My father is one of the greatest role models I have had in life. I hope to honor him by raising my daughter as well as he and my mom raised me. For Father’s Day, I have created a top 10 list of things that my dad taught me, that I would like to pass on to my daughter.
1. Respect everyone
My dad is so kind and nice to everyone. I have never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He does not gossip. My dad sees the good in everyone. As my daughter gets older, I want her to know that some people will be more difficult to get along with than others. I also want her to learn to respect everyone and attempt to see the good in everyone.
2. Work hard
My dad is 72 years old and still works. He has been in the same field of work his whole life. My dad never calls in sick to work. He goes to work every day and works like it is his first day on the job. His work ethic is outstanding. I hope my daughter grows up and gives her all working in a career doing something she loves.
3. Stuff isn’t everything
I grew up in an old farmhouse. My parents made many sacrifices so that my mom could stay at home to take care of my brother and me. Christmases and birthdays were low-key with not many presents. If I wanted something, I saved up my own money to buy it. I don’t remember ever feeling deprived or not loved because of our lack of material possessions. I want my daughter to grow up happy and content. However, I want her to know that stuff does not equal happiness.
4. Memories don’t have to be expensive
We did a lot of fun activities as a family, but none of them broke the bank. We played $1 Putt Putt. My brother and I played kickball in the yard. We baked Christmas cookies every year. In the summers, we took trips to Amish country to visit my dad’s family. I pray that my daughter always finds the joy in the simple things in life.
5. Rise early
In junior and high school, I used to hate mornings. I would get up with a scowl on my face and head off to school. My dad would be up already, reading the paper and eating breakfast. My dad still gets up early, by 4:30 or 5 am. I have grown to love early mornings. There is something calm and peaceful about getting up when most of the rest of the world is still asleep. I do enjoy that my daughter loves her sleep as much as I do, but I hope she grows to value an early morning.
6. Play outside
Some of my best memories growing up involve being outside with my brother, no matter what season it was. In the spring and summer, we ran through sprinklers and played hide and seek. In the fall, we raked and jumped into piles of leaves. Winters involved making snowmen and having snowball fights. As I raise my daughter in a world filled with technology and gadgets, I hope to instill in her a love of the outdoors and using her creativity and imagination.
7. Don’t sweat the small stuff
I remember my dad being mad once my entire life. We were on vacation and we were lost. I also remember this time as hearing him say the only curse word I have ever heard him say. This memory sticks out in my mind because it is the only time I remember my dad being stressed and truly upset. When something is bothering me, my dad is the first person I call. He has a way of helping me put things in perspective or to see a situation from a different angle. I hope to raise my daughter to never sweat the small stuff and to always find the good in every situation.
8. Have dates with your kids
My dad always went on “dates” with me growing up. This was our special time away from the rest of the family. We often went out to eat or out to get ice cream or go window shopping at the mall. The time was low-key and fun. As my husband and I think about expanding our family, it is my wish that we set aside time for each child to have a date with mom or dad at least once a month.
9. Encourage your kids
My dad was at every softball and basketball game I played. He was at every art show. School plays and concerts? They weren’t really his thing, but he supported me no matter what I did. Growing up, I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life. When the first avenue didn’t work out and I went back to college for something else, he supported me. As a parent, this takes patience. I pray that I have will support and encourage my daughter in whatever she wants to do growing up and all throughout her life.
10. Read, read, read
My parents instilled in me a love of books and reading at a very young age. My daughter loves books as well. We make it a point to read every day. It is my desire that she grows up and continues to love reading.
What has your dad taught you? How are you using these lessons in your own parenting?