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Present and Engaged: Oggy Brewer’s Approach to Building Unique Relationships with His Daughters

In this episode of “Dads with Daughters,” host Christopher Lewis welcomes Oggy Brewer, a biology teacher and father of four, to discuss the challenges and joys of being a father to daughters. Augie shares his personal journey and insights into building strong relationships with his daughters and fostering their self-esteem.

Oggy’s initial surprise came when he thought he was having another son, only to discover he was going to be a father to a daughter. He reflects on the initial panic and uncertainty but emphasizes the importance of adapting and learning as a parent.

One of Oggy’s biggest fears as a father of daughters is ensuring their self-esteem remains high. He discusses the delicate balance of being firm, supportive, and uplifting in their lives.

To build unique relationships with each daughter, Oggy emphasizes the significance of being present in their lives, connecting with their interests, and spending quality time with them. Whether it’s playing basketball, taking drives, or simply being present, he believes that connecting with his daughters is an ongoing challenge but a crucial one.

Oggy shares memorable experiences with his daughters, including family trips to places like Glacier National Park and Dale Hollow Lake. These trips provide opportunities for bonding and creating lasting memories.

Balancing his role as a biology teacher and a father of four, Oggy discusses the importance of setting boundaries and making a commitment to be present with his family when he’s home. He believes that being a positive example and showing hard work can also influence his children positively.

As daughters transition into their teenage years, Oggy acknowledges the changes and challenges in maintaining strong connections. He stresses the importance of continuous effort and being adaptable as a father.

Oggy delves into the concept of being a “girl dad” and highlights the significance of building positive relationships with daughters, fostering their self-esteem, and using powerful, uplifting words.

Augie introduces “MoPo for Life,” a concept he developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. MoPo stands for “Max Out Payout,” emphasizing the importance of identifying daily purposes and maximizing efforts to achieve them. Oggy has written a book titled “MoPo Max Out Payout: Living the MoPo Life, MoPo the Day,” which encourages readers to reflect on their daily lives, set goals, and stay positive.

He also discusses how he challenges his own children to live the MoPo Life by helping them set goals and take actionable steps to achieve them, particularly in their academic pursuits.

Oggy extends the MoPo philosophy to his classroom, encouraging his students to identify their goals for the semester and holding them accountable. He believes that caring for students and helping them achieve their goals creates a positive impact.

Oggy shares his experiences of seeing kids embrace the MoPo message by wearing MoPo wristbands and actively engaging with the philosophy. He plans to expand his efforts by reaching out to sports teams and acting as a motivational speaker to spread the message further.

In conclusion, Oggy Brewer emphasizes the importance of connecting with others, like Christopher Lewis, to expand the reach of the MoPo philosophy and positively impact more lives.

TRANSCRIPT

Christopher Lewis [00:00:06]:

Welcome to dads with daughters. In this show, we spotlight dads resources and more to help you be the best dad you can be. Welcome back to the Dads with Daughters podcast, where we bring you guests to be active participants in your daughter’s lives, raising them to be strong, independent women. Really excited to have you back again this week. Every week, you and I are on a journey together. I say this all the time, but it truly is a journey. What you and I are doing to raise our daughters is something that happens day by day, and it’s not something that we can always plan for. There’s going to be highs, there’s going to be lows, there’s going to be everything in between.

Christopher Lewis [00:00:47]:

But that being said, there are things that we can do to make it a little bit better. And one of the best ways, one of the greatest things that I would say for all of us to do is to surround us with other men that are doing this. Now, you may not feel comfortable going to that next door neighbor and talking to them about the way that they’re being a father, but I’m glad that you’re here, because by you being here, you have an opportunity to learn every week, and you have an opportunity to be able to take things that you’re learning and incorporate them into your own lives. That’s why every week I love having different guests, different guests here with me to share their own experiences in their own journey that they’re on in raising their kids. And this week, we got another great guest. Augie Brewer is with us today. Augie is a teacher, a biology teacher, actually, but also does something that we’re going to be learning a little bit more about called MoPo for Life, and we’re going to talk about that as well. But he’s a father of four with two daughters and two sons, so I’m excited to be able to talk to him today for you to get to know him and for us to kind of delve a little bit deeper into his own journey. Oggy, thanks so much for joining us today.

Oggy Brewer [00:01:58]:

Well, thank you for having me. I really appreciate come on. And what you’re doing and being able to connect with different guys and dads and how we’re raising our daughters. I appreciate being on. So thank you. It’s my pleasure. My pleasure.

