A good dad wears a lot of hats in his family; he’s a comforter, role model, friend, and—especially– a teacher.
My dad has taught me all kinds of practical life lessons– from how to tie my shoes, to balancing a checkbook, to making the best darn pancakes around—but he’s also taught me so much more.
We asked the InspireMore community a simple question: “What did your dad teach you?” Here are some of our favorite replies (edited for length and clarity):
1. “To love and put your family first. To be honest and hard working. To show respect for others’ belongings. To be respectful to older people. To never interrupt a Cincinnati Reds baseball game on TV. That it’s okay to eat dessert first. To always be sure to tell those you love that you love them.” -Hope M.
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2. “Believe in yourself, but never think you are better than anyone else! He always gave the example of helping someone else, no matter what.” -Dawn’ee H.
3. “To always be self-sufficient, to drive a stick and column shifter, and the rules of football. Also- to take care of what you love.” -Brittany C.
4. “To appreciate the nature that’s around us. We would take a ride in his truck very early on Sundays and look at the flowers, trees, and animals. I miss him every day.” -Mary Lynn K.
5. “My dad was a Drill Sergeant in the Marine Corps my whole life. He taught me pride, honesty, honor. He taught me how to take care myself, about God and how important family is and your word is your bond. He was there when I fell; he let me pick myself up dust myself off and figure out what I did wrong. He helped me when I needed it and made me deal with things myself when I screwed up. He is my hero.” -Beth K.
6. “My amazing Dad taught me that family always comes first and many other things! I will always treasure our many talks about life. I miss him every day!” -Vikki Little S.
7. “Our Dada taught us with love and such humor. I think we were lucky to see the pride he had in everything we did, however insignificant or glorious it may have been!” -Sherryl B.
8. “My Dad taught me to see both sides in an argument, to laugh more, judge less.” -Deb Bromley S.
9. “My dad taught me the greatest lesson of all: the good times outweigh the bad ones and life is fleeting, so love hard.” -Sonia J.
10. “The last time I was able to talk to my dad before he passed, I said ‘Daddy, you would be so proud of me, I painted my kitchen by myself.’ He replied, ‘Honey, I ALWAYS have been proud of you!'”
11. “My Dad taught me to help others when they have a need. He left a legacy of caring about others for my brother, sister and myself.” -Linda G.
12. “Honesty. A handshake is as good as a written contract.” -Susan L.
13. “That a good education can never be taken away from you. Dad had a 5th-grade education and was a self-made man. I followed his directions. I will be 82 in June, and I read voraciously and listen to the people around me.” -Joyce H.
14. “My dad taught me that my mother is a beautiful woman and she should be respected for raising us full time. For that, I love him to the moon and back.” -Allison Trees C.
15. “Love from the heart. It was always important for him that he didn’t just talk the talk. He walked the walk. He used to explain rather than demand. His unending faith got us through some tough times. He used to say ‘don’t be mad that you have to, thank God that you can.’ He instilled faith, courage, self-respect, but most of all love for Christ. He wasn’t perfect, but he always loved.” -Ozzie Z.
We received well over 700 responses to our question—“What did your dad teach you?”— and each comment told a unique story. Some dads taught their kids to play sports, some taught them home repair tips, but the most important lesson any dad can teach is simply how to love.
To the dads out there: Never forget how important your role is. You may not think your “students” are watching, but trust us, they are.
And to the really, really good dads who take the time to teach the important lessons: thank you.
Share with a dad you love today!
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