#37 Torsten Klaus | Fathers in Focus: Unschooling, Masculinity and Shattering Stereotypes
🗓️ Recorded October 11th, 2023. 📍Coma Ruga, Spain
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About this Episode
Torsten Klaus is a pioneering advocate for unschooling, a devoted father of three unschooled children, and the founder of Young Cre8ors. Torsten's passion for creativity and storytelling began in his youth when he fell in love with typewriters, cassette recorders, and the art of crafting handmade newspapers and audiobooks. This early passion evolved into a career in journalism in Berlin, where he honed his editing, screenwriting, and interviewing skills.
Torsten and his wife embarked on a transformative journey to question and redefine education long before their children were born. Over the past 15-16 years, they've explored various educational models, striving to find the perfect fit for their family while balancing work and life harmoniously.
Our conversation takes you on a deep dive into the world of unschooling, challenging the conventional wisdom of mainstream education and societal norms. We scrutinize how our own upbringings influence our parenting choices and confront the societal pressures that often dictate the traditional path of school, university, job, and mortgage.
As we delve deeper, we also address the crisis of masculinity and its impact on fatherhood, offering Torsten's invaluable insights as a powerful narrative that could inspire many. The episode also highlights Torsten's commendable work with Young Cre8ors, an online platform designed to empower youth with breakthrough ideas in a respectful and creative environment.
This isn't just a discussion about unschooling; it's an expansive conversation about conscious parenting, alternative education choices, and the courage to challenge norms. We wrap up by emphasizing the significance of positive family examples and their potential ripple effect on society. Tune in for an enthralling and empowering dialogue with Torsten Klaus, and open your mind to the transformative possibilities of unschooling.
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Watch the full interview on YouTube
0:00:00 - Jesper Conrad
Welcome to Self-Directed. We are your hosts, cecilia and Jesper Conrad, and now it's time to welcome this week's guest. Today we're together with Torsten Klaus, and when I shared about the Better Dad Institute I had started, he contacted me and I was like, oh, another dad who's down with unschooling and like this kind of life. I would really love to interview him for a podcast, because most of the people who have a big voice around unschooling and homeschooling is actually the mothers, and it's not so strange. It's the ones who are most at home with them and are most down with it, and whereas we fathers often are a little more slow in the uptake, in getting started with the whole unschooling and was it the same for you, tolstin, or were you also, like I was a little I'm not sure about this weird thing?
0:00:57 - Torsten Klaus
Well, first, hello, and it's really nice to meet you. And I think, if I look back, our journey and by our I mean really my, my wife's and my journey as a, as a, as parents, as a couple, our unschooling, homeschooling or, as we say in German, freiland and free learning, which I quite like, this, this kind of label journey started before we even had children. I do remember 16, 17 years ago we sat on a sofa in the evenings and reflected a lot about our own upbringing and that obviously included the time we spent in school and sort of what we went through and how we defined ourselves and our teenage years and how school fell to us. And from these many conversations we had on a sofa we concluded as a couple we want to go a different way. And by that time that was like in the early, like 2003 to 2004 years of the of the century in the UK we felt like, hey, let's see if we find like minded people, even without having children then, and so we connected with people and what we found really empowering, that was a few years later when we went to the first unschooling conference in London, the first UK unschooling conference, and we met actually people from from America and these were the grownups, not the kids, but like people who went where unschoolers as children and teenagers, and listening to those stories was so empowering, so helpful and supportive that we felt like this is our journey. Let's, let's, let's make a start and try this out. And if our kids, if our family, if you need to change direction at any time, you know we can do, especially living in England, at that time it seemed very easy and I think it's still very easy.
As homeschoolers, unschoolers we always say to ourselves if our kids want to go to school, one day they can try. No, we never said you can't, it was always the option there. But we've been on this journey for now, for 15, 16 years, and I'm not regretting it. It's been the most beautiful experience spending time with my kids, with my family, and and being part of their not only education, but they are bringing and this is something else that my wife and I explored together and we worked many years trying to find a good compromise there and how we, how we work as a family, as parents.
So we tried so many different models me being full time, she at home. We both felt like, no, that's not going to work, both sort of burning out with our energy levels. Then we swapped, we swapped places she full time, I at home with the kids. So we really try different ways and he, the perfect model to our family, seems like that we both work part time and have enough time to be around the kids. This is where we are now after 10, 15 years, and also like traveling. Maybe we talk about traveling later on, anyways, but yeah, I think that's how it started, so it was like a very conscious decision to go to congratulate you.
0:04:06 - Cecilie Conrad
I think I've met a few like you who knew it from the start, when you were bowed it, and made a conscious decision even before having children.
0:04:16 - Torsten Klaus
0:04:17 - Cecilie Conrad
And I think that's the best piece. I mean, oh for me, for us, but maybe for me because I took the lead, maybe for me mostly it's been like running alongside a train and the train is going so fast. I was the first child by what some would call an accident I don't believe in that but I was pretty young and I had a child, all of my. He was gone when I woke up, so it was. I was just thrown into this whole experience of parenting at a fairly young age and I wanted to do good and I've always been a radical person, but I didn't.
These concepts were not in Copenhagen at the time, I didn't know about it and and then we accidentally fell in love and had some more kids and and we did radical things and they became more and more radical and ended up in this unschooling thing. But I felt I had to learn it while it happened and I still have sometimes to say that to my youngest, who is 11, and we've been on the journey also for something like 15 years that you know I'm just trying to keep up. The life that my kids are living is so different from the life that I had and the concepts that are sort of even though I work with it on a daily basis. They're so stuck in a way, the filters. So I just I'm doing this podcast with some women and one of them, luna. She also knew before she started to learn because she lived with an unschooling family as a yeah, like a helping hand for a while. I just envy that. It's such a luxury. You should really appreciate it. You must have been so much ahead of the game before.
0:06:07 - Torsten Klaus
Yeah, yes and no. I think I really hear what you're saying and I would say, in some aspects, be where, maybe more prepared or kind of had an idea of you know which way we want to go, but still because we went through the normal mainstream upbringing ourselves and didn't have many role models around us apart from the ones I just mentioned in the. You know the conference and reading blocks and, and you know, listening to stories and the like. But you know, doing the expo, having the experience firsthand with your own kids, is always a different ballgame and I think there are many question marks on our journey as well that we felt like, oh, is it the right track? And do we have the confidence, especially confidence when you get a lot of, let's say, negative feedback, especially from family members. Observe you very carefully and, coming from Germany where homeschooling is a total no, no, it's illegal. You know there was very little understanding in my family for this lifestyle and so having this constant pressure I think that's at least what we felt for the first years this constant pressure and withstanding the pressure and saying, okay, you know, it's still the right journey and we're doing the right decisions and and and keep you know, keep doing our research and confirming for ourselves as a family. Yes, it's fine.
