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Lessons From Dads Everywhere

Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

Earlier this week on Facebook, I asked you to share memories of your dad. You all responded generously telling us what you learned from your fathers.

Thank you for all your wonderful reflections! Reading what you wrote makes me miss my own father who passed into heaven just two years ago. Each of us owes a lot to our fathers because they made us who we are. If not for them, we wouldn’t exist.


One of the biggest lessons that I learned from my dad was that you’re never too old to change. When he was in his late forties, he gave up beer, heavy dinners, and night life and decided to become a “health nut.”  This was in the seventies when no one took exercise or health seriously. He began jogging every day after he came home from work and insisted on eating whole grain breads that were so heavy you could barely cut them.  He went to bed at nine instead of eleven or twelve. I admired his ability to make such drastic changes, especially when no one around him was doing he same.

Enjoy these other Father’s Day memories from our readers on Facebook:

Chris Rhodes: “When you hurt, I hurt.”

Amaris Smith Robinson: “On the road, leave lots of space between other cars and your car, and check your rear view mirror if you have to slow down.” I can’t count how many times this advice from my dad has kept me from rear ending someone or being rear ended!

April Dawn Mitchell: I really respect and value my father’s input and approval. As a child, all I needed to stop me from doing something wrong is to know that my dad would disapprove of it. More through his actions than his words, my dad taught me to have a healthy fear of authority and to do as I am told, but he also taught me to love myself greatly and that I can’t let anyone walk all over me. It’s a fine line between being assertive and being a door mat or overly controlling. My dad taught me how to walk that line.

Shannon Wigren Santos: Best advice he gave me (in regard to dating/marriage): Back in the day, a pro football coach had a policy of “100 plays” for anyone trying out for the team; only the minor majority were on the field, the rest were off. So, yeah, your time for the 40? Important, but just as important was if you treated your family well, showed up when you said you would, and had a good attitude.

Same rules apply to anyone I would consider seriously for dating: it’s great of he’s attractive and funny, but it was more important if he was a man of integrity. Happy to say, I found one who certainly is (and married him as fast as I could, with Daddy’s blessing)!
 I can attribute my work ethic to his example, as well.

Heather Slater: Pick my battles

Jamie Rosales Sanford Fyler: Don’t be late, other people’s time is as important as yours.

Wendy Shizzle Dizzle: Dad taught us to ride “the bull.” He would get on the floor on his hands and knees and put a belt around his middle. We would jump on and hang on with one hand and try to last eight seconds in the living room. Fun times.

Owen Hillary White: My dad, Owen White, Jr., is a hard worker. He took the time over the years to provide a home (not just a house). From my dad, I learned the importance of providing for my family. Now that I have a wife and kids, I do my best to live by his example. Love you, Dad! Thank you for always taking care of our needs!

Molly Randall Jarema: All the old farmers’ tales: six weeks until frost after you hear the first cicada; six more frosts after you hear a spring peeper; if the cows are lying down its going to rain, etc. Some seem crazy, but they’re mostly true!

Wendy Wilson Plache: That he would always be there for me. Especially when I tried to push him away.

Edward Ostra: Never borrow money! We are capable of standing on our own two feet, and greed shall not swallow us.

Janet Morse O’Connor: My Father came from generations of house painters. He painted and edged flawlessly. When I was very little I would watch him roll the thick liquids over any surface, making it new and beautiful again. Then he taught me. He instructed the way I held the brush, the amount of paint, how to wipe it off and how to edge in corners, door, window frames and any things else needing the love of a paint brush. He taught me well. What i didn’t pick up for the longest time was that I could have used my right hand. My dad was a lefty. So he taught me to paint with mine ! I edged beautifully with my non dominant hand! He taught me how to paint just like him!

Denise Di Paolo: My father taught me to value faith, family and hard work. After that, enjoy the simple treasures of life…tomato salad from the garden with homemade vinegar, sitting on the patio with friends, long family dinner on Sunday afternoon, roses in bloom, etc.

Sherry Franklin: My daddy taught me to never drive a car that belonged to someone else or borrow anything from anyone that I could not pay for. I have since passed this info to my own children.

Vicki Turner Brain: To be kind and to be honest.

Karen Pack: If you can’t take the time to do it right, where will you possibly find the time to do it over?

Kristy Wigren Lobb: One of my favorite dad quotes (that I seemed to hear somewhat regularly): “Quit farting around, Kris! If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right!” And my other personal favorite piece of advice regarding raising children: “You have to love your kids; you’re their parent. The challenge is to raise kids other people will love.”

Susanne Jung: Treat people the way you want to be treated….

Kristy Mannion-Shufeldt: The man with the plan wins…. It’s my motto for school, parenting, sports and everything I between….

Cindi Woodworth Clark: My dad was a quiet man and didn’t speak a lot but when he did it was always worth listening to.

Larry Carlin: When you are speaking about, referring to or if in any way are mentioning your mom in conversation, you always call her Mom, not “she” or “her.”

Janeth Gomez: My father was the sweetest and most loving man. We were seven siblings and he made each of us feel like we were his favorite!

Stephanie Sudduth-Duron: My Father was very stern when I was younger and now that I am older, he has become a mush, mush. By this I mean that I do not remember seeing him cry much when I was younger, and now he does it frequently.

Anthony Angelotti: How to drive an old lawn tractor.

Martha OreCar: He taught me the satisfaction of being of service to others. Also, he loved me just because. Huge gift.

What memory would you add? What did you learn from your dad?

Thanks again for all your participation to make this post a terrific tribute to dads!


Happy Father’s Day to all of you good men.

We need you to keep up the good fight for your families. God’s blessings to each of you.

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