Jay And Laura Laffoons Book Ultimate Dad Night Helps Fathers

Men's Dating

Jay & Laura Laffoon’s New Book “Ultimate Dad Night” Helps Fathers Make Meaningful Memories

Chloë Hylkema

Written by: Chloë Hylkema

Chloë Hylkema

Chloë Hylkema loves using her writing skills to tell stories that matter. Her time as an English student at Emory University molded her into a detailed writer with a knack for the relatable. Chloë is familiar with what it means to date in the modern age, and she endeavors to write material that is both truthful and helpful. She has previously worked as lead campaign writer for an animal advocacy group and now brings her passion for engaging and actionable content to DatingAdvice.com.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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The Short Version: Husband and wife Jay and Laura Laffoon are marriage, youth, and parenting coaches. They’ve been guiding couples through the struggles of marriage for years and have helped hundreds of couples find the celebration in their partnership. Their newest book, “Ultimate Dad Night” combines the Laffoons’ years of parenting experience to guide dads to connect with their children. The book gives ideas based on age, price, and time frame, along with faith-based reflections.

I was always close with my dad growing up. My older brother and I would beg him to play guitar for us after dinner, and once that got boring, we would ask for a game of ‘Dada Lulu’ (yep, that’s the name we came up with). ‘Dada Lulu’ was a simple game: We would scream at the top of our lungs while he chased us in circles around an armchair in the living room.

Once we were a little older, our dad stayed tuned in to our interests. When we got really into the computer game “Plants vs. Zombies,” my dad did too, and we would all huddle around the PC in the kitchen and watch my dad destroy cartoonish zombies with an army of garden plants. Once I was a teenager, my favorite activity with my dad was simple: We took naps on our respective Adirondack chairs on the front porch after Mass nearly every Sunday.

My relationship with my dad wasn’t always perfect, but he always tried his best to connect with me. He met me where I was and determined what I needed from him. It was still annoying when he would wake me up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday to help him spread mulch, but I always knew my dad was in my corner and one of my biggest advocates.

cover of ultimate dad night
“Ultimate Dad Night” is Jay and Laura Laffoon’s newest book.

Ultimate Dad Night” is married couple Jay and Laura Laffoon’s newest book and aims to help dads learn to meet their children where they are to form meaningful memories and trusting connections. Jay and Laura are parents and have decades of combined experience coaching young people, married couples, and parents. 

Their newest book helps dads find activities with which to bond with their children, conversation starters, and Christian faith-based moments for reflection. “I know dads and dads want relationships with their kids,” Jay said. “But men do things side-by-side. The book provides creative things dads can do to connect with their kids.”

Celebrating Marriage, Kids, and Faith

Jay and Laura wrote “Ultimate Dad Night” using their own experience as parents as the foundation. The couple have been marriage coaches for years, and this has considerably influenced their parenting philosophy. A large component of their coaching style is to be completely transparent about parenthood and marriage.

During marriage coaching, the couple uses personal anecdotes to show that a happy marriage can be one that faces challenges. The Laffoons use this brazen honesty to give couples they coach permission to reflect (and find humor) in the stories of their marriage. Their parenting guidance is similar, as they are truthful yet optimistic. 

headshot of jay and laura laffoon
Jay and Laura are marriage and family coaches who have been in the business for decades.

Jay and Laura’s story of coaching began when both of them were working in Christian youth ministry. The couple were speakers at youth camps and events. They worked with kids of all ages, from elementary school-age to high school. They learned a lot about children, their emotional needs, and what kind of connection they want with their parents during this time.

“We have a son and a daughter,” Laura said. “Jay had no problem talking to our son but no clue what to talk about with our daughter.” Jay and Laura both wish they had a resource like “Ultimate Dad Night” when their children still lived at home. It would have made spending quality time with their children all the easier.

“Ultimate Dad Night” is a culmination of Jay and Laura’s wisdom. This wisdom comes from years of parenting, but also from experience working with a range of children in their respective mentorship positions. All aspects of the family unit are connected in one way or another, so working on one relationship has the potential to greatly benefit all the others.

