Thank You, Dad!

Editor’s Note: In honor of this month’s Father’s Day, we’re sharing this post from our friends at USEP-OHIO. Happy Father’s Day!

USEP-OHIO PARENT TIP

This brief Parent Tip is provided at no cost by United Services for Effective Parenting-Ohio, Inc., as a tool to assist parents, teachers, grandparents, and all who help to care for and to raise our children. For more information on this and other tools from USEP-OHIO refer to the conclusion of this Parent Tip.

USEP-OHIO

Photo: USEP-OHIO

My dad, Wally, always had a wonderful smile. Like most good dads, he was kind and patient but had strong emotions. He was a hard worker, never afraid to learn new skills. He was a humble guy with a refreshing sense of kindness, elegance, and a touch of brashness. He welcomed challenges, and accepted his kids as an integral part of his life. He loved to sing, was not great at fixing things with his hands, but did most of the work to build an upstairs out of an attic for us to enjoy. Dad patiently taught me to drive, ate hot peppers without a tear, went to church weekly, and prayed the Lord’s Prayer with us on the way to school in the car. He was a good guy, and he planted many seeds in us. He taught us faith and compassion and a thirst for learning new things. He encouraged our confidence and belief in ourselves and in the goodness of others. I’m sure he felt blessed to have his kids even when we caused him grief. There was never any doubt that he loved us. He was just Dad.

Recently, a dad I know died of a heart attack after a round of golf. He was way too young—although his children are adults with kids of their own. His son said, “My dad is never going to be able to tell me he’s proud of me. So I am going to tell my kids I am proud of them right now!” And he did.

There’s always a lot of talk about dads in America—that they are too focused on success or don’t express their feelings or that they’re too self-centered, etc., etc. Most dads are trying to find their way to do a good job of parenting just like moms.

They, too, are planting the seeds that will become the harvest of the next generation. Dr. T. Berry Brazelton and others doing research on the importance of a loving father in a kid’s life tell us that our prisons are full of people who did not feel the love, acceptance, or even the presence of a dad. Kids are more likely to stay in school and graduate, have a higher self-esteem, test with a higher IQ score, and even have a more fully developed sense of humor if they have a caring dad in their lives.

No expertise is required! Just show up. A dad who is able to “be there” emotionally for a child, who conveys his love and acceptance, and really shares his life becomes the expert needed, and trains on the job.

One dad in my family said, “Keep them involved. Let them know you love them and are proud of them.” He is a great dad, who learns everything about fixing things from a book, but he has never read a parenting book. He is a listener and is not afraid to grow. He has great character and is not afraid to express his feelings.

So dads who hang out at the kid’s school, in the backyard, at bedtime, and over dinner are just what every family needs. Thanks, Dads, for just showing up and being there. Your kids know they are worth it!

We invite you to share this USEP-OHIO publication with other parents, students, and professionals at home or work. You have permission to copy Tips as written, send on as email, or print for a newsletter or handout. Email us at usepohio@usepohio.com to add email addresses to our list, to give us feedback about how the information works for you, or for other topics, publications, and programs see www.usep-ohio.org and safe-connections-andresources.org. (15 4) Cindy McKay, Executive Director, USEP-OHIO, Inc.

Featured Photo: imagerymajestic

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