Christopher Lewis [00:02:14]:

And one of the things that I love to do, first and foremost, I want to turn the clock back in time. Your oldest daughter is 15. I want to go all the way back, all the way back to that first moment when you found out that you’re going to be a father to a daughter. What was going through your head? Well, it’s funny you asked this question, because my oldest is a boy. I have a son that’s 18. And when my wife was pregnant with Olivia, in my eyes, in my head, I really thought we were having another boy, and really all the way up till delivery. And the doctor, when she was delivered, it was by c section. And when she was delivered, the doctor says, looks like a boy, and I’m behind the curtain.

Oggy Brewer [00:02:51]:

And so in my head, this is boy number two. And then those words come out. It’s a girl. And I’m telling you, I wasn’t sure what to do. I was in a little panic mode of like, oh, my goodness, my world has just changed. And so just trying to understand, okay, I’m going to be a father to a daughter now. And all the emotions and all the things that get stirred up when you have that thought, and obviously not having a playbook for, okay, what am I doing now? So that’s the story of when Olivia was born. I love you know, I talked to a lot of dads, and a lot of dads tell me that going into being a father to a daughter, there’s some fear there’s some fear that goes with that.

Christopher Lewis [00:03:37]:

What would you say has been your biggest fear or fears in raising daughters?

Oggy Brewer

Yeah, I think one fear is just wanting to build up their self esteem and not wanting to be a person that brings that down ever. And so having a fear that maybe something I say or the way I react could bring their self esteem down, and I do not want to do that. So it’s that balance of being able to be stern, being able to be encouraging and uplifting them, and also continuing to build that relationship with them, to build up their self esteem. I said you had two daughters, and both of those daughters are very unique individuals, and they have their own personalities, and you have to build different relationships with each of them, that you have to do that with all your kids. Yeah. What have you done to be able to build those unique relationships with each of your daughters? Sure. I believe the first thing is being present, making sure each day they know that I’m present there. And I know we’re talking about teenage daughters, and being in a state of a lot of times, they don’t make you feel like they want your presence with them all the time, but just because they give that indication doesn’t mean that’s a free pass to not be present.

Christopher Lewis [00:04:57]:

And so being present every day with them, I’m a man of faith, and I pray with them daily. I think that’s important, that they know that someone’s praying for them and praying over them and then just connecting with them with the things they enjoy doing. One of my oldest daughters, she enjoys playing basketball, so if I can get out in the driveway and rebound for her, I’m connecting with her that way. My other daughter really enjoys taking drives in the car, and so maybe even though as high as gas prices are. Maybe just getting in the car and taking a drive and spending time with her is a big deal. And connecting with her clearly understand that. My youngest daughter likes driving in the car as well, and she definitely loves being able to get out, listen to music, and just kind of get into some of the back roads. And sometimes we talk, sometimes we just kind of are present.

Christopher Lewis [00:05:51]:

And that happens in teenage years, but at least you’re there. And as you said, you’re present, you’re engaged, and you’re showing that you’re interested in what they’re interested in as well. Now, there are definitely opportunities throughout your kids lives that you have to be able to build memorable experiences, memories that will last a lifetime. What have been some of your most memorable experiences that you’ve been able to share with your daughters thus far as a dad?

Oggy Brewer

Yeah, I think we try to be strong family, doing things together as a family. And I feel like some of the trips that we have been on as a family have been good time to connect with them. We’ve taken a trip out west where we went to Glacier National Park and we do some hiking together. Those have been really memorable trips. We also enjoy going to the lake.

Oggy Brewer  [00:06:40]:

One of those places is Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee, and those are two places, definitely the lake, being in the sun, riding on the boat, they really enjoy those things. And anytime we get a chance to do that, it’s a blessing to be able to do it. Now, I know you’re a teacher, and as a teacher, you have many kids that you are working with, that you’re mentoring, that you have. And sometimes they become even more than just students because they become a part of your lives in many different ways. And then you go home and you are a father of four. Talk to me about balance, because being a teacher, there’s not a lot of balance, and there is a lot of work that has to be taken home and there’s that work that has to get done for the next day of school and so on and so forth. But how do you balance being not only a biology teacher, but how do you balance that with being a father to four and being able to continue to be present in the lives of your kids? So I’ve been teaching now for 21 years. It’s my 21st year, and probably I think it was four years into it was when my son three years into it was when my son was born.