You know, it doesn't matter whether the child learns reading this five, seven, 10, or, in our case, our elders. He was a confident reader when he was 12. But and this is something I always like to quote there, that's this beautiful work by a German brain brain researcher, professor Gerhard Hüter, and he said once in an interview it really doesn't matter whether a child learns reading at the age of five, seven or 12 or even 14, because for most of the time in their life they will be reading. So when they, you know, they live 18, 19, 100 years, so most of the time they will be reading. And now I can see my son. He's 15. He goes through about two books a week, that's that's this average, so he's got to skin.
he's got his candle online libraries all over the world and he reads more than than I have ever read at that age. So that kind of you know confirms, improves that you know that it does work and we were on a right track. But we had also these dips where we felt like gosh, is that the right thing and are we doing, are doing okay and do we do something that really will make their lives more miserable, than one day the kids will come to us and say, oh, parents, what did you do with us? But yeah, you know that's the risk.
0:08:48 - Cecilie Conrad
I think you know they might say that at some point.
0:08:52 - Jesper Conrad
Tozen, there's so many things you touch upon that I would like to unpack some of them little by little. One of them is the the self doubt as a parent on are we doing the right thing? And also the judgmental from the, from the surroundings. I find it very interesting that it is when we choose a different track than the mainstream that we start to question ourselves and also find it very strange that parents and surroundings start to question you on the readability level of your kids. How well are they to read and stuff like that. I have not met that from with our first or oldest daughter and in the dog adopting the daughter and when she was in school, people were questioning if she could read or write and stuff. That was actually you know something. They just expected because she was in the system.
0:09:55 - Cecilie Conrad
But she did read at five.
0:09:57 - Jesper Conrad
She did read at five, but you get the idea.
0:10:00 - Cecilie Conrad
There was nothing to question.
0:10:01 - Jesper Conrad
I'm just saying, but the idea is that.
0:10:03 - Cecilie Conrad
It's in school who learn to read late, like your son, and also our second child or oldest son learned very late, later than yours. Kids in school who learn late, they suffer a lot. They yeah, maybe they are crushed by it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so my point is just the school system.
0:10:26 - Jesper Conrad
That's my point is we don't question ourselves Is it the right choice to have my kid in school? I think now, with homeschooling and on schooling being talked more about, maybe more parents are starting to question is this the right choice for me and for my kid? I think it's the right choice to send them to school, but I find it kind of interesting that we are so in line on walking down this road of the mainstream that, oh, but you just send your kids to school, then all is fine.
0:10:55 - Cecilie Conrad
And if it's not, then it's still within mainstream, so it's fine.
0:10:59 - Torsten Klaus
Yeah, I believe the self doubts or when I talk about my own self doubts and maybe lack of confidence sometimes is probably very much linked to my own upbringing. When I look back, you know the way I've been conditioned by, by my family, by my, you know the way where or the places where I lived in Germany. You know these things childhood conditioning pretty much are kind of key in a ways we respond to things. So if you want to be part of something, you want to be part of this group and if you get kind of excluded because you're not ticking the boxes, this is something that makes you in the first place feel uncomfortable and you want, you want to be part of you know you don't want people saying, oh, you're a bit strange. You want people to say, look at you and say, hey, you know, everything is fine, it's good.
And building this confidence First I think takes time. It takes a lot of experience on what you do and and, yeah, on what the things you you also like bring back to the society. But also I think it depends where you live. So when we were in the UK for for a very long time, where homeschooling is legal and also like, accepted in society. If you go out there in the morning to the library or into town and you, you know, you start chatting to people and they would say, oh, the kids are not in school. He said, no, you're homeschooled. Okay, fine, it's kind of accepted. No one gives you a strange look like, ah, maybe they may be, do I don't know if they're talking behind?
0:12:29 - Cecilie Conrad
0:12:30 - Torsten Klaus
But you get that general positive feeling. It's okay, it's part of our society. One in other countries you know not mentioning Germany, but I haven't really lived there for more than 20 years but in other countries you get more questions where people say okay so what do you do?
I have it of online schooling and then you spend you mentioned online schooling then people are more, and okay, it's fine, unless you want to really go into into a conversation about what you do Exactly. But so it's about my own conditioning, the things I have to deal with, my own kind of mindset issues in a way, and the way and that's also just my own explanation when people respond this kind of not constructive feedback but kind of negative feedback questioning you or criticizing you, I believe this is then linked to that they feel criticized and their way is not being accepted. So I give you an example my sister, she, she really couldn't really make sense of what we do and why we do these things and was very yeah, what's the right word in here? Very critical. Let's leave it there. And, and I think after trying to listen to her side and trying to understand her, I think she felt sort of criticized. But it shows that she is made for her family. That I do. You know that I do something different, sort of, in a nutshell, that she would.
She might think what she does is not good enough for her kids because she sends them to school, you know. So that's probably what she read by my, by this, by the decisions we did for our kids that she would feel like, no, okay, am I, what am I doing wrong here? And then using this criticism and mirroring it back to me and saying no, no, no, it's the one you. You doing here something wrong. And I think that's what I could see a lot in conversations that people, if they don't want to really listen to your, to your choices, and trying to understand why you're doing certain things that definitely criticized by you, by our decisions, but that's something I don't have to deal with. That is there. That's their problem. I have my own issues I have to work with, so that's, that's okay.
0:14:41 - Cecilie Conrad
I think you're very right and I think also when, when people we meet it's more painful if it's siblings, parents, best friends but in general, when we meet people and we have this home based lifestyle where we don't send our kids out to any institution, we touch upon a base psychology that is imposed on most parents in our shared culture and in the West that we have a child and then we give it to strangers, basically After a short time. Some places it's a few months. In the more privileged places could be a few years, but still you give it to strangers to do the upbringing. And we are told that this is about women's liberation, this is about equality. This is irrational emotion that we feel when they cry and we push them off to strangers and we run away and we cry in a corner that they will stop crying after a few minutes. We have to just forget about it. They will get used to it. It's all good, all kids need education, all this blah blah, yada, yada bullshit that we are being fed.
But as a base psychology, if you do this and you do it every day, and you do it every day to the people who are the most important to you for years. Then it becomes true, even though underneath that there is a great pain. There's the pain of doing it something that's very wrong to your children, and there's the pain of lying to yourself and that's just being pushed under the surface. And there come you, trotting with your kids all smiling altogether, just doing something else. That's very provocative, that touches right there in the pain and it makes people very angry when you touch their pain button. I think that thing we've met a lot of that same kind of sometimes even rage. And it's not about me, it's about one big fat lie that's going on in our entire I mean it's a shared culture in all of the West and it's basically bullshit.
