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Father’s Day 2010

June 20th, 2010 by

Father’s Day is a celebration of fatherhood and male parenting. Father’s Day is celebrated on a variety of date’s worldwide and typically involves gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family gatherings. Also, remembering what our fathers taught us, both good and not so good. We usually tell special stories about our fathers, bringing to mind, why we love them so very much.

As you make plans to honor your father, stepfather, or forefathers; let’s all pause for a moment and think about what your father has done for you or is currently doing, in his role as a father. And all fathers, you need to think about your role too. Fathers play a very important role in the development and lives of their children. They are best friends, mentors, coaches, protectors; typically providing mental, physical, spiritual and financial support. A father influences the shape and direction of a child’s character and values by giving respect, care, love, discipline, encouragement, guidance, being there to just talk to, ask a question and leading through example.

Fathers, as you are honored by your children, your wife or friends, on Father’s day, think of your role and what’s expected of you as a father. Don’t sit back, smile and respond with a “Thank You”, when someone wishes you a Happy Father’s Day. Raising children and being a father in this day and time is a daunting task.

How would you score as a Dad, on a scale of one to five, 1 being poor and 5 being the best? If you score high, don’t forget the old saying,” behind every great man is a great woman”- So, be sure to thank your wife, for helping (pushing, even nagging) you be a great Father. If you are not a five (5), refocus yourself and commit to the success and well being of your children.

Raising a child requires significant time, effort, sacrifice and it is one of the most joyous and fulfilling experiences a man can ever know! As a child grows, matures, gains self-reliance and independence; a fathers unfailing love, effort, commitment and some may say “Hard Work” comes to fruition. My dad said to me on many occasions, how proud he was of me, not only when I was successful; but when I lost or failed. He would say “It’s not if you win or lose its how you played the game”- of course he quickly followed with “Now get back out there and win the darn ballgame”. He also said, “You will be successful in any endeavor win or lose, as lessons are always learned from any experience- good or bad”. “Carry something good away from every experience.” Sometimes “it’s not how you get knocked down but how you get back up counts most in life”- another of his favorite sayings.

As I left the house one day, on a life’s adventure, I told my dad “Not to worry I would make him proud” his response remains with me to this day. “Don’t look to make me proud, make yourself proud first”. I had to think about that and what he meant… I know now, after being very proud of an accomplishment, and my actions. Also, not so proud of certain actions, decisions and things said (perhaps not said). I think what he meant was: If at the end of the day; you can look back on every action and effort you took or made, everything you did, said about yourself or about someone and can honestly say, I am proud of myself, my father would always be proud of me. Another favorite saying of his when he was unsure of how to advise me “always try to do the right thing”.

It’s been 10 years since I lost my father and I am jealous of you who have your father to personally honor and tell them Happy Father’s Day. So please do so. Since you have gone, my life as a father has been beautiful, interesting and at the same time challenging and difficult. I struggle daily to make myself proud, instilling in my children and others your words, “To make myself proud first”, always trying to do the right thing first, win or lose — now knowing thru this effort – you were always proud of me.

Happy Father’s Day dad!

Mike Layfield, DMH CEO,
Reprinted from DMH Newsletter.

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