Oggy Brewer [00:07:56]:

And it didn’t take long to figure out, like, hey, there’s going to have to be some things that change here for you. Like, you can’t just bring your work home, put it on the table, and sit and do your work all the time. So I made a commitment probably five years into it, four or five years into it, to my wife, hey, when I come home, I’m going to set my bag down and I’m dad, and I’m going to be present. If there is work that needs to be done, it’ll be done once the kids go to bed. And now, as the kids have gotten older, they are in their rooms more on their own, by themselves. The time that we have together is really at the dinner table. And then if there’s homework that they need help on, sometimes they will come to dad. But even in that, they’re not always coming straight to dad, right? They want to be by themselves and to themselves.

Oggy Brewer [00:08:49]:

Now, I have some moments I can get into my work at times when they are home, and I do think in that they do see, man, dad does work, and dad is doing some things. So now I’m giving an example to them of putting in some hard work, even though, look, when it comes down to it, they’ve got my first, they’re going to look to me first, and I’m going to give them my presence before I get the work in.

Christopher Lewis

As you said, you have two teenage daughters, and teenage years can be a challenge upon themselves. But as you look back at the lives that they have had, the experiences that you’ve had, what’s been the hardest part of being a father to a daughter?

Oggy Brewer 

I think just the changes that occur, right? Because when they’re little, you pull up to the driveway and they’re waiting at the door, waiting to give you hugs, waiting to see you, and then there’s an excitement, there a joy there. And then how do you maintain that joy as they keep getting older? If you can bottle that up and keep that going, you’re doing something right. But again, the challenge then for me as a dad is as I’ve gotten older, and now there’s not that they’re not waiting at the door when I get home, but still connecting with them when I do get home. And maybe it’s just a quick like, how’s your day? Or did anything bring you joy in your day? We try to use that word joy because I love it. And connecting with them still as they’ve gotten older, and I feel like that’s just a continuous challenge every day.

Oggy Brewer  [00:10:22]:

How can I connect with them? And I’m not the best at it. I’m still learning. I’m still growing myself as a dad, but that is a challenge for me every day. I think that that just continues as your kids get older and they move into different phases in their lives. You’re going to have to figure it out as you go along. They figure it out as they go along. And you have to be willing to have that grace and to be able to know that you’re not going to know everything and you’re not going to know how things are going to end up, but that you keep working through it, and that’s the only thing you can do, because things are going to change. And I’ll agree with you that it is challenging as the kids get older and become more of who they are.

Oggy Brewer [00:11:14]:

But then, yeah, I guess I have to also think back to, okay, what was I like as a teenager as well? And was I present? Did I want to spend time with my parents, too? I think I ended up turning out okay as I got older. So I’m hopeful that as they get older, they’ll come back. Well, one thing you say with daughters, or what I’ve always been told is your daughters are always going to be there to take care of you. They’re always going to come back, and they’ll take care of dad when that time comes. So we’ll see. But I have hope in that. Here’s hoping.

Christopher Lewis [00:11:56]:

Now, you and I met over a tweet that you put out there, and one of the things that you put in that tweet was the hashtag girl dad. And that’s been around for a bit, was tied back to Kobe Bryant and his daughter and has continued since then to talk about the relationship between a father and daughter and pride with their daughters. As you think of that hashtag, that girl dad. Hashtag, what does being a girl dad mean to you?

Oggy Brewer

I believe it means building a positive relationship with my daughters, trying to help them develop a positive self esteem, and, as we said, just doing something that’s connecting with them over and over. You’ve said self esteem a couple of times, and as a teacher, you see self esteem happening in many different ways, and then you see that in your own daughters. Talk to me about how you see self esteem in girls, your own daughters, girls that you have had in your own classroom manifest itself and what you’ve learned about what many young women need to be able to have that support and what we can do as fathers to best support that. Well, I believe words are very powerful, and the words that they’re hearing has a powerful influence on them. And as many times as you can tell them they’re beautiful, they’re amazing, meaning it when I say it, not just using those words just to say them, but again, the words they’re hearing. And so oftentimes and I see it at school, kids are getting tore down by other kids because of the words that are being used to them or around them. And so, man, what a light you can shine if you’re using positive, encouraging words to my daughters or to the kids at school. They’re hearing that, and I believe it does. It lifts them up, and it provides a light in their life. 

Christopher Lewis:

I mentioned at the beginning that you have something that you’re involved in called MoPo Life or MoPo for Life. Talk to me about that. What is MoPo for life? And what are you trying to do to be able to engage fathers, parents, et cetera in this idea?

