Dear Dad...

Fathers Day.  Emotional for some, touching for others, and an important day in most families.  I love a good reflective moment, so we’re going to take the time today to look back on what makes dads special and the things your dad taught you.

Selfishly, I have written down all the awesome things my now 68 year old dad taught me that he probably doesn’t even realise.  That’s the funny thing about dads – they teach by values rather than by consciously knowing they are doing so.   So, it reads a bit like a “Dear Dad”… why don’t you join in with your own additions, personalising it to your dad.

 

Dear Dad…

Thanks for teaching me things in life by example. You’ve got an amazing knack of teaching me by example not by lecturing me, and that means I feel like I have really learned how life works, rather than just learned to live “by the rules”. In fact, if someone asked me what you’ve taught me the list would be endless, and yet so very unlistable, simply because you’ve let me learn it all myself, by not telling me the answer, just pointing the way and letting me make choices and mistakes, each one another lesson.

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It’s great to know everyday is more important than hallmark days. Perhaps because my family was a newsagent family, hallmark days lost their lustre.  We worked on Christmas and Birthdays, and Fathers’ Day too.  Hence, we made up for it on other days.   Hanging out with my father is getting better and better with age. We always have good fun, particularly as I get older. The wisdom and wit, the energy and the discussions and the reflection on life is so entertaining.

Thanks for challenging me. As a young girl you taught me that anything is possible and there were plenty of times I thought I “knew it all”. You rarely told me I didn’t but instead posed some clever questions to make me wonder myself whether I had a clear view of the situation. Some might call it “planting a seed to grow a tree” instead of “cutting me down”. A wonderful approach.

I like that you’ve taught me to use my emotions without losing myself to them. I’m overjoyed to have learned your pragmatic perspective that they’re no good if they get in the way of progress. Although you’ve never really said it in such a harsh way, I can imagine you saying “Don’t regret having them, but don’t let them get in the way either.”

I love that you know how to choose your battles.  My dad took crap from lots of people in his life so far (including me as a horrible teenager) – none of which fazed him, and he did what was right at the time. On this basis, he taught me to choose my battles well. That’s another awesome lesson in life from a father to a daughter. If you fight over everything, you’ll be left with not very much.

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Thanks for teaching me to be kind. This one I learned by watching, not by lessons.  My dad taught me people were most important, all types of people just by going the extra mile for those less fortunate. He has quietly, and unnoticeably helped those who needed to be helped, without asking for people to reward him.  Cool huh!

And so I ask you what your dad taught you!  Are they similar values?  Or have you played an active role in your childrens’ lives in a similar way to my dad, instilling values rather than consciously forcing them.

Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads in Australia and New Zealand.