0:16:56 - Torsten Klaus
Absolutely, that's what I meant by conditioning. We condition and that's the conditioning we went through as well, and that's why we also sometimes, I can feel these kind of pain spots because something comes up on my own childhood, as I explained early on, because in a way, in a sense, you want to be part of a group, you wanna be accepted by your family and friends, or especially family, and that they take you as you are and these things. But yes, I agree, it's the big lie and I think that's why later on, we have so many or we have so many people with mental health problems, broken families, broken relationships, because obviously in the very early stage we are breaking this kind of trust we have here with our, or something we wanna try to build with our children.
So from the moment we send them off somewhere and they feel like alone in that environment, in that situation, they can't get any help. They just have to go through this, and this is the moment where this trust, this bridge of trust, breaks and crumbles. And this over years, over years, I think, also for me, when I hear families, parents, talking so much about oh, we don't feel like connected to our teenage children anymore, blah, blah. Yes, because they don't trust you anymore After 10 years or 80 years of this.
0:18:17 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah, and it's like sort of too late at that point.
0:18:20 - Torsten Klaus
0:18:22 - Jesper Conrad
I'm like no wonder, but now the kid is 17, you know he's maybe I thought about that 10 years ago, or maybe 17 years ago, yeah, so even in the start, you mentioned the travel you had as a family you and your wife where you ended up figuring out your can you say work life, home life situation.
I would like to go a little more in depth with that because I think you trust upon something where, as I also said in the introduction, most of the people we talk with often the women who have been to stay at home parents and you seem to have found a balance where you're both working part time, and you mentioned what you said. That touched me was you said but first you decided that you had a full time job and you tried that, but in reality, both of you ended up stressed out and when you said that I had this kind of oh shit, oh, yes, I remember that. I remember coming home super tired, overworked and, at the same time, not feeling I had the energy to be there for my children and my wife had done nothing all day or just hanging out. So she should be able to do it. You know all these stupid things, so can you tell a little more about that process for you and your wife?
0:19:53 - Torsten Klaus
Yeah, I think when I look back and I think it's really, it rings the bell. What you just mentioned. In a way, it's another big lie we fell for. And the lie is, at the moment you have a baby or you have a family, the life goes on as normal as the man. You are kind of going out, you earn money, making sure everything is right on the financial side, while mom stays back home and, as you just pointed out, she has a jolly good time and when you come home, everything is done. Just, you know, even though society has changed. Obviously this is like kind of an old cliche from the 1950s, 60s, but in many ways it's still true when you listen to, I would say, not only to men, but also to women. I've heard this quite a bit and this is kind of the typical work split. Still, like you know, the man goes out and works and then she stays home.
Yeah, for us I think it was like the moment our eldest son was born. I had that natural instinct I want to be there, I want to be around him, I want to be around them as our little family in our nest. And though I had a four-week paternity leave, which was like two weeks official paternity leave in UK and two weeks holiday I could take for my employee. After that four weeks I felt like no, I don't feel like ready going to back to work. I really don't want to leave, but at the same time I felt that pressure and need have to, because you know, if I don't go out there then the money doesn't come in. And but from the very beginning we both felt as a couple, as parents, this is not going to work and this is really just stressing us out because exactly those expectations, those unrealistic expectations. Her expectation was I come back home after my shift and should be fresh enough and energetic enough to take the baby and do everything else, that she has a break, totally understandable. My expectation was I come home, everything is fine, there's some food and, you know, everyone is happy. But none of these expectations were real. It was just a big mess and we were in the middle of this big mess and I think we both kind of also suffered mentally through that time because, yeah, my sleep deprivation and a lot of things where we yeah just sort of went through and after a few months we sat down and said, look, we can go on like this and then sort of run against this wall a few times until we just bleed and suffer and it's just getting worse or we change it.
And for us, the clear answer was that let's change this. I reduced my hours at work, which was not as easy as I hoped, so I had a lot of talk at work. We had a huge pay cut or money cut there, but it was worth doing it. We sat down and said, ok, we have less money available, it's fine, you know, it's OK. As a baby, you don't need much money anyways. Let's focus on us as a family and let's deal with this. And that really was a game changer to say let's have more time there as a family and less time at work.
But, as I said, even after making this decision, it took us years to figure out what kind of the best ideal concept or constellation work life balance, as they always say. That's kind of a funny one, because what is the right work life balance? I don't know. Probably everyone has their own answers for this one.
For us, it seemed like we are both happy if we have some work, also away from the family and things we really like doing, and, at the same time, spending enough time as a family, but also as a couple. That's something we had to learn as well that we are many kids got a bit older, that we take enough time for us as a couple. And now we have something very beautiful after years established that on a Friday evening that my wife and I we always go out, we have a couple of time and our kids they're OK. Our eldest is 15. He's in charge and that seems to work really well. That we have one evening a week where we just go out and we are not parents, we are a couple, and that starts really good.
But it was a long journey, reaching this moment where we felt like, yes, now we have found a good balance of work, that money comes in, but also being as a family.
0:24:32 - Cecilie Conrad
I also think it's beautiful that you found your couple of time, but you also waited until the kids were old enough for it. It's one of my things I react upon very much when young parents who have maybe even babies think that they have to go out on a date, they have to go away for a weekend to preserve their romantic relation. When you have, maybe, a toddler who needs you, that's not maybe the time in life to go on a date. You just have to sit with that toddler on your lap. That's how it is. But now, of course, you're more or less in the same age range with your three children as ours and we have the same situation Now. They're good, we can go if we want to.
0:25:24 - Torsten Klaus
0:25:26 - Jesper Conrad
What you said made me think about when we walked away from the dream life or the ideal of you. Can say what people think life should be.
0:25:37 - Cecilie Conrad
The dream that it wasn't our dream. No, no, no, it wasn't our dream you know it was.
0:25:43 - Jesper Conrad
We had the big house in Copenhagen, we had a car, I had a fancy job, we had wonderful kids and we had a good amount of money. Life was really good. But I was not super happy and I just really hope that much more people will start questioning the normal track trajectory, you know, of going to school, going to university, getting a job and then, if you're going to have a child, then you need a house, each kitchen, their own bedroom and all that. But for me, because I've been, as you say, conditioned myself, then I think I needed it before I was ready to look at it and say, hey, this is, this is not how I prefer life. I prefer a much freer life where I choose what I do in the morning, where I choose where I want to be.
But but I didn't have the guts to just quit the job before. I had all those things. We had the house, we had it all, and I think it would be really beautiful if we could help more young parents. Or even before that people just start thinking what is my ideal life? Do I actually want that house with the garden and two full times jobs and two cars and all that. Is it the right for us?
0:27:22 - Torsten Klaus
Something that don't teach in school, right?
0:27:25 - Cecilie Conrad
They don't teach you to think that would be such a problem.
