Lessons From My Dad

It is Father’s Day and as I get ready to go off and visit my Dad, I am reflecting on the many lessons he has passed on to my sister and me.

My sister and I often talk about how our Dad is a practical man. As kids we sometimes complained because everyone else had stuff before we did – air conditioning and microwaves come to mind. Those lessons of not living beyond our means and saving up for the things we wanted are embedded in us today.

Since my Dad was a teacher, we had the awesome opportunity to pack up our van each summer and head off on adventures across North America. The family, which included our beloved dog Finch, experienced so many adventures. Here is us having a typically Canadian experience. Research shows that spending money on experiences rather than objects increases happiness so my Dad was ahead of his time there.

He also prioritized our futures and made sure that we had choices in terms of education. My ability to earn a Master’s degree (and more importantly not have years of student loans) was directly a result of my Dad’s hard work and good budgeting. And as much as he might have hoped I would pursue something more practical, he gladly supported my decision to major in history.

So my Dad taught us many of the things that men of his generation did – to put family first, to work hard, and to save for things you want.

For me, however, the greatest thing about my Dad is his quiet confidence that he modeled and passed on to us.

One story illustrates his confidence in me so beautifully. A few years after my divorce I decided to sell the condo I had bought with my ex husband and to buy my first condo on my own. I asked my parents to be a part of this journey to offer both emotional and practical support.

As I was meeting with my real estate agent to discuss all the financial aspects of the sale, my Dad sat quietly by my side. My Mom asked him afterwards why he didn’t say anything during the meeting. His reply was that he was there in case I needed him, but I didn’t because I knew exactly what to do.

My Dad has always made me believe that I am smart and capable of doing anything I want. In that time, which was a very challenging one, he was there by my side – quietly supporting me but letting me be my own woman. This story warms my heart because it shows his true essence. He is a man who loves his daughters and wants the best for them. But also one who taught them to stand on their own two feet. I believe in myself because he has always believed in me.

Thank you to my Dad and Happy Father’s Day to him and all the men who are raising their kids with quiet confidence.

© 2012, Janice Cunning. All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this posting if you include my contact information. Please contact me if you wish to reprint any portion of it in any periodical or on a website

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About Janice Cunning

As a certified coach and fundraiser, I am passionate about partnering with people and teams to increase their personal and professional Joy Quota.

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