A few things I learned from my father…
1. Spend time with your kids, lots of time. Take them hiking, play in the backyard, read with them and play games. My dad took us to the park at least once a week. My sister and I now have a love for simple, inexpensive adventures and love the outdoors.
2. Attend their sporting events and be their biggest cheerleader. Don’t criticize the coach if your kid isn’t getting playing time and don’t be loud and obnoxious from the stands; it’s embarrassing for your child. In the four years of my high school athletic career, my father never missed a basketball game or track/cross country meet. He expected two things, (1) Hustle and (2) 100% effort.
3. Make your kids work, and work hard. From a young age we were picking up sticks in the yard, doing chores, stacking wood, and I had my first job at 13. Guess what? It didn’t kill my sister and me, and I have never been unemployed. At times I’ve had two or three jobs to pay the bills, but it didn’t matter because my dad taught me hard work is how you become a productive member of society and get the things you want in life in life, even though “things” have never been important to him. He taught us we are not entitled to anything.
4. Show love and affection. My dad has never shied away from hugs, a kiss on the cheek or an I love you. I’m 38, and if I’m at my parent’s house, there’s a good chance in the evenings you’ll find me snuggled up with my dad on the couch watching tv.
5. Find a common interest. My dad and I have always loved to be in nature together, talk investigations and politics, and there was a time we did 5ks and even a biathlon of shooting and running.
6. Get involved in your community and set a good example for your children. My dad was a firefighter and police officer. He’d help anyone in need. Heck, yesterday he stopped for a broken down motorcyclist. The guy was an outlaw with a pistol on his side. Dad offered him water and pointed across the street to his house and said, “If you need anything I’m right over there.” I thought he was crazy, but he just responded, “I’d expect someone to do the same for me.”
7. Vote, respect the flag and honor and be grateful to those who have or are serving in the military. Not voting has never crossed my mind because my dad has taught me the importance of living in a country where it’s people are allowed to vote. From an early age, I was taught to be silent, not move, place my hand over my heart and not take my eyes off the flag during the national anthem. Many men and women fought hard and died so the flag could fly free. If you ever drive by his house, Old Glory is proudly displayed on a huge flagpole in the front yard.
If you haven’t gotten the point, my dad is pretty amazing! My guess is many fathers could learn a thing or two from him. Happy Father’s Day dad!
If you know a new father or one that could use some pointers, please share with them! Their children will thank you!!!
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About the Author:
Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is a writer, speaker, life coach, daily giver and the author of The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life. She challenges people to live their dreams, discover their gifts, and do amazing things.
You can contact Stephanie by email at stephanie@GivingGal.com.