragraphs the book as well. And I can put a special note in each book. So that that's on my website. But the book is available anywhere books are sold Amazon, anywhere else. And on socials, Instagram and Facebook. You can find me at the made for books, or AmandaBGlass.

Jennifer Uren
Excellent. And you do you have a couple of offers for our listeners today. And I will put links to those down in the show notes. But the first you said is a coupon code and then the other thing that you're offering is a free conversation starter guide for parents to use with their kids. So they can just go to TheMadeForBooks.com and enter their email, and then that's what they'll get sent. Correct?

Amanda Glass
That's right.

Jennifer Uren
Excellent. Great. Well, Amanda, I have really enjoyed our conversation today and hearing about your dad and how this book came around. And as we all think about our dads and this is A great gift for Father's Day for any day. So I encourage people to go and check it out. Thanks for being here.

Amanda Glass
Thank you so much for having me.

 

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