While I blow it often as a dad, I realized in that moment how badly I want my adult kids to remember my love and support. Why? So I feel appreciated as a dad? OK, in part, yes. But mostly I want them to remember my love and support because I believe it’s good for their souls. I think the same is true for you and me. Don’t just promise not to repeat what your dad did wrong; promise to repeat what he did right. If you could only list 3 things your dad did right, what would they be? Here are 3 things I remember my dad doing right.
Lesson From Dad No. 1: He was never mean.
My dad is a man’s man but doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. When I was growing up, of course, he got frustrated with me. How could he not? I had ADHD long before it had a name. But his words and responses were never mean. I realize now what a huge gift that was for me personally because I came into this world fascinated by and sensitive to words. I want to be the same kind of dad. In what way was your dad kind to you?
Lesson From Dad No. 2: He defended me when I was wronged.
My friends and I never told our parents when we got in trouble at school because we would get in even more trouble at home. But when a teacher mistakenly punished me for something I didn’t do, my dad said in no uncertain terms that he would go to my school and “fix this.” I asked him not to, and he reluctantly agreed. But I had never felt so loved and protected. What’s one way your dad defended you?
Lesson From Dad No. 3: He provided for me.
My dad is a fifth generation farmer. Growing up, he worked so hard to provide for our family. My brother and I never wanted for anything; in fact, you might even say he spoiled us. My brother and I both graduated from college with zero student debt. Now that my wife and I are working to provide for our four kids, it makes me appreciate his sacrifice for us even more. I’m especially thankful he provided my brother and me with three-wheelers, even though they were banned by the government, and for good reason. In what ways did your dad provide for you?