Sunday is Father’s Day and in honor of this special occasion, I thought I’d recognize all you great dads who are doing the best you can, even without having received the “How to be a Great Dad Manual” with each child’s birth, although, even if there were such a manual, I suspect you wouldn’t read it anyway, because what man needs instructions – right :o). And to all those moms and uncles and friends and brothers and relatives who fill in for dads, thank you too! Here’s a list of the big and little things that I appreciate that great dads (and great dad fill in’s) do:
Teach their kids to be tough. As a kid, we don’t always win, we sometimes get hurt, we sometimes throw a fit, we do stupid things, we get offended, we are made fun of, we don’t get what we want, and we fail. And what I appreciate about great dads is they teach their kids how to press on because wallowing in our own pity doesn’t really get us anywhere, now does it!
Be chivalrous. Great dads teach chivalry by acting it and living it. They take care of those around them, respect others, and by acting chivalrous, they teach their kids to do it as well.
Pass down skills. I am so impressed at the dads who show EXTREME patience in teaching their kids their skills and then watching the littles try new things on their own and succeed! What a great way to pass on an invaluable education.
Be silly. I love a dad who isn’t afraid to put on a tutu, or dress up like a swamp monster or paint their nails or be the princess at the party or tape their entire face! Kids are silly and great dads encourage and participate in the silly!
Say I Love You! Kids need to know they are loved. And great dads tell their kids they love them, and do it frequently. I appreciate a great dad who isn’t afraid to tell their kids how much he loves them. I don’t know of a person who doesn’t like to be told they are loved, especially a kid!
Be tender. Just as it is important to teach a kid to be tough, great dads also know when to be tender, kiss boo-boos, give a hug, lend an ear and empathize.
Show support. Great dads show support in their kids’ interests. As much as we’d all love our kids to take the path we mentally paved for them when they were itty bittys, that’s not how it works! I think dads are exceptionally great when they can recognize that their kids paths are different than theirs (or what they wanted for them) and show unconditional support, whether it is in sports, or careers or hobbies.
Great dads are present. They make it a priority to attend events and activities and be around at home.
Rough-house or wear the kids out! Ok, some mom’s might disagree, and some might agree to a small extent, but one thing we can surely all agree on is that if we could bottle the energy in our kids for ourselves, we’d DO IT!! I sure appreciate the dads who can get down and rough-house with the kids or find creative ways to get their energy out. Because a quiet house generally means trouble. My saying was always if you don’t find a way to help entertain them, they will entertain themselves in ways you may not necessarily like!
Give back. A great dad instills the culture of give more than you receive by volunteering and providing opportunities for his kids to give back. In a time where kids are living in sound-bites with instant gratification, giving back is a paramount quality in the upcoming generations.