Words your dad may never tell you
Dads can be like statues. Quiet, towering, stubborn, and not much to talk to. I realize not all dads are like that but the stigma is that dads are these cold-hearted working machines. I always remember my dad as a very reserved person. He wasn’t quiet. Because once you got him talking he would talk to you for hours and you might wish he would shut up.
I find I am the same way. I have seen it put this way about my personality. I’m a watcher and a listener. I will watch you and listen to you very closely. Then I will determine based on your words and actions whether I want to engage with you or not. Typically if I like what I see then you may not get me to shut up. But if I hold back and don’t talk to you, there may be a reason for that.
Words are powerful. But to me, actions hold more power. You can tell someone that you love them. And you can see clearly that they don’t love you. But observe their actions with what they say and you can learn so much.
There are some things that dads just won’t say to you. Now I realize this is a generalization and not all dads will fit into these categories. Some dads are very open and say exactly what is on their mind or like to engage more than most. But I would imagine for dads like me these are things that your dad may never tell you, at least not more than once. So here are some words your dad may never tell you.
I worry about you
Moms are not the only ones that worry about their kids. I have two sons over 18 and now they are both on their own. I worry about them every day. I worry that someone might be taking advantage of their inexperience. I worry that they may make bad choices. I worry that they end up with the wrong person.
Why do I worry?
Well for one reason is that when I was their age I made bad choices. Before I met their mom I dated the wrong girls. I drank too much alcohol. And I even messed up so bad I got myself thrown in jail before I had kids.
The second reason is there are a lot of bad people out there. The kind of people that make bad decisions and want to take down everyone around them. There are also those that just want to hurt others. In those cases, I don’t worry too much about my boys but the people around them.
I pray for you every day
Because I worry about my boys I pray for them every day. The bible tells us not to be anxious about anything but pray for everything. Because of this, I try my best to pray more often than I worry about them.
My routine before I go to sleep at night is I pray. I thank God for everything he did for me that day and then I go through my list of people I need to pray for. My kids are always on that list. It doesn’t matter if they are doing great and have no issues I still pray for them. I may just pray they have a good night’s sleep or pray that they have a good day at school the next day.
But doing this each night before I go to sleep helps me with one thing. Worrying. I don’t worry about anything that happened that day. I give it to God and I sleep well knowing that he is in control.
I want you to be more successful than me
I worked hard in my life to get where I am today. I sacrificed a lot of hours commuting and sitting around because I went to school over an hour and a half away from where we lived. I did this all for my kids.
Do I expect them to work this hard? Yes. I want them to excel and work hard in everything they do. I want them to reach goals in their life that I never could. If they want to travel around the world and be missionaries they will have the first donation from me to help them realize that goal.
Success is defined differently by every person. I hold my standards higher than most. But those standards only apply to me. Each one of my kids will have to have their own definition of success. And if they need me to help them reach that goal, I will be there right by their side.
You are always more important than work
As I stated before I worked hard to get where I am today in my career. There have been weeks I had to travel and be away from my family. There have been weeks where I worked almost 80 hours and 20 days straight. And every one of those situations that pulled me away from my family absolutely destroyed me.
In one of those cases, I almost quit my job. But I didn’t have any backup plan so I stuck it out and profusely apologized to my kids for not spending time with them. And I made sure to make up the time if I couldn’t be with them when I normally was able to spend time with them.
Luckily now my job has settled down tremendously. And now I try to make sure to take all the personal and vacation time I am allotted to do things with my kids. Whether it is going on vacation or just taking a day off to hang out with them around the house.
It hurts me to tell you no
When I was younger and trying to build a life and getting started, money was tight. Anytime my son would ask me if he could have something and I would say no, it was hard. Did my kid need everything he asked for? No. But I felt like I needed to provide.
As I have gotten older this has lessened. I learned quickly that my kids don’t need everything they ask for. Sometimes now I don’t even think twice about saying no. I still want my kids to have everything I just realized they don’t need everything. I also realized how to give them more while spending less.
I have no idea what I am doing
Parenting is a continual learning process. I learn new things every day about how to be a dad. I learn things every day from other parents about how NOT to be a dad. So when my kids were born I had no clue as to what I was doing.
My wife will tell a story about a week before my son was born my nephew was born and we went to visit and see the new baby boy. I held him and my wife was so worried because she said I looked so awkward. And you know what I was awkward. I never really had held a baby or cared to hold one. But when my oldest boy was born a week later I had no issues holding him and it felt completely natural.
