I talk a lot about how Moms are the very first role model for their children so this week I want to talk about how Dads are role models for their children as well. Today I am not going to go in the direction you are most likely expecting me to (scientific). That is for another day. Today I am going at an angle that highlights Dads and how their children see them as role models.
Last Sunday was Father’s Day and I found myself to be a bit emotional. I wasn’t expecting myself to feel this way because my Dad is in wonderful health, I am beyond blessed that I can call him at any moment if I need to reach him, and he doesn’t live too far from me. In fact it will take less than 12 hours for me to drive to see him. However, I just wanted to cry every time I thought about him! What was with all the tears?
Well, for starters, I am very close to my Dad and I will be the first to admit I am a “Daddy’s Girl”. I always have and always will be! But why on earth did I feel so emotional? Well, it wasn’t from sadness, besides missing him and not being able to spend Father’s Day with him. It was because I was so over the moon happy that I am the girl that gets to call him “Dad”. He is THE man I measure all other men, how he sees the world is what I strive to emulate my entire life, his love for his family, he is patient, has a forgiving nature, his strong faith, his positive and motivational mindset, and his out of the box curiosity about life, how things work, and science (we have some pretty fun conversations). The older I get the more and more I realize how much I look up to my dad. Which is a lot since I have always looked up to him!
I know this may be a hard subject for some of you because you may have not grown up with a Dad like mine. However, I think it is important that we talk about some of the things that make a good Dad because Dads leave a Legacy with their children in so many ways. If we did not have the best experience with our own parents it is good to find ways that we WANT to be rather than focus on the ways we DON’T want to be. Why? It is easier to approach change and life when we look ahead on the road that gives us hope and empowerment rather than the road we already traveled that makes us have some sort of pain and anger.
From my own experience I would say that the Legacy my Dad has been leaving with his children over the years is this:
- Love and respect your spouse.
- Encourage others.
- Give the benefit of the doubt rather than instantly think others are trying to do you wrong.
- Respect yourself and don’t allow other people to take advantage of you.
- Own up to your responsibilities.
- Admit when you are wrong.
- Be big enough to say I am sorry.
- Family has great meaning. You may not always agree with one another but you’re stronger together than when you are against each other.
- Pay attention to your Spouse and don’t take them for granted.
- Be strong for yourself and for others.
- If there is a problem find a solution, don’t just sit there and pout about it.
- Look at all you have accomplished rather than what you haven’t.
- Love your children no matter what they do.
- Support your spouse and children with their dreams and endeavors.
- Learn how to defend yourself. This means physically as well. He taught me how to fight starting when I was 5 years old 🙂
- Don’t allow other people to define you.
- Stay true to your word.
- Have faith in God.
- Pray when things are good and when things are tough.
- Don’t give up on yourself.
- Respect all living things.
- Don’t judge others and instead try to understand them.
- Be open to learn something new.
- Don’t get in your own way.
- Work hard to get to where you want to be.
- When you fall get back up, as many times as it takes.
Much of this seems like common sense but many of us say these things and forget to act on them. Acting on them is the key! My Dad would act on these things before he would ever say them. This is a rare quality! He led by example and if we needed a verbal reminding he did not hesitate to stop us in our tracks.
Actions speak louder than words and children pick up on this starting very early and carry it with them to old age. There is a big responsibility on Dads and many are up for the challenge. Children need their Dads as much as they need their Moms but in a much different way throughout life. One cannot necessarily substitute the other because each parental role has their strengths. Capitalize on your strengths! Be the type of Dad you would want to have regardless of the relationship you had with your own! Please don’t feel like you have to be perfect. Your children need to see you make mistakes so they can learn how to handle their own. Your children see you as a role model and they are your Legacy. Lead the way because they are ready to follow 🙂
If you have daughters raise that bar high so all the jerks have less of a chance! If you have sons show them what being a real man is all about!
Thank you Dad for being the best Dad this girl could ever have! I love you so much I can’t even say it enough. You are my hero, my best friend, and most of all you are MY Dad 🙂