Lessons from Dad

Sunday in the USA is Father’s Day.  It’s a day I’m glad to celebrate because I am thankful for my dad and the man he is.  However, I do know that not everyone has a good experience with their dad.  You may not know him, he may not have stuck around, or you may have wished he didn’t stick around.  Unfortunately there are a lot of dads who have failed at being a father.  They’ve done things like commit crimes, had affairs, been violent, and been absentee for longer than they’ve been involved.  This isn’t just a father thing, mothers aren’t perfect either.

It’s a big responsibility to know that little lives are completely dependent on you and will learn from what you say and do.  As the song “Watching You” by Rodney Atkins goes “Well then my four year old said a four letter word That started with “s” and I was concerned So I said son now now where did you learn to talk like that He said I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool.”  Sometimes all that responsibility is just too much for us.

But the fact is that they’re human just like we are and will make mistakes too.  So instead of closing the book on them and cutting them permanently out of our lives I recommend we leave a little room open for forgiveness and connection if they show that they’re willing to do things differently.

If you are in contact with your dad I encourage you to have a chat with him in the next few days, adult to adult, and talk about some of the things that bother you, what he wishes you knew and what advice he wants to pass on to his grandkids.  Take advantage of the time you do have with him, like many I’ve learned that the years we have with people who really matter to us can be all too short.  Make this a Father’s Day you’ll always remember and treasure.

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