0:27:30 - Torsten Klaus
What would you like to do with your life, and is it worth it? That would be a very, very interesting subject. No, I totally agree. So, yeah, it would have been interesting if schools would bring in such a subject, but I doubt that because in a way, it's what the system, in a way and I leave it there as, just as this label, the system expects you to do, they expect you to follow exactly this same template.
There's always this template and you have to just fill in take this box, take that box, have the house, have the loan and, as an ideal citizen, when you reach 60 or 65, you get cancer and die. That's the ideal citizenship.
0:28:19 - Cecilie Conrad
That's probably a quick one.
0:28:25 - Torsten Klaus
That you're not so expensive for the health system.
0:28:27 - Cecilie Conrad
Maybe a heart attack.
0:28:29 - Torsten Klaus
A heart attack is beautiful.
0:28:31 - Cecilie Conrad
That's actually beautiful.
0:28:33 - Torsten Klaus
First, it would be quite good if you maybe buy some medicine, because I think that's what the farmer is asking for, but you could have a heart condition through your 50s and early 60s and then have a heart attack. Maybe with a depression.
0:28:45 - Cecilie Conrad
There are a lot of pills available as well.
0:28:48 - Jesper Conrad
What I find really fun is when we talk about the system and society, then it is us people, and all of us has been on the same trajectory and have had these different dreams and we ended up buying the house or dreams before we had. But now, when we are sitting in our car, we are, as you know, full-time travelers. The songs we often sing are some disneytune and those disneytunes are actually about people going on adventure, going on freedom, and I just find it really fun that a lot of these children movies are actually about I want to step away and let's go on a journey and realize yourself, figure out who you are. So I find that really funny that we are sitting there just singing away on something very mainstream.
0:29:44 - Cecilie Conrad
I'm not proud of singing disney songs, but it's not part of the idea.
0:29:47 - Torsten Klaus
It's not part of the idea that make you that, give you that feeling of longing for something, but something that is kind of more like a fairy tale. The fairy tale is that you go off to an adventure and you're free and you can do whatever you like. But this is kind of the hope that give you. If you work hard enough, if you sort of pay off your loan, if you house, everything is fine, then you go on an adventure. For many people this translates as oh yeah, when I retire, then I go off and do my adventure, and that's what many people really hope for.
They save all their life and I, sadly, could see this with my own family, with my father. He worked all his life very hard and saved every penny and then, when he was 70, he got cancer and died. So I felt like he had just a few years in his retirement to really live his life and do the things he likes doing, like traveling and doing the things he enjoys. But from his lifespan it was just a few years. But coming back to what you said about empowering people or giving them maybe or guiding them, helping them to see there are alternative ways to live your life, I believe when I look back in time, I believe now it is so much easier to educate yourself about these things. So when we were making these first choices I'm not sure if even YouTube was already around then it was really hard.
0:31:17 - Cecilie Conrad
Yes, one of the reasons we do the whole blogging and podcasting. Man, when we started, do you remember the Unschool Bus?
0:31:25 - Torsten Klaus
0:31:25 - Cecilie Conrad
The American blog was one of the only places you could inform yourself about the combination of living tiny and traveling, plus unschooling. Maybe there were other people doing it, but no one. I mean there was no information out there.
0:31:40 - Torsten Klaus
Exactly, exactly, and in Europe it would just be the crazy person.
0:31:44 - Cecilie Conrad
I mean. No one did it.
0:31:47 - Torsten Klaus
Even in Denmark where it's legal it was just crazy people.
0:31:51 - Jesper Conrad
Yes, I think what unschooling have reignited in me is the little boy who asked questions I remember my school teacher also said always was like now he's asking stuff again, now he's questioning why the stuff is like that and all that. And then for a long time I just well, I never really did the normal trajectory. I didn't go to university and I wanted to make movies and I ended up having an online career in online youth magazine and all crazy stuff and had a lot of fun. But what I really like about this self-directed life and the whole unschooling vibe is I love pondering about stuff, I love meeting stuff I don't know and then I'm like, oh, I actually would like to figure that out and then learning stuff. It's just super fun.
0:32:51 - Torsten Klaus
It's super fun and what it taught me yeah, and that's what it taught me. What I feel it teaches me every day is that learning never stops. This is another misconception I had in my early 20s. I thought, okay, I've done school. I went to uni for a bit. I didn't finish uni, but I went to uni a bit and then I had my training. So I felt like, okay, I'm done. Now, this is, like you know, early 20s, that's it.
And now for, obviously, you know parenting, but also self-directed learning as a family, guiding our kids taking part in their adventure and their own taking part on their own journeys. It really taught me and teaches me that learning never stops. There's so many great things to explore and to learn about, as you just said, and you know taking the time together with your kids and saying, hey, I never really thought about this like that and yeah, I say I really enjoyed this and the good thing is this will also. It will never stop. It will be like, yeah, therefore life and that's beautiful.
0:33:58 - Cecilie Conrad
We usually say we wake up with hungry brains, you need some meal, but you also need something, otherwise it gets very starved feeling.
0:34:11 - Jesper Conrad
Can I ask, thorsten, before you met the whole homeschooling, unschooling world, what did you think you should do and be in your life, what was the trajectory that you thought you were on? Because I bet you are another place today than what you thought.
0:34:29 - Torsten Klaus
Yeah, it's a very interesting one because, even though we as a family, we are unschoolers, free learners or world schoolers, or whatever word you want to use.
I was for many years still working in education, but not like in mainstream education, more like, for a long time, supporting families. Well, there was not so much education, but there was more like a family community work. But at the same time, I was doing outdoor learning groups and forest school places and while we traveled through different countries, I also was working for micro schools and free, democratic schools, just to see how these things develop, because I believe in society there's also a need for those places. So, while we as a family make the decision that we are unschoolers, I still strongly believe we need education settings, whatever we call them and whatever they look like. I don't think there should be something like we have in mainstream, but mainstream can probably learn from these alternative ways, alternative settings. So I was working there and my belief was all these years what is it I can do, what is it I can contribute to those places that choose? We need to have a physical place where we meet for activities or for some kind of curriculum, whatever they have all their own labels and phrases for this, but what can we do to support and guide children and families in learning in a way and that's what I always find very interesting to see different models, different ways, different approaches and to be on this journey. So this hasn't really changed for me, because I'm still offering online education right now, helping kids and teens in making their own films and podcasts and sort of creative artwork and this kind of work. Probably my perspective has changed because the more I saw and also like in different countries, the more I got confirmed that our way as a family is the right path, because I could see all these different settings. They have their own issues and I believe every time when humans come together and create something, there's also friction, there's expectations and different.
