Q: Why did you shift from HumanAfter, a Human Resources consulting business that you founded in 2017 to focus on ManAfter?
Laith Saud: It is not a shift in focus, merely embracing the ability for emphasis. Men and women have different needs; they live in different circumstances and face different challenges. I love the work we do at HumanAfter, we do great work and I love working with people, it gives me energy, I’m an extrovert in that sense.
But ManAfter allows me to bring my own personal experiences in helping men overcome challenges they face that are unique to men today.
Q: What are some of these unique challenges?
Laith Saud: I want to be clear, I am not saying that women do not face the exact same challenging circumstances; but context, legal precedent, systemic and cultural forces make those challenges play out differently for men and women.
For example, it is common knowledge that in divorce, men will not usually be the custodial parent; this common arrangement presents challenges for both parents, it is the same circumstances, but it hits different pressure points for both men and women.
Q: What might you have to say to men in that situation?
Laith Saud: For example, the man might be feeling like a failure or that he lost his kids. I coach them into becoming an involved father, even if they are not the custodial parent.
Q: Were you in a similar situation?
Laith Saud: Actually I wasn’t, I was the custodial parent and raised my daughter as a single dad.
Q: Is that how you developed you parenting philosophy?
Laith Saud: Absolutely, you have to parent to know how to parent.
Q: If you had to summarize your parent philosophy, what would that summary look like?
Laith Saud: Leadership, parenting is about leadership, it is not about authority. Too many parents, especially from so-called old world cultures, stress their authority in the parenting relationship.
I am not too quick to use the word trauma, but authority based parenting can feel oppressive and oppression can create trauma. I do not agree with Gabor Mate on several things, but I agree with him on the origins of adult difficulty, it begins in childhood. Good parents re-visit their own childhood, take the good, sideline the bad and lead their children into adulthood. Bad parents raise their kids the way they were raised without modification; they do so because of the myth of authority.
Q: What are you working on next?
Laith Saud: I am producing video courses on parenting, college, leadership and some of the things we discussed today. I look forward sharing it.