Activities That Form Connection

Jay and Laura’s new book features 75 Dad Night ideas. The book comes from a place that recognizes that fathers want authentic relationships with their children, but it can be difficult for them to connect with them meaningfully. Any parent juggling work, school, extracurricular activities, marriage — and multiple children — may find it hard to connect with their children.

Jay told us about how he views relationships between men. “We have golfing buddies, fishing buddies, we like to build relationships while we’re doing something together,” he said. “That’s a generalization, but our new book provides creative things that dads can do with kids.” The book is great for inspiration for any sort of parent who needs fun ideas to entertain and bond with their kids at the same time.

Three categories define all Dad Night ideas. There are different choices based on the  child’s age, a family’s budget, and time frame. Each activity includes an accompanying Bible verse, reflection prompt, and a journaling space for Dad. In this journaling space, a father can reflect on his and his kids’ experience and document special memories.  

ultimate dad night book
The Laffoon’s newest book includes fun family-friendly activity ideas and Christianity-based reflections.

Jay and Laura told us about their favorite activities in “Ultimate Dad Night.” Jay said his favorite activity for the little ones is to go to a local craft store and purchase birdhouse kits. “It’s nothing too mechanical, just some glue. Three to 5-year-olds love that sort of thing,” he said. It’s a simple activity that gives each child some freedom to express their creativity and takes enough time to have sincere conversations.

For older children, Jay suggested the ‘Ninja Training’ activity, where fathers and their children can build a funky, homemade obstacle course in their own backyard. Fathers help their children source materials around the house and construct an obstacle course. This is a day-long activity that Jay said is perfect for kids aged 10-12.

Laura said her favorite activity from “Ultimate Dad Night” was the waffle bar. “You make waffles and then have an array of whipped cream, ice cream syrup, chocolate syrup, caramel, sprinkles,” she said. Everyone gets to make their own waffle and then enjoy their creation, and the family can discuss how each waffle is different yet wonderful.

Family Comes First

The Laffoons integrated their Christian faith throughout the activities, reflections, and journal prompts in the book. “Ultimate Dad Night” is a great choice for Christian fathers and mothers looking for faith-based, family-friendly activities to help build relationships with their children. 

Jay said the faith-based elements of the book were “nothing profoundly spiritual,” but rather simple Bible verses that tie ideals of Christianity with the activities. “The waffle bar, for instance, each child creates a unique waffle, then dad explains that they were uniquely created by God,” Jay explained. This gives fathers the chance to instill their faith in their children and a way to make big concepts more relatable.

While the book is geared toward fathers, the Laffoons encourage any parental figure to check it out. It could be used by my grandfathers, uncles, or even moms, grandmas, and aunts. At its core, “Ultimate Dad Night” is a collection of fun kid activity ideas. These activities have been designed to encourage bonding and can be used by anyone who is in a parental role.

open book image of Ultimate Dad Night
“Ultimate Dad Night” is a resource for any kind of parental figure to connect with the children in their lives.

Laura mentioned that one of the motivations behind writing “Ultimate Dad Night” was to help families take a step away from devices. Technology is so deeply integrated into our daily lives, sometimes it can be difficult to take a step back and spend time without phones and tablets. Busy families who are pulled in many different directions may feel like they spend more time with a screen than they do with each other. 

“Ultimate Dad Night” helps families put the screens away and take time to bond. Family bonding is important, but the Laffoons reiterated how important a strong, healthy marriage is for children. Parents who love, care, and attend to each other are essential for children who live in a household with both parents. The Laffoons are holding their annual conference this year at the Grand Hotel in Michigan, the world’s largest summer-only hotel.

The Laffoons have been strengthening marriages and families for years, and “Ultimate Dad Night” continues this dedication to bolstering families. Jay and Laura agreed that showing up for the kids and going out of their way to spend time with them only brings couples closer together. “A scheduled time with your kids is a deeply loving thing to do, even if it doesn’t sound like it at first,” Jay said. “You’re saying this time is for us and nobody else.”