Oggy Brewer

Yeah, so during the COVID times when we were all locked in our homes, I decided one of the things I wanted to do was write a book. And I’ve always had that kind of on my bucket list. And this idea I have MoPo for life. MoPo the day. MoPo stands for Max Out payout. And so this is something you can use in whatever avenue you want. If you want it as a father, you want it as a teacher, as a coach, it applies. And the thought process is what’s my purpose every day? What’s the purpose that would be my payout and how am I maxing out to get that purpose? What are the things I’m doing to do that? So as a father, if my payout is to try to build a positive relationship with my daughters, then my Max Out has to be to be present, to spend time with them and to do things with them. The message MoPo is supposed to be positive. Again, I coined the phrase MoPo the Day and I use it a lot at school as well. And the other thing I’ve done with it is I’ve created a 365 day MoPo the Day calendar and it has a MoPo thought with a Bible verse every day and it’s supposed to be uplifting.

Oggy Brewer [00:15:29]:

And I try to put a MoPo thought every day out on X to be uplifting to the people that are looking at that. And you did write the book called MoPo Max Out payout living the MoPo Life, MoPo the Day. I love that. Talk to me about for someone that’s never read the book, what are some of the biggest takeaways that you want someone to take away from that book itself? One big thing is just looking at your daily life and trying to understand what’s my purpose and what am I doing on a daily basis in that purpose? And then again, how am I maxing out to get it? So it’s that message, it’s also a devotional, it has questions throughout. So it tries to get the reader to think about their life and think about things that are going on. Also has a lot of Bible verses. So to connect with God and your faith and in all this, for me to be a reflection of Jesus as I share this, so it’s to spread positivity, but it’s know, just like you and I are doing tonight, to connect with as many people as you can. And man, you wouldn’t believe how many times I’m somewhere and I just bring up this MoPo thought and all of a sudden I could connect with someone just by sharing this message.

Christopher Lewis [00:16:49]:

Talk to me about this concept and how you have challenged your own kids to live the MoPo Life and to incorporate that philosophy into what they’re doing on a daily basis.

Oggy Brewer

Yeah. So with school right now they’re in school, that’s a big part of their life. So asking them, what is your goals here? To get out of each day, because I see this every day. A lot of kids just come to school because they’re supposed to come to school, and there’s not a purpose or a desire to be there all the time. And so the goal, again, is to talk to them before school starts. Like, okay, what’s your MoPo for the year? What are we trying to accomplish? Maybe not for the year, but for this nine weeks, what are you wanting to do? So maybe it’s to turn in all your homework for this semester, and by turning in all your homework, you’re giving yourself a better chance to get a better grade. And I don’t believe it’s all about grades, but I do believe if you’re going to be doing it, there’s a purpose behind you doing it, and let’s get the most out of it, giving them that challenge as they begin school.

Christopher Lewis [00:18:02]:

So that would be one example. I love that example, and I think that it’s definitely something that is actionable, something that kids can take and be able to incorporate. How do you incorporate that into your classroom then?

Oggy Brewer

Yeah, so I will share that message, the MoPo message, with my classes, and again, I will give them a paper to fill out and say, what are you trying to accomplish this semester? And tell me how you’re going to do it. And then I want to look at it, and I want to hold you accountable. I want to be a person in your life that’s going to help you try to get what you want to get. You’re writing it down, so it must be something that’s on your heart or on your mind. And now, hey, you got somebody in your life that’s going to help you try to reach that goal. And I think for a lot of kids, number one, them knowing that you care, if they know you care, then you can get a lot out of them.

Oggy Brewer [00:18:53]:

And number two, if them even knowing that they have people in their life that do care, obviously, being an educator, as long as I have, that’s important to me, and that keeps me going. My juices flowing, too, as I teach. So I enjoy making that connection as we start the semester. And what kind of responses have you gotten from kids, your kids, the kids in your school, or others that have read the book? You know what’s interesting is I’ve got these wristbands that say, MoPo the day. So that’s another way I can connect with the kids. I share the message, and I hand out wristbands. And what’s been cool is seeing the kids come back the next day and the next day, and they’re wearing the wristbands. And so I know there is a connection there because they’re keeping them on. If they weren’t, there wouldn’t be. But just knowing that and then also knowing as they’ve read the book or as they’ve heard the message, they want to keep coming back and connecting. And so that’s just a positive thing each day to see them come in, to see them want to connect. And I know, okay, now we can go deeper, maybe in biology now with my classes and talk about something just because we connected with the MoPo. 

