Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, father figures, and caregivers out there making it happen! The last year has been full of change and uncertainty. Yet through it all, you kept us upright and we thank you for that, today and every day.
In honor of this year’s day of dads, we asked a few of our own Life360 dads to talk about what they’ve learned — and what they’d share — about being a dad.
What is the best dadvice you’ve ever received?
Vasco: I don’t know if I got this directly from my dad, or if I just learned it by watching him. It’s hard not to want to be your kid’s friend. But at the end of the day, you’re their father, which means you just can’t have the “friendship” that buddies have. First and foremost, you have to protect and teach, and that’s the number one priority.
Jon: Through his example, my dad taught me to find the fun in life. Even a mundane thing can be a good memory if you find a way to make it fun.
Corey: Best advice I’ve ever received was from my grandfather. However, he didn’t sit me down and tell me his advice, he lived his life by example and I took note. What he did better than anyone I’ve ever known was to treat people kindly, with dignity and respect. He was a Freemason and served his community for decades through his volunteerism and compassion. He had more friends than anyone could imagine.
Stan: “Mom is always right — no matter what!” This one has really stuck with me, and it’s even more relatable as a new father. Only bad things happen if you think otherwise.
What has being a dad taught you?
Vasco: You’re not going to be perfect. And that’s the pressure YOU put on yourself. If your heart is in the right place, and you’re doing the best you can for your kids, the positive moments will greatly outweigh the negative ones. It’s really hard not to be totally abusive to yourself in the process, with guilt, doubt, etc. playing a daily role. But there is no right way other than your way, and if you’re there for them — literally showing up and focusing your presence on them when they need it — you can’t go wrong.
Jon: I remind my kids to “go with the flow” a lot. This advice started when we were on a family trip one time and our plans weren’t working out. I asked my kids (very young at the time) to imagine that they were on a boat floating calmly down a river. Sometimes you might need to paddle away from things or steer in a certain direction, but most of the time you can just go with the flow and enjoy all the beautiful stuff around you. I like to believe that advice helped my kiddos have a more enjoyable vacation and that it’s a good daily reminder to not stress over life’s unexpected surprises. The ironic thing is, I find myself needing this advice more than my kids!
Corey: Treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect. You’ll never be without friends if you do.
Stan: I make chores a game. For example, (in an excited voice) I ask, “Who can clean up the bedroom the fastest?” You’ll see much better results, and it’s a very easily repeatable process.
What dadvice would you give?
Vasco: I think there’s a misconception that great dads know and feel like great dads. I don’t ever think you feel like a great dad. I think success is in how your kids are doing, not how YOU feel.
Jon: Sometimes the best dadvice comes from my 11-year-old daughter when she reminds me: “Dad, chill.” And I’m like, “Yeah that’s good advice.”
Corey: Give your child some space to be themselves. Expose them to as much as you’re able to, but let them figure out their ultimate path. Our kids have enough to work through, being accepted and comfortable with who they are shouldn’t be something they need to think about.
Stan: Not so much dadvice, but I now regret teaching my son things at such an early age. As a dad, I can’t tell you how it feels to see your son throw his first ball or swing his first bat. But now we’re at the stage where everything is a ball and everything is a target. I could only blame myself when he broke his first window.
Raising kids isn’t easy, but you make it look fun. Thanks for the love, dadvice, and caregiving. Have a happy Father’s Day!