The Tiny Guide to Being a Great Dad


Leo Babauta writes:

There are only three things you need to do to be a great dad:

1. Be there. If you’re in their lives, you rock. If you’re there when they scrape their knee, lose their first tooth, need someone to cry to, need help with their school project, want a partner for playing house or hide-and-seek … you are already being a great dad. Be there, when they need you, and when they don’t.

2. Love them. They will know you love them, if you love them fully. It will show in your smile, in your touch, in your good-morning hugs. But also tell them on a regular basis. Infuse all your dad actions with love.

3. Be present. It’s great to be in the same room with them, but as much as you can afford to, be fully present with them. Shut off the mobile device, close the laptop, turn off the TV, and really pay attention. Listen to their long fragmented stories. Really watch when they want to show off their new wizard or ninja move.

That’s it. That’s all you need to be a great dad. Well, there are some bonus moves, but those are just extensions of the above three.” Get more here: » The Tiny Guide to Being a Great Dad :zenhabits.

Happy bday, #2 son…

Kindergarten days…

My #2 son was a Father’s Day gift in 1989. He was the first birth I ever witnessed and I’ll never forget the experience and what it — and he — has meant to me!

Colin and his lovely girlfriend Kelsey…

Is This the Last Father’s Day?

Not the best picture of my ‘other dad’, but it will have to do…

The title comes from Randy Taran who writes:

My father is requesting that all family members come by… no, not for a typical family reunion, but for Father’s Day. They say that people sometimes get a sense about things, and I have a feeling that my dad knows the end is near.

I am not complaining. I have had the amazing good fortune of having him around for longer than most. He is 95.5 and pretty darn present.

It has me thinking about the various roles we play in life: child, parent, parent to our inner child, parent becomes child, and child becomes parent’s parent… it’s endless in all the possible permutations.

I recently asked my dad for his five top life lessons, and this seems like a perfect time to share them:

1. Lead your own life. Know who you are and be true to yourself.

2. Be satisfied with what you have. Don’t go looking to other people for validation or compare yourself to others — that goes nowhere.

3. Be very grateful for what you have. Appreciate everything, from nature to relationships to waking up another day. Looking at things with the right perspective allows you to see that what you have is all you need, and more.

4. It’s all about family. That is what is important, that everyone is happy and lives a good life.

5. Love is what matters most. After all the ups and down that life sends our way, after all the careers and hopes and dreams, what stands out and will always remain is love.

This may or may not be his last Father’s Day; he has surprised us before. No matter what, I will always cherish my dad’s life lessons and pass them on to my own children as the cycle continues. Happy Father’s Day to all.

For more by Randy Taran, click hereFor more on happiness, click herevia Randy Taran: Is This the Last Father’s Day?.

I curated this article for multiple reasons; not the least of which is that it makes me think about my father-in-law who is getting on in years. Throughout our marriage, my relationship with my in-laws has been strained for reasons too complicated to go into; only recently, however, I have gained a special appreciation for my father-in-law…

My ‘other Dad‘ is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for almost 50 years. The more I dig into my own ’emotional sobriety’ and recovery from codependence, the more I appreciate him as a person and his contribution to the world — especially his example as he lives out the 12th step daily. Recently, when my wife was in Italy we connected a couple of times by phone and I had a chance to tell him for the first time that I loved him as a ‘dad’ — and I don’t say that lightly; dad is a title of honor in my life — and that I appreciate his example. There are things around ‘recovery’ that he gets that my first dad will never understand and I appreciate his testimony more with each passing day…

My second dad is now 79 and time is catching up with him. I cherish the help he has given me in my recovery and his lack of judgment toward me. Whether this is the last Father’s Day or the first of many we have in this ‘new’ relationship — God knows there are no guarantees in this life — I’m glad we had a chance to connect in his living years…

Father’s Day Without My Dad

Cover of "Fearless Living: Live without E...

An atypical — but powerful — Father’s Day story with a lesson from Rhonda Britten:

The last time I saw my dad was on Father’s Day in 1975. It was rainy and cold much like most June days in the U.P., short for Upper Peninsula. I grew up in the part of Michigan that looks like the mouth of the wolf. The wolf being Lake Superior. The mouth being the Keweenaw Peninsula, or the Copper Country.

It’s a little-known fact that more millionaires were made during the copper rush of the U.P. than the gold rush in California. But I digress — as I tend to do when I am talking about my father.

You see, the last time I saw my father, he had a rifle in his hand and he was raging at my mother, bullets flying. When all was said and done, both my parents lay dead by my father’s hand and I was the only witness, the one left standing.

Most people assume I hate my father. Or worse, that I am glad he’s dead. I feel neither.

You see, I have forgiven him for that horrid act and that forgiveness has softened my heart and turned into love. Yes, I love my father.

He has taught me more about love than anyone, because he has taught me everything about fear.

The first thing you read when you crack open my book, Fearless Living, is this:

Fear is a killer.

It kills hopes.

It kills dreams.

It kills careers.

It kills relationships.

In a flash, it killed my parents.

It almost killed me.

How is it killing you?

I know this because of my father. He killed because he was afraid of the emotions he couldn’t control. He stewed when he was hurt. He blamed and attacked when there was an inkling of embarrassment or shame. Humiliation? He’d rather die.

After my mother’s announcement that she was leaving him after enduring his jealous rages, infidelities and abuse for over two decades — they were buried on what would have been their 20th wedding anniversary — he put two bullet holes into her while repeating over and over again, “This is your fault. You made me do this. This is your fault.” He was a victim until the bitter end.

My father killed (and died) because he was afraid. Afraid to lose, afraid to feel, afraid to be human.

This is why fear has become my specialty, my obsession. I am not going to let fear decide my life, my future, my fate. It isn’t going to tell me what to do, or convince me to blame the ones I love how wrong they are, or suck one ounce of passion out of me. No siree.

I was a witness to the horror of a life lived in fear.

But fear is so subtle, so seductive, so invisible, I have had to learn all of its tricks to stop myself from following the easy path of a fear-driven life. That’s what I have done for the past decade plus. I have devoted my life to understanding how fear works, learning how to process it in a healthy, loving way and master it so I can live the life my father was afraid to.

So here I stand. A daughter of a murderer. A daughter of a man who lived in fear. A daughter of a man who taught her how to love.

My father lived in fear and died in fear. I’m not going to do the same. I choose love. I know he’d be proud.” via Rhonda Britten: Father’s Day Without My Dad.

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