Christopher Lewis

You worked on this over COVID, you pushed this out there over COVID. You have expanded it. Now talk to me about where is this philosophy now? Where is this effort now, and where do you see it going in the future?

Oggy Brewer

Yeah. So, number one, I don’t always know what direction it’s going because it’s like, what’s next on the plate? For me right now, I believe what’s next is just going either to sports teams because I coached basketball for a long time. I’ve taken a backseat a little bit to that now, but I like going and being a little motivational speaker to different teams. I got a lot of coaching connections, so I can call up a coach, say, hey, on Thursdays. You usually do a motivational talk. You bring somebody in from the community, and I’d love to come share a little bit of this motivation with your team. And so I think for me, at this particular moment, it’s trying to connect more with other teams from other schools. And like I said, I don’t 100% know what direction it’s always going, but just by connecting with people like you, I get the message out even more. So I do appreciate connecting with you tonight.

Christopher Lewis [00:21:30]:

Now, we always finish our interviews with what I like to call our Fatherhood Five, where I ask you five more questions to delve deeper into you as a dad. Are you ready?

Oggy Brewer

Yeah.

Christopher Lewis

In one word, what is fatherhood?

Oggy Brewer

Love

Christopher Lewis

When was the time that you finally felt like you succeeded at being a father to a daughter?

Oggy Brewer

When I got the elf on the shelf for my daughter. 

Christopher Lewis

If I was to talk to your kids, how would they describe you as a dad?

Oggy Brewer

I think they would say outgoing, someone that’s graceful and someone that loves them a lot.

Christopher Lewis

Who inspires you to be a better dad?

Oggy Brewer

My dad.

Christopher Lewis

You’ve given a lot of pieces of advice today, things that you’ve learned along the way as we’re finishing up today. What’s one piece of advice you wanted to leave with every dad?

Oggy Brewer

Well, one of the things I was thinking about was when you have sons, you know they’re carrying on your name, and they’re going to carry that legacy on, and I want my daughters to do the same. I want them to carry the legacy of who I am on. And that doesn’t mean they’ll always keep my last name when they marry, but just in the way that they do life and the way that they connect with people and their faith. I want them to carry on the Brewer a legacy as all of their life.

Christopher Lewis

Oggy, if people want to find out more about you, about MoPo for Life, where can they go to find out more?

Oggy Brewer

Yeah, I have a website, it’s called Mopoforlife.com. And you can get on that website and see what I’m trying to do. You can see my book, you can see the 365 day desk calendar and just look and see the things that are going on with MoPo. And that’s MoPo. MoPo the number fourlife.com. Auggie, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for being here today.

Christopher Lewis [00:23:13]:

Thank you for sharing your journey with me and for all that you’re doing to encourage not only your own kids, but all kinds of kids in your community to live their best life. And I wish you all the best.

Oggy Brewer

Thank you for having me on. It was fun to connect with you and thanks for the interview.

Christopher Lewis

If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode of the Dads with Daughters podcast, we invite you to check out The Fatherhood Insider. The Fatherhood Insider is the essential resource for any dad that wants to be the best dad that he can be. We know that no child comes with an instruction manual and most dads are figuring it out as they go along. And The Fatherhood Insider is full of resources and information that will up your game on Fatherhood.

Christopher Lewis [00:23:58]:

Through our extensive course, library, interactive forum, step by step, roadmaps and more, you will engage and learn with experts, but more importantly, dads like you. So check it out fatheringtogether.org. If you are a father of a daughter and have not yet joined the Dadswithdaughters Facebook community, there’s a link in the notes. Today Dads with Daughters is a program of fathering together. We look forward to having you back for another great guest next week. All geared to helping you raise strong, empowered daughters and be the best dad that you can be.

We’re all in the same boat and it’s full of tiny screaming passengers. We spend the time we give the lessons, we make the meals we buy them present and bring your A game because those kids are growing fast. The time goes by just like a dynamite glass calling astronauts and firemen, carpenters and muscle men get out and be the one to now be the best dad you can be you, you’re the best that you can be.

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Christopher Lewis


Christopher is the co-founder of Fathering Together and the Chief Information Officer. He is the father of 2 daughters that are now in their tweens and teens. He started Dad of Divas, a blog to share his own personal experiences in being a father in 2007 and in 2018 started the Dads With Daughters Facebook Group to allow dads to connect, learn and grow together. He works in Digital Media on a daily basis, but also has over 20 years of experience in higher education administration.

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