What We Learned From Our Fathers

What We Learned From Our Fathers

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Another Father’s Day is here. All around the world, people will be reflecting on their relationships with fathers, both past and present, sharing sweet memories and photos of our dads.

Now parents ourselves, we’re mindful of the wisdom our fathers imparted to us, and we’re sure to pass it on to our own kids. The team here at Influence Central share below what we learned from our own dads.

What did you learn from yours? Comment here or share your fond memories on our Facebook Page.

My attorney father would steeple his fingers together, in focused and calm listening mode, and then ask me a series of thoughtful questions to help us both understand the core of any issue I brought to him. Inspired by him, and in his memory as he died in a plane crash when I was 12, I went on to become both a lawyer and passionately both curious and analytical about the world around me. 

Stacy DeBroff

These past three months have been pretty hard. My cherished father is ill. My whole life, I’ve never known him to be sick, so seeing him like this has given me a lot of perspective and pause for thought. Growing up, it was my father I ran to when I had news to share – good or bad. It was my father’s advice I sought through love, friendships, school and work, and it was to him I turned whenever I needed a soft place to fall. Both my parents were working as crazy. It was always important to my dad to keep us entertained and learning. Movies, books, theatre, ballet, travel, travel, travel, non-stop learning, tech… He didn’t only teach me tangible things, but he also taught me that I could accomplish anything if I set my mind to it and worked hard.

This Father’s Day my only wish for my father is a long life and for him to start talking again… My dad is my living-angel, and I don’t want to lose him. 

Pinar Reyhan Ozyigit

My dad nailed fatherhood. All my childhood memories are filled with laughter, love and adventure. We travelled the world and when at home our house was always filled with friends and family. There were rules but I never felt restricted or resentful. I actually always felt like I could do whatever I wanted. Truly.  

Don’t get me wrong – Dad was tough when he needed to be. In fact, disappointing my dad to this day is still one of my biggest fears. I realize today how he did it; he was always fair and took the time to discuss things with us. Communication has always been open and honest. We can talk about everything as good or ugly it is. So I never had to lie to my parents like some of my friends about going to a club the first time. Instead, I asked and guess what, my dad came to pick me up at 3am. Wanted to take “the pill” because I had a semi-serious boyfriend at 18? Again, my parents and I discussed it and soon after (along with tests) my dad was filling my prescription monthly. 

And yes, sometimes we disagreed but he most certainly had good reasons and although I may have been disappointed I wasn’t angry. If it was about going somewhere, we’d agree about doing something else together instead. Movie, dinner, walk… whatever. It didn’t matter. 

 And that’s how I am trying to raise Jonah and Jules today. I want them to feel free to share their ideas, thoughts and emotions without fearing my reaction or answer. Because if I can come close to making my kids feel the way I do about how I grew up, it will make for my biggest victory.  

Clara Geffriaud

My father has taught me the value of working with your hands, to paint, to build, to garden, to create. Because of this I’ve made apartments feel like my own with a fresh coat of paint, I have an urban garden to enjoy in the summer and I take photos as often as possible to capture to quick moving world around us.  This creative outlet is so important to me because as a hyper connected millennial it’s easy to forget to put the devices down and just unplug. I love my dad!

Elizabeth Wilson

My father is one of the hardest-working men I know, and he passed his drive, ambition and ethics down to me. Leading by example, he has shown my sisters and I what makes a great husband and father.

It’s a lesson that has shaped my success both in my career and personal life. I feel so fortunate that I have a father who is not only my role model, but a great friend. My husband also has many of the same qualities that I appreciate about my father, which is why I know he will be a great parent for our little girl!

Kelly Palmisano

My father taught me to believe in myself and always have confidence in my dreams and what I hope to achieve. I was able to do that because I know that he was always there to believe in me and support me 100 percent! 

Lorianne Lacey

I’ve learned many, many things from my dad. When thinking about how I would respond here, these memories rose to the top.

Lessons in appreciation and perspective. 

I learned to love the body I’ve got, as it’s the only one I’ll ever have. Growing up I would complain about my ears that stick out, my fingers that are short and stubby rather than long and lean, and my legs that are bigger than I’d like and that no cute boots will cover. He would tell me this (this is collected wisdom, of course…): 

Those ears are from your family – I have them, Gpa D has them, and so did Great-Gpa R (and now my son has them). They are what help you to be such a great listener. 

Those fingers are from your family – I have them, Gma M has them, and so did Great-Gma K. They are what help you to be a great cook, baker, writer, holder of hands, and creator/fixer of things.

Those legs hold you up off the ground and get you to where you want to go. They do the job they are designed to do, and they do it well. You are fortunate. 

Carol Rooney

My father taught me the importance of financial responsibility, showing me simple yet effective ways to balance my own budget, save properly and never exceed my own means. This was so important for me to learn at a young age so I always felt a sense of balance and in control of my spending.

Amy Turner

My father grew up poor – their family went through many tough times as a result of not having enough money, and heavily relied on the charity of others. This instilled in him the value of charity and the deep-seated need to “give back”. 

While growing up, every Christmas we’d donate to a family in need, or hand out $20 bills in sealed envelopes to the homeless. Through the year, our family supported UNICEF, SickKids Foundation and the Salvation Army. My dad never passed an outreached hand without offering something to fill it, always treating the less-fortunate with kindness, dignity and respect.

My father’s been gone for over 10 years now, and the lesson he taught me is that any of us could easily be in a position of need at some point, and to always help others when you can. It’s a lesson I teach my own kids today, and it’s one I hope they pass on to their own children, too.

Natalie Rea

I learned from my Dad the importance of making family memories. To this day, I cherish the "baseball dinners" our family shared, gathering around the TV, watching Cardinals baseball games, and munching on hotdogs and baked beans off TV trays. 

Stephanie Kaufmann

I learned to celebrate the achievements of others from my father. He was always the first person to heartily congratulate me on my accomplishments and he joyously showed how proud he was of me. This is important for me because life is filled with little things to celebrate and big things as well. Being thrilled for others’ achievements spreads the joy of the goal that’s been met and everyone benefits from feeling that excitement!

Eileen Calandro


Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Everett Collection – Dubova – Elzbieta Sekowska – Canon Boy, BlueOrange Studio
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