I remember once I was working for a very small micro school in Austria. Only 10 families so it felt like homeschooling said, hey, this is good, this is great, this is like home schooling in a way. But all these 10 families had different expectations and different understanding of what kind of education they wanted. So they came to me as one of the educators said oh, for my child, I want this. And I said no, no, I want the exact opposite and I said, guys, this is not going to work here, we need to find some good compromises there.
So learning from those experiences also helped me reflecting on our own journey as a family, but also just seeing, in a way, it's good that there are so many families out there who say we have enough or we sort of fed up with the system and we want to establish something different. And I could see this in Austria, spain, portugal, germany, wherever I go, because this is what I observed in these places that parents, teachers, kids and very often even local authorities are fed up with the way education is organized. And that's also my hope for the future that not everyone has to become an unschooler, a world schooler or a homeschooler, but there will be a shift to more humane, personalized, individual education where these things matter more than any grades or outcomes or tests or whatever mainstream education is still doing.
0:38:38 - Cecilie Conrad
I like the idea that Peter Gray has that we could close the schools and put the funds into the libraries and just have this knowledge-empowering centers with maker rooms and even sports facilities and obviously good old classical academic knowledge available, but also personnel, so you would have someone you could actually ask if there is something you can't figure out yourself. That would make for a space where you could take responsibility and build your own journey. It's interesting you're an unschooling father, we're unschooling parents, so we don't have to say these things out loud. But for those who have kids in school and don't know how this lifestyle, knows it from the inside, how it feels, the funny thing is you don't have to push children to learn. Children who are not pushed into the school system, children who are not killed by curriculum, they like learning, they do it voluntarily.
Our children always, when we have some space in the calendar, the first thing they do is they pull out all of their academics because they're like, yay, finally, we have the time for it. They sit down and they read Shakespeare. Really they do. It's not something that we demand in any way. It's just because, actually, all these things not for everyone, all of them, but for everyone some of these subjects that are taught in academics are interesting. They are. The kids become passionate about it. So I think if you take out of the equation the curriculum and the whole, you have to obey psychology and allow for the children to go explore, then they would all thrive.
0:40:44 - Torsten Klaus
Absolutely. This confirms what I said earlier on humans like learning. You just need to give them the right stimulus, the right environment, and you have some kids they go first and eat the books, more or less.
Some of them needs to be more hands-on. I could see with my three children there's a big difference is my son, who's 12, he's really like a hands-on person. So he goes out and makes things and very social. Wherever we go, he makes the first contacts to his friends and people and invites people to come along. It's about giving them the opportunities, the right resources. I mean, that's what we've been asked all the way and all the time. But how do you make sure you have a chemistry lab? Say, no, we don't have a chemistry lab as such, but if there's a need for such thing if my child would say I really want to put some potions together here and make it explode, we will find a way where we could do this. Or, as you said, ask the right people to support us on this one. But equally, when I look back to my own school time, I think we were super limited on resources. So resources is one thing. It's about more like what as parents, as family, you can do to support your children. It always starts first with listening to them. So if they share something with you, something they've learned, something they want to show you. Sometimes it's just enough to listen to them and say, wow, this is what you're doing right now, this is your project or this is your idea. Then they sketch this out on a piece of paper or on an iPad or whatever they use for resources Right now.
My LDC is very much into coding and web design. So I like web design but I'm not into coding not at all. But every evening he sits down and explains to me what he's done and what kind of script he's written and I feel like, okay, I have no idea, but I'm listening to him, I pay attention to what he's doing. That sort of confirms for him that I'm there to support and guide him. And he's using Skillshare as a platform. There's no advertisement, just saying it's really useful for him. He likes Skillshare and has done a lot of workshops there and online learning there and now he's building websites and hey, last week he got his first paid job and they said great.
So, even though I was not even guiding him, he was guiding himself, but we were just there to listen to him, give him some feedback on his work, but mainly just be around him as an adult, as a parent who pays attention. And this is, from me, always the starting point. And if you need any additional resources, well, we can either get them or can go to a place where you have them available.
0:43:40 - Jesper Conrad
But if we start just by listening, Are you familiar with Sugata Mitra?
0:43:45 - Torsten Klaus
0:43:46 - Cecilie Conrad
Oh, sugata Mitra, he's an Indian education expert.
0:43:53 - Torsten Klaus
No, I'm not.
0:43:55 - Cecilie Conrad
Okay, he's very interesting. He made the hole in a wall experiment where he put a computer available for street children living in the street without parents, without resources, just to see what they would do with it. It was. He's done it. You can look it up. But he did a lot of revolutionary stuff, crazy things, with the idea of how can we educate even the most poor people in India, and he developed what he calls the grandma technique, and the grandma technique is to be always loving and always impressed. You don't have to understand a thing the kid is saying, you just have to be impressed by it and think they're wonderful and say how amazing, tell me more and have this patient patients of a grandmother. And actually he made online schools. He has something he calls I think it's the school in the cloud.
It's been a while since I read in the cloud school, school in the cloud, something like that and he actually hires grandmothers to be appreciative. It's their job. So they talk to the kids who are studying and the only thing they have to do is to be impressed. But the thing is being acknowledged and being seen is a very important thing, and I think in this modern day of distractions and this fake idea of busyness that most adults live with, it's hard.
It can be really hard to take time to sit down and look at, let's say, your child play Fortnite and be interested. Like what is this? You spend three hours a day doing it Must be something in it. Show me, because so it's not my thing, I don't think I'll get it. It's for children. It becomes this busy, busy, busy thing, and I think what you're telling me you're doing is at the core of what Supporting our children's education actually is, because you said something else very important before, which was you get the question how do you make sure they learn XYZ or have the access to XYZ?
And when I get that question, I usually say I don't, because I don't have to make sure that they are exposed to everything. That's not my job, it's not. It's one of the fake ideas that there is this set amount of knowledge. It's here and we have to push the children into it throughout their childhood to make sure they're exposed. It's like the idea of a curriculum, like I would know what's important to them. I don't. I'm sure they make sure that they find the information and the settings that they need in life.
0:46:56 - Torsten Klaus
That's a very good point. Nothing by traveling or by going traveling. You expose them anyways to so many things that can pick up if they want to. Every time you go to a new location, new place, new people, new culture, whatever it is, they have the choice to pick this up and say, hey, this is really interesting, take from this experience whatever they like. I agree, yes, because when I look back, whether it's school or uni or whatever I did in my life, it was whatever I did was a limited experience anyways. It's not that you get exposed to everything, even with the internet. Yes, I could spend all day finding resource websites and videos and educational whatever, but does this make my children happier? Does this make me happier? Does it make them more educated? I don't think so.
0:47:50 - Cecilie Conrad
I don't think so no.
0:47:51 - Torsten Klaus
So you're right, good point.
0:47:54 - Cecilie Conrad
Should we talk about the traveling?
