Paul Stanley Interview On Fatherhood
How To Be A Rock Star Dad, By Legendary Kiss Guitarist Paul Stanley
Dolled up to the nines with a black star painted over one eye, wielding an electric guitar, and towering in platform boots against a backdrop of some rather dramatic looking hellfire. This isn’t a look you’d usually associate with fatherhood, but Kiss guitarist and dad of four, Paul Stanley, is in the habit of doing both. “My kids think ‘Dad’s famous, dad’s cool, dad’s in Kiss’. But at the end of the day, there facets to everybody, nobody is one dimensional. It’s just another side of dad.”
And for tonight only, cinemas across the world will be screening a performance from Kiss’ legendary Las Vegas residency at the Hard Rock Hotel, featuring all the flash and finery that Stanley and his bandmates are famous for. What do Stanley’s kids think when they see him in hyper-bombastic shows like this? “My kids think their dad is as cool as they come – their dad is a combination of Elvis Presley and Superman!” Certainly, being a bona fide rock star helps when it comes to impressing your children, but Stanley’s idea of being a cool dad involves a lot less glitter and pyrotechnics. “Being a great dad has nothing to do with your profession; it has to do with your commitment to your children,” he tells us. This is his guide to being a rock star dad.
Children don’t distinguish between a rock star, an actor, a street sweeper, or an accountant.
You’re either a good dad who reinforces what is good in them, and brings out and nurtures that, or you’re not.
My profession is an important part of who I am and what makes me tick.
So then it becomes a matter of balancing. Oftentimes my point of view has been: my children don’t get a vote so I have to vote on their behalf, and they would prefer daddy home. So as much as I can make that possible, I do it.
Within the realm of what is possible, I make myself there for my kids.
I sympathise with anybody who is pulled away by their work. But I know people who travel constantly and when they get to their hotel, they put on Skype and leave it on so their children have access to them.
My 22-year old tells me in front of his friends how much he loves me.
He thinks his dad is really cool. He walks down the street with his arm around his dad and he kisses me. I think if we allow our children to share their feelings with us without being judged, they will share everything with us.
The women and the great times – I’m very, very lucky to have experienced that.
My son read my autobiography and loved it. It certainly filled in some blanks and pieces of the puzzle and let him see that success is difficult and doesn’t come without a lot of obstacles and trials. And that there were a lot of great times. I basked and revelled in everything I did.
I don’t think there’s any place in anybody’s life for recreational drugs – all of them.
I’ve yet to be persuaded that marijuana isn’t necessarily an introduction to a more potent high. Experimentation opens you up to the possibility of getting hurt or worse. You want to experiment by jumping off a building? I can tell you how it ends.
The key to great parenting is always consistency.
Remaining consistent and following through on what you say – and making your children feel safe by giving them boundaries and expectations.
My oldest, before he went to college, was delivering for a restaurant.
The same rules apply to everybody and I think it’s important to have a sense of self-worth and that comes from what you achieve, not from what your parents achieve.
If you’re not prepared to put your children first, then you’re not prepared to be a great dad.
Unless we’re committed to fatherhood without any constraints or restrictions – personal restrictions based upon our own needs – then we’re really not ready to be parents.
The rewards of being with my kids are not just their rewards, they’re my rewards too.
They’re not the only ones who benefit from my being home – I do.