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The Tragedy Academy
Sept. 20, 2021

Special Guest: Kent Lawlor - Second Grade

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In today’s episode of The Tragedy Academy, Jay speaks with the author, schoolteacher, and single father of three children, Kent Lawlor. Kent details his journey full of peaks and valleys, both figurately and literally. He shares his experiences in raising three children as a single father, how that affected his mental well-being, and his action to become a better person and parent.

Key Points:

👎 There has never been a perfect parent

🤯 Information overload

🤬 Discussing tone when approaching children

📚 Books: Forever Forward and Perfectly Imperfect

🤩 Single dad with three kids

🧐 Path to self-discovery and insight

😰 Challenging yourself

Episode Highlights:

[00:05:38] Kent gives a synopsis of his book Perfectly Imperfect on Parenting. He makes a point to let everyone know that everyone parent messes up in some shape or form; no one has ever done it perfectly. The only important thing is that your try your best every morning.

[00:07:22] Parenting in the internet age is extremely hard to navigate due to online bullying. Kent has experienced it first hand; even his 2nd-grade classroom children are concerned about their looks and how many likes they get. Statistics show that suicide rates in children have been getting younger over the years.

[00:16:19] Kent gives us a quick overview of tone and the correct way to use it when approaching a child. He highlights the action of being mindful; it’s about how you say something, not what you’re saying. Meet the child at their level, place your hand on their arm to make a connection, and clearly and calmly tell them what you need them to do.

[00:19:45] The impetus behind Kent’s first book, Forever Forward, came as a series of thoughts that he wanted to get down on paper while on his journey to getting in shape. He disclosures that he never intended on releasing or even publishing a book from it. After the birth of his twins, he noticed a decline in his mental health, and after 37 years of ignoring it, Kent finally decided to work on himself.

[00:24:17] Kent tells the truth behind raising twins plus a 3-year-old. As a single father of three children, Kent confesses to the logistical, financial, mental toll raising toddlers has on the body. He noticed his mind heading towards a dark place, so he signed up for the gym as a means for a bit of escape. Exercising proved to lift the stress and improve mental health and was the impetus to writing Forever Forward.

[00:31:24] Kent shares his perspective on self-discovery and insight. He gives the example of running a 15-mile marathon in the California desert. He admitted to not experiencing an epiphanic moment as he was running, yet he noticed a hard reset in the brain that allowed him to keep pushing and moving forward.

[00:36:22] Kent quotes and defines psychologist Jordan Peterson’s phrase of “rescuing your father from the belly of the whale.” Essentially, he details that as you go through life and set goals, you want to reach and meet obstacles that need overcoming, which usually manifests as a new skill. As you continue on this path at the very end, you come out a better person. At some point, you will face the most challenging thing you can imagine; if you can overcome that, you will have reached your full potential.

[00:44:55] Jay and Kent agree on the importance of wear your scars as it may sometimes cause shame and guilt. To be authentic means to wear your scars with pride and not let the judgments of others affect you.

[00:50:00] Kent shares his intense journey of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, towering a massive 19,341 ft. The climb took a total of 8 days. He details his last night on the mountain, before reaching the top, as feeling nauseous, hallucinating, and experiencing severe headaches. He expresses the altitude as being the most challenging part of this hike. Still, in the end, he describes a feeling of being able to overcome anything yet feeling significantly small.  

Buy Kent’s Books:

-     Perfectly Imperfect

-     Forever Forward: What Obstacle Racing and CrossFit Taught Me About Life 

Instagram | @blue_records

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The Tragedy Academy is a show created to bridge societal divides in a judgment-free zone using candor and humor. 

Be cool. Keep Learning.

Kent LawlorProfile Photo

Kent Lawlor

Single Father / Author / Second Grade Teacher / DJ

Kent is an author, schoolteacher, and single father of three children. Kent details his journey full of peaks and valleys, both figuratively and literally. He shares his experiences in raising three children as a single father, how that affected his mental well-being, and his action to become a better person and parent.