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BR Parents Interview

—This blog post is a repost of an article written by Baton Rouge Parents magazine—

Occupation ▪ Homebuilder
Wife ▪ Cherith
Children ▪ Adlee, 14; Myla, 12; and Ciel, 8
Hobbies ▪ Spending time with friends and family and cooking

Whether he was waiting tables, running a recycling department or working at the ballpark, Brandon Craft credits all of his previous jobs for helping to prepare him for what he does now–creating unique homes by thinking outside the box.
However, Brandon does more than just build homes for families to live in. Each day, he strives to build a life for his family that is full of love and compassion, offering them a place where they know there will always be someone in their corner to help them get over life’s hurdles.

How would you describe raising your children?
B: We are taking a proactive approach. We are really trying to be intentional about the way that we parent. We are making sure that we’re dialed in more than usual, that our focus is really on our kids. We’re doing everything we can to be as engaged as we can.

What do you like to do as a family?
B: We’re building a farmhouse in Mississippi for family time so that we can be away from the busy. Also, as a family, we decided to foster. It’s very much so a family experience because if our kids aren’t onboard, it’s going to make it hard for us to be successful in that. And so far, they love it! They want more of it and love the experience.

What made you decide to start fostering?
B: We were kind of at a loss for what our role was in the church. We wanted to be involved in making a difference. I had gone to a breakfast where someone was running for mayor, and he was talking about all these homes where kids are being raised in disadvantaged homes. So, my wife and I sat down and started talking about fostering and realized that was a way we could make a difference in a child’s life.

What’s the greatest thing about being a dad?
B: It’s just the experience as a whole. With kids, it’s very rewarding to walk through the experiences of seeing a kid and seeing them come into the person they are ultimately going to become.

What was your latest dad win?
B: We have a 14 year old who is entering the “boy stage,” and it’s a challenge. She had written us a letter after there was some struggle between us and she said, “I know you love me and I know you want what is best for me. I don’t agree with what you’re telling me to do, but I do know that your heart is in the right place.” So for us, that was a win to realize that our kids get that while they may not like our decisions, they know we want what is best for them.

How has parenthood changed you?
B: It has made me realize what an advantage I have because I grew up with parents who loved me. It has made me aware of the advantages that my kids have as a result of having parents who love them, and I think that feeds into the fostering side. We want to give that same opportunity to as many kids as we can to say that, “Hey, there’s someone who is in your corner and wants what’s best for you.”

What has your job taught you about parenting?
B: Failure is absolutely essential. Each week, we ask our kids what they failed at. The intention is we want our kids to understand failure because you’re not going to make the right decisions every time. I want them to be pushing themselves, and the same thing holds true for the guys on our team. It’s explaining to them that I want them to fail because that’s how we’re going to get to something brand new and unique.

What kind of dad are you?
B: A purposeful one. I am behind on this, but I try to take each of my girls on a date, one girl per month. Each girl gets a night where it’s just the two of us, to be able to just talk and have me show them that a man is going to take them out to dinner and listen to them and not be on his phone, and just try to set the stage for what will be acceptable for them from a partner one day.

Which family member has been your greatest role model in life?
B: My mom and my dad in very different ways. My dad taught me the value of hard work and my mom taught me to have a relationship with the Lord, so I think that is why I am so strong on the foster care side because I feel that I have been given so much and I want to offer that to other kids as well.

What’s your biggest goal in life right now?
B: It is a consistent goal to be dialed in with the kids to make sure that we are spending time with them.

Q&A
In my fridge, you will always find…fresh squeezed orange juice from Whole Foods.
Favorite movie growing up…The Shawshank Redemption.
My guilty pleasure is…an aged Old Fashioned.
I feel my best when I…am consistent in my exercise and when I am eating healthy.
My favorite ice cream is…Cookie Two Step.
My dream travel spot is…wherever is next on our bucket list.