0:47:55 - Jesper Conrad
before we? No, because I want to thank you, thorsten, for something, for what you do with the work you're doing. It's called Young Creators, your website, right? Yes, and the reason I especially want to thank you is there is a guy I cannot thank anymore.
He's not around any longer, but he created a video workshop in the city I grew up in, where they actually had this crazy idea that if you get a school class to make a small film together, a small movie together, then you learn a lot by the process. And we actually had this in the city I grew up where a lot of different school classes went through the project where it is. Some of us grew a script together, others wanted to act, others was doing the video editing or holding the boom and stuff like that, and I've been thinking back on that from so many times that it was a life-changing experience in my life. I learned the value of group work. I learned, but most of all, I learned, hey, I can actually get an idea and realize it and do stuff. And what happened in my life was one summer I read a book and I was like, oh, it could be fun to make that into a movie and my, not problem. Maybe some people would call it a problem is I often don't stop.
0:49:29 - Cecilie Conrad
I sometimes call it a problem.
0:49:30 - Jesper Conrad
I don't stop. If I get an idea. I'm like, hey, I could do that. Then I take the next step, and the next step, and the next step, until I hit the wall. And I have hit some walls during my time. Sometimes I go through them, sometimes there's a draw.
0:49:43 - Cecilie Conrad
Sometimes there's no wall.
0:49:44 - Jesper Conrad
Sometimes there's no wall, there's the perceived wall. You think there is a wall, but you just keep walking anyway. But what happened was I was like, hey, this book could be fun to make into a movie. And hey, they're not using all the video equipment during the school holiday because it's only for projects for the school. So I wrote to them and asked hey, can I borrow the equipment one summer? And they was like, yeah, can you make a formal application? Yeah, yeah, I can do that.
And then the next wall I they made me with was but have you asked the author of the book? No, okay, then I do that. And I asked him and he said yes, you can. And then they said so you have some people to work with you. No, I will find a film crew. And I ended up with a film crew of 20 people supporting me in this crazy idea of making an amateur feature film, which I did when I was 16, and it changed my life, and not because in the start I thought I wanted to make movies, but what really changed my life was you can actually get an idea, you can follow it through and you have a real project in the end, and I believe that you are helping a lot of young souls out there with your young creators to show them the same thing. So as well now the guy I don't have any contact with him anymore and I'm, yeah, I'm pretty sure he's not around any longer. So I wanted to thank him to thanking you, and can we talk a little about your project.
0:51:18 - Torsten Klaus
Thank you so much. That's such a beautiful story and, yes, I just agree with everything you said. It's yeah. There's nothing else I can add to your beautiful.
0:51:29 - Jesper Conrad
Maybe you should tell people what you're doing Okay.
0:51:32 - Torsten Klaus
Yes, I'm good.
0:51:33 - Cecilie Conrad
Because we know.
0:51:35 - Torsten Klaus
I'm so bad at self promotion. No it's a place I said I've been for years. I've been working as an online educator or online mentor I'm not quite sure what the right word is. I haven't really found it yet because online teacher I don't see myself as a teacher. I see, yeah, see myself.
0:51:56 - Cecilie Conrad
How about the word elder?
0:51:58 - Torsten Klaus
0:52:00 - Cecilie Conrad
Just the wise one, I mean in relation to teenagers. You are an elder.
0:52:05 - Torsten Klaus
But I feel like 25, you know, I see a few greater Okay. I will, I will think about it I disagree with you.
0:52:15 - Cecilie Conrad
I have to get rid of the word psychologist. I don't like that mentor. I don't like that coach. I don't like that either. So, what am I? Maybe I'm just a little older a little older.
0:52:27 - Jesper Conrad
But I wanted to talk more about young creators. Yes, young creators. What was it? What did?
0:52:32 - Cecilie Conrad
you do and how you have a lovely teenager with a great idea. How do they get help from you?
0:52:38 - Torsten Klaus
Okay, what can?
0:52:39 - Cecilie Conrad
you do for them.
0:52:40 - Torsten Klaus
Yes. So young creators started when I was thinking or when I was already kind of guiding, helping kids and teens, for example, making their own films. I've been doing this for some years for some online schools and platforms, like in the real world, where I would go to places in Spain and Portugal where we would have workshops and from there I received a lot of feedback from families, but also sometimes from teens, from kids saying hey, I really would like to make something for my YouTube channel or, as you said, yes, but there's a story in my mind and my head and I want to really turn this into something, but I don't know where to get started. And this is how I thought we need. I would like to have this place, which I call young creators, or called young creators, and my son again helped me with building the website and everything, and on this platform I offer courses to kids and teens on, especially filmmaking, so they come and learn with me from coming up with the idea If they don't have an idea.
Many of them joined. They have already an idea, but also have kids there coming and say, really, I have some ideas, but I'm not sure if they work. So we talk about ideas and also have kids who come and say I really have no idea, but I would love to make something. So we go through this whole process of having an idea or brainstorming an idea, playing with ideas and this whole journey from there to designing your own storyboard, writing your script. If they're in the same location, I always encourage them to work together because this confirms the picture. Making a film in a team is so much more fun and exciting than by yourself. Then they go off, film their footage, come back, then we edit everything together and then we have a film night or film afternoon, depending on where they are in the world where we watch their productions and it's like a big party kind of a celebration of what they have achieved in that time. And I love doing this. This is what I can say it sounds really fun.
It is fun. I'm sometimes speechless by their passion, by their energy. Earlier on, before I came here, I had a message from my mom saying oh, my son, since he's doing the course he's just doing every time he goes on. He's doing filming. Now he's doing editing and I've never seen him so engaged in something and I think film is a great medium where you can do so much more than just storytelling, as you said, yes, but there's so much more you need to think of and reflect on, and it's a great way, a great tool to learn a lot about yourself. And that's what I could see this transformation in kids, on teens, when they do something, when they start a project, when they finish it, and this whole journey of a kind of a transformation of what they not only achieve but what they have learned about themselves on this journey. I'm really proud, or have enjoyed being part of this journey.
0:55:52 - Jesper Conrad
And what I like about what filmmaking does compared to writing I've also written some children books is that it combines so many art forms, because you need to know about how to angle a camera, what framing do you want, you need to understand and get into understanding how music can enhance a scene and all that. So there's wonderfully many art forms that you learn how they work, how you can use them and, as I said to you, I wanted to thank this guy, rolf Naldru. You, I am sure that with these projects, that you are changing lives. I know I sit here today due to that project, due to one week where some great school teachers were crazy enough to go outside curriculum and say, hey, we could do this, and I can assure you it doesn't happen anymore.
0:56:47 - Cecilie Conrad
It was back in the days it was an experiment in the early 90s. It's to be because of that.
