Good Morning peeps. Happy father’s day to all dads. I could stop here but you know me, i always have a story to tell.
We have two sons and two daughters. Being a dad comes with a whole lot of responsibility and no owners manual.
Kids are born with this built in ‘wanna be just like my parents’ instinct and therefore we should be good examples.
“Instinct or innate behavior is the inherent inclination of a living organism toward a complex behaviour” Wikipedia.
As fathers and along the journey and if we have the awareness we can pick and choose characteristics from our parents we want to emulate and filter out others we don’t want to pass on to our kids, but its not easy, in fact it takes a lot of hard work. Imagine if you had a rotten dad, your job as a parent would probably be a lot more difficult.
The choices we make directly impact our kids instincts for the rest of their lives. How many times have you heard your adult children say, ‘but you did it too dad’.
I became aware of my responsibilities as a father at a very early stage. Having had great parents helped. Repetition of positive messages was always foremost on my mind. No, im not perfect and made lots of mistakes but today i observe my kids instinctively teaching their kids the lessons i thought them without being fully aware of it.
I didnt know my dad’s dad, but I heard a lot of stories about him. I heard he was a story teller just like my dad. Gosh my dad could tell stories, maybe one day ill tell you his version of how he met my mom. There is a story that my dad told us about how he got to St Kitts, he said he swam from Anguilla on his back because he could not afford to take a boat. I told my kids a similar story except i swam to Toronto. I don’t know for sure but id hazard a guess that my grandfather swam from Ireland to Anguilla, killing sharks along the way, rejecting offers to be rescued by passing boats. Its a family tradition. My dad swam on his back, his suitecase on his stomach away from the water to keep it dry. My story was even more grandeur.
Swimming from Toronto to Calgary would be quite an adventure. Cant wait for my sons to have kids. Its a male thing.
When i was growing up my dad never participated in my sports activities. To him not working was a waste of time. He didn’t have to, he was still my hero and yes i did some filtering. He had little education but he was very successful in business and a great provider and as it turned out he was the quintessential helicopter parent. Back then we called it something else.
I was 13 when i went to high school. I can remember having to hide from my dad after school so i could be with my friends. It took him a while to let go and to get the messsge that he did not have to pick me up after school. It was embarrassing.
I remember quite vividly how I wanted so badly to be like him. Of course i didn’t realize that i didn’t have to try, those instincts, some filtered, were already part of me and now they are part of my children. Im sure they also have ‘not like dad’ filters, we are all human.
Here is a tough question.
Would you be proud if your kids were like you? Be completely honest, if you said no or you are not sure and you have small children you still have time.
Remember your kids instinctively look up to you, so make it count.
Happy father’s day. Ill go check to see if those rotten kids gave me any gifts.
Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.