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FATHERS DAY TRIBUTE: What did your dad do that was most influential and formative in your life?

What did your dad do that was most influential and formative in your life?

Becoming a father is a role shift from the normal struggles of everyday life. A father sort of defines his role in the life of a child based on his experience, intuition, and observations. As much as you would like to think every move was planned, often they are often just guessing what they think will work based on their own lives and preconceived ideas about what a father should be.

So here is an opportunity to help new fathers and honoring fathers no longer present by sharing some of the things you thing your father dad that were influential and telling why they were influential.

For example, my father was an engineer and I am an engineer.
My father use to let all three sons pitch to him when he got home from work. All of us played baseball through high school. Although my father was not a Scout, he like the program and became a leader. I was an Eagle Scout and became both a Cub master and Scout master. My dad taught me to fish early and I fished all through my life as a child, taught my kids how to fish and have done the same for many nieces and nephews.

Caring, sharing, teaching, never giving up, planning ahead, and just being there are the low hanging fruit in figuring out the fatherhood question. But the little things that really made a difference are often subtle and have an impact that is not immediate.

So what worked? Did your dad do something special or different that made a difference in your life that you would be willing to share with other folks still figuring out the fatherhood role?


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  • Jun 11 2013: my father died when I was 5, I remember trying force myself to cry at the funeral so others didn't think I was strange. Everytime I see or hear someone talk about their fathers it makes me think about mine. When I say think, i mean guess cause I dont know what he was like as a person, although i read on the newspaper that he was most likely murdered cos he publicly slapped a singer who were associated with a infamous triad leader. I spent all my life conjuring up a perfect fatherly figure, since people try not to speak ill of the dead, all I heard about him though very little were all positives. I think what I'm secretly trying to do is perhaps to make everyone feel sorry for me as I feel like you have all unconsciously forced me to think about the absence of my dad. or perhaps I have become so comfortable in the role of an innocent victim it has become difficult to think of myself as anyone else. but every so often I think perhaps he died so I would become interested in human thoughts or become the person that i am. I am imperfect and theres lots of things i dont like about the world and mostly about myself, and sometimes i even wonder what is the meaning of my life and why should I go on struggling. i dont understand why people think struggle is good but I think maybe one day I will figure it out. i guess what im trying to say to all is that maybe you should stop trying so hard to influence your kids or the people around you, because the moment they learn who you are cause even without knowing you or what you sound like you would have already had an influence on them. i can see from myself and others around me that we constantly try to affect others without realising how we have been affected. perhaps if we try harder to focus on ourselves in the sense that we learn about ourselves and lead by example others will autonomously do the same.
    • Jun 11 2013: Jennifer,

      Thank you for sharing. Not having a father since the age of 5 is a sad concept for those that have had a father make a significant impact in their lives. You were an innocent victim of a tragedy. How a 5 year old handles death, not fully understanding life, with anything other than numbness and fear is beyond me. It sounds like your grieving took place as you grew up. However, if you are now an adult, it is time to proactively make changes in your life to enable yourself to be happy.

      I believe a father might tell you now that life is filled with hardship, work, and problems. However, it is also filled with beauty, wonder, and love. If you focus on only the struggle, then you may not notice some of the positives. Try and notice some of these things because they tend to lift your spirit. You can also replace some of the loneliness by positively helping others. Perhaps since you have lived through this struggle, you can connect with some others who are still working their way through it with your honesty. If you help them, and get a smile in return, perhaps the reason the struggle is worthwhile will become evident to you.

      Leading by example is one of the roles of a father. Trying to help a child face life's challenges and work their way through them as a mentor is another role. You are quite right in that fathers do need to take care of themselves and continue to try and be the best person they can be, otherwise what they say will appear hypocritical. Similarly, it is possible to over influence and actually control your children, which prevents them from growing and learning how to handle life's problems on their own. It is a balance. Try and positvely influence such that they eventually do not need you.

      Perhaps you can celebrate Father's day by visiting someplace beautiful and realizing your father would be happy to see you enjoy life. If your struggles are adult, there are professionals that can help you cope with things and deal with demons.

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