For Father’s Day: 10 things I Learned This Year About Being a Dad


Well, it’s about time again, for I think what is my third or fourth Father’s Day post, and for this year, I thought I’d share a few random thoughts about being a dad. And after nineteen years of holding the title, I can honestly say I probably learned more this year than in any other. So, here we go…

  1. It can be so tough and even a little scary to sit down with your wife and kids and talk about God. Usually we read a short passage, or sometimes just one verse, because the attention span around here is about 14 seconds…on our good days. Admitting to how intimidating it can be helped me to be more prepared, and more deliberate in my approach. But for those of you who keep trying and feel like you keep failing…you’re not. You’re the stuff of champions!
  2. If you buy crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy peanut butter, don’t tell your kids, just throw it on their sandwiches and call it a day. Not one kid complained in this house, and, in fact, most of our kids are now on the crunchy side permanently. Amazing.
  3. If you are a dad and you work from home as a writer, you can get about zero work done when the bus drops off the kids. Especially if you have five kids living at home. Shockingly, they all need snacks, help with homework, and your referee skills when they want to throw down. Who would have guessed?
  4. Having a kid in college is a strange adjustment, especially when he’s just an awesome dude. Gone are the days of instruction and accountability, because they’ve been replaced by deep conversations and a stronger connection. Max will tell you I was pretty tough on him at times, and I sometimes had to go up against the always dreaded “okay, but everyone else’s parents let them _____ (fill in the blank).” I’m glad I hung tough, because honestly Max isn’t just ready for college, he’s ready for the world. I’ll take it! And I am so optimistic for the next five.
  5. You cannot tell your kids enough times every day to wash their hands. And WITH SOAP! Always, always SOAP! No. You most certainly cannot preach this enough.
  6. Dads right now are at a tough place in our society, but the clouds are leaving and I truly believe our impact today can be stronger than ever. Our culture/media wants to take over our part in the story of our kids’ lives, by dictating the moralisms of the day. What a super surprise it must be for all of us to realize Zuckerberg, CNN, and The View aren’t actually the gatekeepers of morality in our world. What I have learned, and relearned, is that the Bible is more important than it has ever been, especially with the turmoil we see in America. We tell our kids all the time about having a firm foundation in their lives, and boy, do the scriptures give us a strong foundation.
  7. Most of us dads have experienced some of the same challenges, and we need to continue to be open with each other. Women are a hundred times better at this than us, but it doesn’t mean we can’t pull together. By joining a local church, you can get the most benefit, and really get open and honest about your challenges as a father. By building a good team of other dads you’re connected to, you can not only grow as a father, but you can find more satisfaction in your blessed position.
  8. It has taken me almost a year to perfect the art of the double, and yes, even triple-decker grilled cheese sandwich. Do not rush the process. And make sure the pan is hot before you drop your artwork on it. You can do this. You’re a dad.
  9. Questions! Oh man, it’s just so all about questions sometimes with the kids. Whenever I need to get major buy in and address an issue, I have found the more open ended questions I ask the more quickly we can discover the resolution. For complete buy in, this is huge. And for your sanity, even more so.
  10. Fidget Spinners have zero redeeming qualities, and are the greatest obstacle to your communication with your kids. Yes. Fidget Spinners.

Sure, I could have written on so many other hot topics, but maybe I’ll just share with you one more thought. Your position of being a dad is incredibly important and don’t let anyone ever steal the joy of fatherhood away from you. Ignore those who demean, belittle and mock you as a dad, because honestly, the only reason they do that is because of their failed expectations or insecurities. And if you need some encouragement, check out the movie Courageous from about 3 years ago. And me? Well, I’ll be at the beach with my crunchy peanut butter and with not a single fidget spinner in sight.

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