HOMETOWN(S) Huntington, NY
ON THE WEB Ted Rubin
NUMBER OF CHILDREN Two teenage girls
DAY JOB Chief Social Marketing Officer / Social & Engagement Strategist
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Divorced
FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK My daughters are teenagers, so the book reading stage is long gone. For me, the book Mindset by Carol Dweck is important for us all, but particularly developing adults.
HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?
I face particular challenges being a divorced Dad, and in addition to the ones for all divorcees, I deal daily with a situation of alienation. Being there for my girls — and never, ever giving up on being a part of their lives — has been my focus for many years. The girls’ mother is the custodial parent and therefore primary care giver. I wanted more involvement, but was not able to make that happen. So, for me it has been more about building my work schedule around visitation, not daily care.
WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?
My worst parenting moment, or should I say worst moment as a parent, was when I found myself fighting for the right to continue to be a part of my daughter’s lives, was not being allowed to do so, and could not get a Judge to pay attention or care. It took four months to get them back in my lives regularly, and four years to bring their Mom somewhat in line with the understanding that I need to be a part of their lives… which, I feel, will never truly happen.
HOW HAS PARENTING CHANGED YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL?
Everything I do, I do to make the world better for my children. In business, I preach about the importance of relationships. But relationships aren’t just good business. They can change the world, spread kindness, and at the very least, they can help a dad let his daughters know how much he loves them and wants to be there to see them grow up. As a divorced dad, I am constantly focused on involvement and presence. Don’t be left out of your kids’ lives, I think. Step up and commit to being available for your children right from the beginning.
Spending time with my girls is something I put before all else. They are teenagers now and as a divorced Dad it can be challenging to continue to reach out, put them first, and maintain this in the face of their lack of interest and the roadblocks so easily put in place by their Mom — as well as all the other distractions, like social media, that can keep my focus and attention from them.
What inspires me to move beyond limitations and obstacles is the love of my children and a desire to not only be a part of their lives, but to have influence on how they think, reason, and develop.
I believe being a Father transcends how we feel moment-to-moment. We have to remember that everything we do is being observed, recorded, and processed in the present, and the future, and will be a key component of our children’s emotional development… especially for children who are the product of divorce.
They are always watching/observing, and although they cannot truly understand it all now, our interactions are being stored for future analysis… whether conscious or subconscious it will all affect the way they view the world, friendship, love and affection.
This is the thought process that guides the way I behave, the face I reveal to them, and how I impress upon them my values and attitudes about life, friendship and love. My father used to say… “do like I say, not like I do.” I say… “do like I do!”
WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS AS A PARENT AND WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
My strength is the ability to stay the course and never, ever give up on being a part of my daughter’s lives… no matter what roadblocks are put in my path. Due to my lack of time with my daughters, my weaknesses have not truly had a chance to surface. If given the chance to be there on a day-to-day basis I am sure they would have.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?
When my daughters were infants they would curl up on my shoulder and I couldn’t move, I would kiss the top of their head. I had no doubt that those would be some of the sweetest moments in my life.
No man can possibly know what life means, what the world means, what anything means, until he has children and loves them. And then the whole universe changes and nothing will ever again seem exactly as it seemed before. In my eyes… that goes double for having daughters.