lessons from dad start early

Lessons from Dad are not valued much these days. In the good old days, a father’s wisdom was valued by children. Now, not many of my friends even speak to their dads anymore. I don’t know why or what caused the division. It broke my heart, seeing so many of my friends grow up with strained relationships with their fathers because I am lucky enough to have had a good relationship with my dad.

Here are my top five lessons from Dad:

You Don’t Always Get A Trophy

Thanks to my dad’s reminders, I learned that I have to work hard for what I want. My generation always got trophies for everything. At the end of each town-run soccer season, everyone on every team would get a shiny, plastic gold trophy. But my dad reminded me that in school, I wasn’t just handed an A. I had to work and study my addition and subtraction. Just because I showed up for games and sometimes chased the ball, didn’t mean I earned said trophy.

Thick Skin Is Priceless

Thanks to my father’s (not so) gentle advice, I’ve learned to shrug off negativity and appreciate the milestones. The world is tough and there isn’t much room for tears or moping around if things don’t go your way. As someone who’s been flung into the world of writing, having a thick skin is imperative. Rejection letters have gone from sharp daggers to little flies I have to swat away every now and then. Rude critiques have turned into something I can laugh at.

Listen To The Silence

My dad needs silence. He usually likes to be left on his own to write or read for hours every day. His need for silence is a boundary I have always honored. And now I know the importance of silence for me, too. After a long day, I know I can come home and relish the silence with my dad. The need for peace has rubbed off on me as well.

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

My dad often tells me to get out of my comfort zone. That usually means to take off somewhere and learn about other cultures and people. You can’t grow if you don’t experience. When I was growing up, we had our set summer destinations. Each year, we would load up the car and drive three hours to Cape May, NJ. Then, when I got older, we expanded our horizons and explored various cities full of history. And now, he reminds me to travel.

Follow Your Dreams

I am forever grateful that my dad gave me the freedom to pursue my dreams. He and I are writers. I grew up watching him clack away on the keyboard, floating between fiction and reality. It seemed fun. So, when I was old enough to write sentences, I dove in, too. Then, when I decided I would study writing in college, he was with me every step of the way. And still is.

On this Father’s Day, we should try to value the good lessons we’ve learned from our fathers and father figures. What lesson resonated with you? Do you know anyone who could use some advice?