0:56:57 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
0:56:59 - Torsten Klaus
Cool. Thank you so much for sharing again.
0:57:03 - Cecilie Conrad
It's an empowering story.
0:57:04 - Jesper Conrad
I would like to talk a little about fatherhood also, because we have just in our life, been true. I had some arguments with our kids during the weekend and it's not always easy to be a father, and part of it for me is I think I do all the right things, but sometimes I don't listen, sometimes I don't ask where are you on your own fatherhood scale? How are you doing?
0:57:36 - Torsten Klaus
Oh, wow. If you asked me on a good day, I would say, yeah, 10, 10 out of 10. On a bad day, I would say, oh, today's a one. And then I asked myself so why is it a one today, or why is it a 10 today? And this can give you some clues of what is going on. It's interesting because a few years back I've written a book for fathers which is called the Empathic Fathers, and it was more a reflection of my own journey, what I went through and how I sort of helped myself and found some answers myself. And on a bad day, when things don't go as well for me as a dad, my wife would say so what would the Empathic Fathers say to you now? So could you go back to page 50? I said, okay, thank you.
That's exactly what I needed. No, it's as in real life. No, we have the good days, the bad days. Generally speaking, I would say I feel confident as a father because I enjoy being a father. I don't see this as a burden or as something that's happened to me in my life. It was a choice to become a father and I love being around my kids.
I have days where it's where that joy is maybe less on the scale.
We'll say, okay, I need a break, but most days it's the absolute joy to be there, to see them growing up and now, especially when they're older, doing their own projects, becoming more independent, also gives me sometimes a bit of a sad, melancholic moment where I feel like, ooh, they're growing up so fast, but it's part of the journey. It's good that they're also taking responsibility for their own lives. To me, when I look back and that's again when I spent it all started I felt like there weren't many good role models around my own father. He was around when I became a father, but he found him as a man, inspiring in some ways, but not as a dad, as a father, someone who was really there and caring and giving emotional support and showing empathy and listening and these things. So I was really seeking for people who could give me that love, that support, that understanding, and that's something I found really, really difficult because, as I said I don't think there are many male role models around who are so open about this topic.
It's more like, especially on the internet, when you see things memes about fathers is about either being cool or being silly. There's very little in between. You're either sort of the total idiot who can't make pancakes and everything's just a mess, or you're the super cool dad who is I don't know the sports type guy or whatever and does everything perfect, but nothing in the middle like the authentic. That's something I was looking for someone being authentic and being open, honest and supportive at the same time. So when we were living in the UK back then, I was sort of reaching out to people on the internet, but also my community, and to see if we can build groups of fathers. We don't have to be on the same page always, but at least we have something in common.
That is fatherhood, and that's something I found empowering. Meeting up with that and we went off to the woodlands for a weekend making fires there and kids came with us playing in the woods and I could see them very often in the evening after the fun, the games, everything sitting down by the fire and suddenly these honest conversations started to kick in and that sort of was the game changer for me to see, hey, I'm not on my own on this one. You know the others feel exactly the same. It just takes longer for them to open up and to break the ice, but they struggle with exactly the same problems or the same issues at home or in their life and that really helped me. Then, on my journey as a father, say, okay, there's a place where I can go and we can talk about these things and we can support each other, and it's fine, it's okay to open up and to be also emotional and wherever feelings go through your mind or body.
1:02:15 - Cecilie Conrad
Really you had that.
1:02:17 - Jesper Conrad
And more fathers out there.
1:02:19 - Cecilie Conrad
Someone to talk to.
1:02:19 - Torsten Klaus
Finding the right people. Finding your tribe.
1:02:24 - Cecilie Conrad
I found it around the fire.
1:02:26 - Torsten Klaus
1:02:27 - Cecilie Conrad
I'm trying to hang out with David and Dylan, I know, but it's just a it sounds like a really empowering thing, but it is a thing.
1:02:36 - Jesper Conrad
That's also what I want to work on with the Better Dead Institute, because it is the whole idea, for the Better Dead Institute is created out of seeing it not there. I tell the story about Martin, who is part of it, and his. When he became a dad, his dad said to him congratulations and invited him for a pint at the local pub. That was all the fatherly advice he got, and we are not really good at sharing us men, and I think we are in a weird state where we I don't know if that's men are afraid to be vulnerable or what it is, but we don't have a tradition for talking so much with our dear friends about how it is to be a father, how it is in our relationship, all that it's more work and football and stuff Exactly.
1:03:34 - Cecilie Conrad
I think we have a crisis actually after the women's liberation the whole. You look like you're more or less our age and so I think we're the same generation. Something went wrong. I mean, there was a lot of good obviously happening with the women's liberation. Everything my mother did and my grandmother did and her mother even did to fight for, for women's rights, it had to be done.
One of the downsides, one of the sacrifices really, was that masculinity became sort of a weird toxic thing, that that we disliked, and the women had this power to to be the ones to set the scene around childhood and be the ones to bring up the children. In all of the institutions and everything masculine and just you know was either ignored or acted upon as something toxic. And I think it has become really hard to be a guy actually, to be a guy who's not a girl, who's a guy but also is vulnerable and also is a father and a brother and a friend, not just an overachiever getting up at five in the morning doing 5000 push-ups and earning a lot of money. I mean we have that picture. That's a very mainstream big thing. You know where the fancy suit, read all the books and make all the money and have the pretty girl, but, and that's all good and fine in many ways.
But the vulnerable guy is he too much of a hippie, or did he? Does he have any language to be an authentic, real person who's not a girl? I think there is something and I cannot. I wish I could say it like in a clear way, but I can't. I just see that we have a wobbly space and it has become. There's a silence there in a way, where there are many great guys out there and they really are doing their best, but where women talk a lot about their children and upbringing and food and breastfeeding and reading and sleeping and everything. Family guys sort of don't.
1:05:58 - Jesper Conrad
I mean it's because it's boring, no that was the only room sort of very masculine man or the silly dad or the dad who was saying stupid jokes.
1:06:11 - Cecilie Conrad
So you're in a stupid joke? Yeah, I guess.
1:06:14 - Jesper Conrad
Do you want to get up at?
1:06:15 - Cecilie Conrad
five o'clock in the morning, Jonathan.
1:06:18 - Jesper Conrad
No, that's not for me.
