What I Want My Kids to Know this Father’s Day {From a Dad’s Perspective}


Matt post pic

The author learned to share his awesomeness in 1978.

 For Father’s Day, here are five ideas I am passing along to each of my three children as they continue to grow into amazing people.

Use logic. You are an intelligent person, so use your common sense to help make your own choices about life. You’ll meet many people who see life differently than you do, and that’s fine. But remember to follow logic to decide what’s correct and what’s not. If a story sounds like fiction, if someone’s reasoning seems irrational, or if a situation doesn’t feel quite right, trust your logic and your instincts, and choose another path.

Respect other people. We live in a culture in which many people choose to disrespect others based on gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and countless other factors. We are better than this. We change the world one day at a time, and it’s up to you to keep changing the world with the message of respect. Also, remember this: no matter if the words come from a friend, a significant other, or someone you just met, yes means yes, but no means no.

Be comfortable with your body. You’ll spend an amazing amount of time in it, and you’ll enjoy life much more when you can feel good about the image you see in the mirror. Achieve this goal by exercising regularly and eating right. Achieve it by inheriting good genes. Achieve it by accepting yourself as-is. Just achieve it.
Anne Lamott, a good author who wrote a good book titled Bird by Bird that you need to read and then reread, phrased it this way:
“What if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”

Forget the guilt. When things don’t go your way, consider it a learning experience, and go on with your day. You could waste years lamenting the past instead of enjoying the present and looking forward to the future. Life is too short to waste replaying yesterday’s drama or allowing someone else to tell you how you should live. (Except your father. Listen to your father. He sometimes knows stuff.)

Never stop learning. Curiosity is a good thing! I started to learn how to milk a goat when I was around eight years old, how to speak French when I was 15, and how to scuba dive when I was 36. You’ll meet plenty of people who regard education as something that ends when you leave a classroom, but that’s flawed thinking. What you learn in a classroom is only the beginning; what you learn as you do and make and shape and experience is what you learn the most.

All my love to my wife and three children, this Father’s Day and every day.


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