Our 484th Dad in the Limelight is Treion Muller. I want to thank Treion for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
Treion Muller is a self-proclaimed “father in motion” of five delightful—but not perfect—children, author of two business books and three parenting books—Dad Rules: A Simple Manual for a Complex Job, and Reality Parenting: As NOT Seen on TV. Treion moved to the United States from South Africa in 1995 to complete his bachelors and masters degrees in adult learning. He is FranklinCovey’s Director of Digital Learning Solutions Development, business book author (The Learning Explosion: 9 Rules to Ignite Your Virtual Classrooms and The Webinar Manifesto), national presenter, and social media expert and online learning expert. Treion draws inspiration from his experiences as a professional dancer, medic in the South African Army, missionary, university student body president (SUU), university mascot (the Thunderbird), professional speaker, and of course, father.
2) Tell me about your family
My wife, Soni, and I have five children—four beautiful daughters (fourteen down to five) and one boy (three-years old). We live on the Utah Wasatch mountain range near Salt Lake City. My wife is a on Mercy River, a trio of mothers that sing inspirational music and have four CDs available on iTunes and in stores.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Spending quality time with each of my five children. Kids need to feel loved, and the amount of time a parent spends with them is essential for their emotional well being. With a full time job, writing career, and all the other “things” parents do, it takes a good amount of planning to have one-on-one time with my children.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Spend time with your children because “there is no pause or rewind button” with parenthood. In my latest book, Reality Parenting, I give a lot of advise to parents, but this one really hits home for me. Several years ago I would spend hours each night mesmerized by the magic box (it was still a box then). Losing myself in the thrill of the game or the latest plot or obscure and fascinating characters. It was easy to be sucked into a good story line, and before I knew it, another “season” and year was gone.
Sadly, while I was watching other people’s fake lives, my own life was passing by without me in it. My children were getting older, and I had lost quality time with them that I could never get back. In retrospect, I was quite pathetic as a parent. Thankfully, my wise and patient wife pulled me from the addicting clutches of the entertainment world before I wasted more time away from what matters most, my family.
It was at that time that we decided to turn off the TV and be present in body and spirit with our children and one another. I believe this decision saved our family. I think of it as an inspired awakening from being in a TV-induced coma.
Not all television is bad . . . we will still watch certain television shows and movies, but we do so in moderation. The point is not to suggest that all entertainment is evil, but rather to warn parents of the dangers of excessive viewing habits and the harmful effects it can have on quality family time.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
I have chosen to put being a husband and father above all else. So, I do what I have to do as a family man first and then fit in the rest in of the stuff. This way I have no regrets. I mean, who will look back on their life and say, “I should have player more poker with my friends” or “worked harder at work or in the gym?” No typically the regrets come when we say, “I should have spent more time with my kids while they still wanted to hang out with me.”
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
We are all different. We have different strengths, different children, and different circumstances…so don’t compare yourself.One of the goals in my book is is to help parents understand that there are no perfect parents, no perfect families, just imperfect “parents in motion” that are hoping they can survive the day.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
It can be very fulfilling and rewarding if we want it to be. But you have to show up for the job everyday…being a father is not a part-time job. YOU have to put in the hours, even if you make a bunch of mistakes along the way.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
There are so many it is hard to mention even a few, but the birth of all my children is definitely at the top of that list. But it is also the small kisses and unconditional hugs, the sweet memories and hundreds of “first times.” It’s those moments when you overflow with so much emotion that your eyes cannot contain it all. It’s all the cute made-up words your kids speak, and that you wish they will never outgrow. It’s watching them play in the dirt and get drenched in the rain. These are the moments and experiences I will cherish.
If you have any questions for Treion, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!