Nick Salyers, cofounder of Champion Tribes, a coming of age program aimed to help fathers invest intentionally into the lives of their middle school-aged sons, joins host, Carlos Whittaker, to talk about what sons need most from their fathers.


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  • Tell your son, “I love you.” This may seem a bit superfluous, especially if you’re the type to express your love often, but sometimes we all need a little reminder. Many parents of today were raised by fathers who didn’t hear they were loved very often, and habits are often passed down through the generations. This is the single most important thing your son needs to hear from you, so say it often. They need to know they are loved, respected, and cherished at all times.
  • Get to know your kids’ love language. It’s one thing to tell your kid you love them, and it’s another to show them. Take Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages” quiz to determine how your son interprets love and act accordingly.
  • Parent in the small moments. Use meal times, car ride times, and bedtimes to pour into your son emotionally, asking questions and speaking truth over their lives. As your son gets older, the moments of heartfelt conversations may be few and far in between, so use these moments to get in some quality time.


Everyone needs a hero, and for boys—especially those who are middle school aged—their dad has the potential to be their greatest hero of all, guiding and shaping the way they will ultimately view manhood.

If this sounds like a heavy responsibility, it’s because it is—the middle school years have proven quite critical, especially for boys on the horizon of manhood. They’re asking serious questions about their identity and forming bonds with others who will ultimately play a part in who they will become. But it’s also a time when boys at this age begin talking less and creating more distance between themselves and their parents. So what’s a parent to do?

Express love

Nick Salyers is a co-founder of Champion Tribes. This is a program that equips fathers with the necessary tools they need to position themselves as not only their son’s most trusted ally but to also include a group of trusted mentors to guide sons along their journey toward manhood.

Though Nick isn’t a dad, he is the product of an intentional father, David, who leaned into their relationship even further when Nick was 12 years old. Now 24, Nick shares some of the moments that stick out to him most and discusses the lasting impact those moments left on him even through adulthood.

Many fathers today can’t remember a time when their own fathers told them or showed them how much they meant to them. But that’s what’s missing, Nick says. We need more fathers today who will continuously remind their sons of their love for them. If fathers start a new trend in this way, Nick explains, fathers can tap into their potential to shape the next generations to come.

You don’t want to miss this important episode. In it, Nick shares just how important mentors are to the process of raising boys, why rites of passage should be extended to the transition from boyhood to manhood, and the exact thing every son should hear from his dad. And as a special treat, we’re giving away a Champion Tribes program to one lucky listener!

You can learn more about that by clicking here.

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