I am part of Generation X, which has experiences the recession, the Tech Bust 5 and the Credit Crisis. Wages have been relatively flat the last ten years so most Generation X households have both parents working. When dads get home there is still much to be done around the house because Mom is just getting home from work too. I am not the father my Dad was. I wish I were. I am learning how to be a cool Dad in the society that exists now. There are many good messages a household with two working parents give to their children. Examples of partnership and equality, but I can’t help wish that I could stop the duties that begin after I get home to spend more time with my children. Here are things my Father did with me and I am trying to find time to do. He was a cool Dad.
To make you feel like you are the whole world to them even when you have other siblings, that is what makes a Dad cool. When all the external pressures they are under never seep into the space you occupy with them. That makes a Dad cool. A Dad can create that for a child by doing little things all the time. As children we do have the fond memories of a few big vacations with the family. Some of those fond memories are the ones of vacations that may not have gone so smoothly. The memories we have that are the clearest however are the times that were consistent and were small gestures. In this day and age it is growing more difficult for children and parents to have those moments together. Times they can just focus on eachother. Dad may have a cell phone he is always looking down at, or the child may be the one with the phone.
Here are 20 signs that you have the coolest Dad in the world.
1. Every summer day after work he takes you to the neighborhood pool to play catch in the water.
I loved playing catch with my father and brothers. I also loved the fact that the pool was away from the house. It allowed us to really focus on eachother without any outside distractions. My Dad had a gym bag in his closet by his shoes that was always packed with balls for the pool. He would slip off his shoes and quickly change and grab the bag. Taking his kids to a pool makes them feel appreciated.
2. He wrestles with you and lets you win until you are 13…then all bets are off. How else are you going to learn to be a man?
My Dad was perfect at “fake losing” and as we got older we realized he was no longer doing that. My Dad was strong and a good athlete, but he never competed with us. He saw any time together as quality time.
3. He is your soccer coach even if he doesn’t want to be, and you think he wants to be.
My Dad hated being the coach. He only did it because our first coach quit out of the blue. We were a terrible team. My Dad did his best and I’ll always love and respect him for it. If a father does something selfless for his children and their friends, this is how they can tell he really cares about them.
4. He gets up at dawn to pack the car for your family vacation, and always makes every suitcase fit perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle or the video game tetris.
No one, and I mean no one, could pack a car like my father. A father has a duty to teach his kids life skills, even if they may seem simple, they will help his children to get along in their future.
5. He has the route to your family vacation spot memorized and doesn’t need a map.
I thought this was a special power until my third trip to California with my family. After you drive a route a few times the first of which you’re under deress you never forget your turnoffs. In many ways a dad is also a role model for his kids.
6. Before there were thermometers in cars he pressed the back of his hand to his car door window to see what the temperature was outside instead of rolling down the window creating a huricane in the car.
I once had a girl develop a crush on me in college because I did this. I swear it’s the truth. Children look up to their dads if they have smart and extraordinary ways of doing simple things.
7. He puts your homemade pen holder on his desk at work and actually uses it.
I was not artistic. He was so proud. If your dad is proud of your childish creations, he really cares about you.
8. He will act silly infront of you like pretending to play the guitar on a tennis racket in his underwear with a child’s cowboy hat on his head.
My mother has actual photographic documentation of this. Dad’s lucky there wasn’t social media back then. Still, nothing makes a dad happier than to see his children laugh.
9. He wears a Halloween costume every Halloween.
I’ve started doing this. My kids love it. Older kids will give me a nod of approval as well. You’ve got to stay young at heart.
10. He’s the first person you shared a beer with.
It takes the mistery out of drinking. I think it helps kids not binge drink because drinking is not so forbiden.
11. He’ll drink scotch with you even though he doesn’t like scotch.
My Dad is a wine drinker. But he’ll try anything if it means we can sit on the back porch and talk longer.
12. He is proud of you and wants you to live your life and not the one he didn’t get to live.
I didn’t even know what sports my Dad played in high school until I was in high school. He also down played his major in college. Still he never made me feel bad about not persuing his career because their children’s happiness is the only that matters to a father.
13. He teaches you to respect people and prepares you to know that you must earn respect.
My Dad was a hard worker to put food on the table. He never brought his problems home and he treated my Mom and us three boys with respect. That made it easy for us to respect him.
14. He doesn’t shave on vacations. He also knows that there is a time and a place where personal hygene is less important, like on a camping trip.
I’ve continued this tradition. It is important for kids to see that their father can let go and simply enjoy time with his family now and then.
15. If you get injured in sports or playing with your friends he tells you to “shake it off” and teaches you the difference between a “battle wound” and a serious injury.
I wish I saw more of this in kids today. My son has a few “battle wounds”. He’s tough. But it’s the responsibility of a father to teach this lesson.
16. He treats your Mom like a Queen, and is a good role model for how to treat a spouse.
My parents are true partners and respect eachother. Teaching his kids to treat women with respect is one of the most important tasks a father has.
17. He treats every failure you have as a learning experience and allows you to fail. He gives guidance but does not let it interfere with you choosing your own path.
My Dad wanted us to live our own lives and be our own persons. He used to say that my brothers and I were all very different people.
18. He understands why you want to be dropped off 100 yards away from where you and your friends are meeting girls at the mall (or boys at the mall).
I never did this. I had a friend who would make his Grandma drop us off this way. She took it in stride. Great lady.
19. When you have a bad game or race he knows it is not the time to “coach”.
I have adopted this from my father. I know my son appreciates it. No one is harder on you than you. Nothing is as bad as you think it really is. My Dad once told me that people are concered with their own lives, they are not giving you much thought.
20. He understands what builds your relationship are the small things. The everyday moments you spend together.
The big vacations were great, but they are fading in my memory. The day to day experiences are what I remember.
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