26 Sep Lessons From Dad: Why We Should Remember

We are encouraged to explore wounds from Dad, but what about lessons from Dad? We all want our kids to remember what we did right. So I’ve loved that my older kids have started sharing fun memories of me as a dad. But my son recently shared a memory that devastated me. He talked about my response to him during a tough season of his adolescence. I was floored to hear he remembers me acting as if I didn’t care. I vividly remember franticly trying to help him.

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 5 things your dad did right, what would they be? Here are 5 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?

[pullquote position=”right”]Don’t just promise not to repeat what your dad did wrong; promise to repeat what he did right.[/pullquote]

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?

Lesson From Dad No. 4: He was always there for me.

Farming is not a 9 to 5. It literally changes with the weather. But I have no memories of him not being there for me. For example, he never worked on Sundays, and instead of getting much-needed rest, he mustered up the energy to have fun and to be fun with us. As a dad, I now know skipping a nap is a huge sacrifice. In what way was your dad there for you?
It’s so easy to remember the hurtful events from childhood because we remember events, especially hurtful ones. But it is good for our souls to also remember times when our dads loved and rescued us. Lessons from dad are powerful tools to make us better dads. Remember your dad through the same lens you hope your kids remember you.

Sound off: What do you remember your dad doing right when you were a kid? 

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