1:06:20 - Torsten Klaus
I could, I could. It's very. I mean, what you said I totally agree with, yes, and I the reasons why it is as it is could be because I'm the very reason society was very different, organized, and also, I think what I observe right now that society is transforming, not sure into what exactly, because I can see the idea of families also, like this, seems like become very blurry and again, this is probably another huge debate or discussion we could have about what is family and stuff. But, yeah, I think it's been for a very long time that man as such, they're very, very given that space to explore these things because of no role models. No, no, there was not the expectation, I think, like this, the man, you know, the family had to function, a woman had to function, man had to function in their own cliches and their own stereotypes, in a way, and this kind of a fairly new idea, in a way that we are as men say, yes, you know, we are masculine and still have ways and tools available to talk about these things, and I believe it will take a few generations for for men to you know to take this as an, not as something that is negative or takes away their masculinity. No, this is like a plus, this is like a benefit. You are man and this is like something extra you are able to communicate, you are able to listen, you are able to to be a great dad, without all these other cliches. I think this will probably it will take time to to for for for people to understand and to realize that it is actually something beneficial.
My hope is that our children, who have the opportunity and have the opportunity to wake up, to grow up with us men around, that they have the chance. Hey, I can do things differently once I'm in this position, rather than learning from scratch, because I think, when I look back, I would say I learned from scratch, experienced from scratch and I made my mistakes from scratch. It doesn't mean that future, future generations don't make mistakes. They will make their mistakes, but I think there were some fundamental mistakes on my journey because of my own experience, my own conditioning. So, yeah, nothing. If we have more generations of kids grown up, growing up into this kind of freedom or that choice that could make the choice they could have, I have hope that these things will change as well. They say, yeah, I can be a can be a good man or a good dad? I hope so.
1:09:16 - Cecilie Conrad
I think. I think that there is hope. I think one of the movements that is happening is this. I mean, there is a sort of space opening for we can talk about masculinity again as a non toxic thing. Absolutely, I have to hold it precious and what I think is very.
I used to be a burning feminist and I don't think that changed. It just had more layers, if you want to say it like that. I think we have to be aware that there is a real crisis going on for men and for boys. Boys are more vulnerable to developing mental issues. Men are more vulnerable to becoming lonely, depressed, suicidal. They have had, for some generations now, less wiggle room, especially the good guys, if I may say so, the guys who want to be real. They know how toxic it could have been and they respect all the things our mothers did to make space for the women, who now have, in many ways not always, but in many ways the space needed. So the good guys, who see the whole history of humankind and the way their gender has played a role and the whole thing. They get very squeezed by how they are brought up and what kind of man they want to be, because there are no role models, as you said there is no then how do we do it? And on the flip side of that, also for women then how do we do it?
I have a very fancy education and a lot of people would argue that it's really a waste that I've been looking after my children and it was a thing we debated for a while when I wanted to stay home and my husband wasn't sure that. Would I be happy if I didn't fulfill my potential, if I didn't work with my brain, as if it's brainless to have children? But I mean, it's a real thing and I can't say in any concise way, in any way at all, how we fix this, but I think there is a space opening for fixing it, for putting the energy into thinking. How do we do this? How can we hold this? How can masculinity be brotherhood and brother, love and friendship and fatherhood and empathy and also holding?
I mean you said you didn't want to leave your wife and child after four weeks. I mean, no wonder I remember the four week mark I had. Terrible. There needs to be someone looking after the mother, because the mother is looking after the baby all the time and you're totally exhausted, you forget to drink, you forget to shower. I mean, there has to be someone and in this crazy world where we live, in these little units, there's no grandmother, there's no sister, there's no friend, there's no one else. It has to be the dad, but he's not around because he's at the office.
1:12:59 - Torsten Klaus
Exactly, yeah, yeah.
1:13:03 - Cecilie Conrad
Should I shut up now?
1:13:04 - Jesper Conrad
No, I just want to end on a more positive note somehow.
1:13:09 - Torsten Klaus
I think the best way to change.
1:13:10 - Cecilie Conrad
And now we're doing the fatherhood institute, the better dad what? I'm sorry I forgot the name. It's so hot we're in Spain, it's really warm out. Better dad institute.
1:13:22 - Torsten Klaus
Yeah. But I think those initiatives, those initiatives and by living the lives we live, by showing other people, I think that's sometimes the most powerful impression you can give on society, when you really go out there. I think Rene Brown would say go into the arena. You are vulnerable because you are on your arena and people can see you, they judge you, but by being there in your arena you are showing yourself and people can see the change in real time in a way. And that's something I found sometimes even more empowering than getting any kind of feedback to my book or my work. But when people say to me hey, I just watched you and the interaction with your kids and I think you did really well, or something along the lines, where you feel like people appreciate and observe this kind of change, this positive change and or take something away for their own family, even just a small change to do themselves.
I think that's very powerful.
1:14:34 - Cecilie Conrad
1:14:35 - Jesper Conrad
In this city. We are in Spain. It's where we drove our bus down when we bought a big rid bus and started traveling the world. We ended here in El Vendre, near San Salvador one hour from Barcelona.
And at some point I heard that often the locals, our friends, they referred to us as La Familia, the family, and that was a little weird for me because until one day I was like, oh, I looked around and people were not together as families, they were there alone, the grown-ups. But we often travel, always. I always move and travel as a family. We like to be next to our children, we like to hang out, see what they are doing and having fun. So just being out there and showing the world that you can be a unit, I think, is a very strong thing, because people live these very solo lives inside the families, where each of them have to have their own sports, they are going to after-school curriculum things.
1:15:46 - Cecilie Conrad
Let's not be judgmental.
1:15:47 - Jesper Conrad
I'm not judgmental, I'm just observing that. I see it very often and I find it wild that people live so diverted with their families. But, tosnip, we shoot around the podcast. So if people want to check out the work you're doing and the book, can you re-mention where they can find it and the website address? I will also put it in the show notes.
1:16:14 - Torsten Klaus
Thank you so much. Yeah, they can find me on Young Creators, and Creators is C-R-E-8, o-r-scom YoungCreatorscom. They can see all the online courses and things I offer to kids and teens. Right now, my book is not available. Right now I still have some hard copies but the publisher where the book got published went bust, so it's still on Amazon, but you can't buy a new printed copy. Only can buy secondhand and copies for me. I'm happy to mail this around the world and yeah, but the best way to get in touch with me is via my website and yeah, just say hello. Yeah, good, you heard it.
1:16:54 - Jesper Conrad
But Tosnip thanks a lot for your time. It was a big pleasure and thank you for changing Young People's Life with showing them the wonderful work of filmmaking. As I told the story, it changed my life a lot. It was a pleasure talking to you.
1:17:09 - Torsten Klaus
Thank you so much for having me here.
1:17:11 - Jesper Conrad
Thank you for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's episode and if you liked it, then please share it with all your friends and family. We would also love it if you gave our podcast a review. Thanks, and if you want to support our podcast and work, then you can find us on patreoncom slash the Conrad family. We will continue to travel full time and if you want to tag along, then please follow us on Facebook and Instagram at the Conrad family, and you can also read more than 100 blog posts on our website, theconradfamily. Until next time, make a wonderful day, thank you.
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