Why was this? Probably because parental instinct kicked in. Or maybe I wasn’t so worried about dropping someone else’s kid. But regardless of why I was this way, I figured it out and was able to care for my son with no issue.
I sacrificed a lot of my personal interests for your interest
Before kids, I used to love going to car shows and had dreams of customizing a car. I loved loud stereos and video games were my passion. After kids, I stop going to car shows. I pretty much outgrew having a loud system in my car.
For quite some time I didn’t really play video games. I didn’t have the money to invest in new consoles and games so I put it to the side. Luckily when my kids got old enough to play they picked up this passion so I have been able to continue my love for video games.
Parents give up a lot of personal interests when they have kids. Either the cost of maintaining the passion is not feasible. Or the passion just doesn’t line up with having young kids. And for those dads that can keep their passion going and get their kids involved, I commend you and say keep it up.
There are days I want to get in the car and just drive away
Kids drive us crazy. And if your spouse isn’t there to help pick up and shield you, or she is contributing to the craziness, you just want to pack up and leave. But the truth is this, I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU.
But as parents, we have days we reach a breaking point. And it isn’t necessarily the kid’s fault. It could be a combination of things. A bad day of work on top of being sick on top of not getting enough sleep on top of kids that won’t listen. These things add up. And it makes us want to just run far far away.
But I won’t.
I will stay.
I will fight through the bad days.
Because you are worth it.
You will always be my baby
You hear moms say this a lot. That their kid will always be their baby, no matter how old they get. But the same goes for dads. We respect you when you grow up and we respect that you are growing into a fine young man or woman.
But deep in the back of our mind we still see that baby boy or girl that we held in our arms. We see that little boy or girl that fell and needed their daddy to pick them up. We will secretly take care of you if possible until we can no longer take care of ourselves.
I miss you
When you get older your parents will miss you. Most won’t say it but you might notice it from their actions or other words they say. Here are a few ways parents say “I miss you” without actually saying those words.
- says “You should come over for dinner tomorrow”
- says “Sure I will come over and help you with that”
- bakes you cookies or fresh bread
- offers to pay for your meal
- sends you a birthday card
- wants to hang out with you when you do come over
- plans vacations and tries to include you
Some of us dads have trouble communicating. We like to say as little as possible and are fairly reserved. But our actions can speak so much louder than words. We will love you. We will care for you. We will provide for you. And we would even die for you if necessary.
As a parent is there any saying or phrase you know in your heart but you will never tell your kids? Let us know in the comments or let us know on our Facebook page.
So many reasons to love this . The vulnerability the love the faith the breakdown and scope of the categories covered. I relate to this so much. But thank you for giving a daddy’s perspective
This blog is so needed there are so many fathers today that is present in the home but is emotionally absent. Most men were conditioned to not show feelings and become vulnerable. This macho mentality transitions into their family life. Consequently, this machoism can have a negative impact on their marriage and relationship with their children.
Your blog showcases that it’s ok to frequently express words that dad don’t often tell their children.
Wow thank you for this
This is so beautiful written. I know my dad struggles with saying these things to me. I know my dad prays for and worries about me I wish he said to more to me but I know he is thinking it.
Shout out to all the amazing, active dads out there! Love this blog!
So very true! I’m going to have my oldest son read this. He desperately needs to hear this from someone other than my husband and me.
This is such a great post for teen and adult children to read, as well as parents to relate to. It reminds me of my dad, who was a man of few words but showed his love through alternative ways of saying things, action, and sacrifice. There are some things I wished I realized sooner. I’m glad you’re bringing this to all of our attention!
Oh… good reminders… I esp. love “I have no idea what I am doing” but they’re still there….humbling reminder that no one does, and we need to be kinder, and more patient with our parents 😉
My dad passed away when I was a kid over 14 years ago…but this was a really sweet read to hear from a dads perspective. A lot of sacrifice goes into having children, something I have yet to experience for myself. It definitely seems bitter-sweet.
Love this post. As a dad, I definitely try to say the things I would one day wish I had said… great thoughts and reminder to say them now!
It would be nice if there was some Manila for being a parent! We always find that we have no idea what we are doing and we just hope for the best! And the sad part is, we won’t know if we did a good or bad job for year to come! Great post!
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