Three Things My Dad Taught Me About Fatherhood


As dads, we’ve got plenty of things to keep us up at night. Worrying about financial protection for our families doesn’t need to be one of them.

Unfortunately, fathering doesn't come with an instruction manual. Much of our learning comes from trial and error, observing others, and the example our own parents set for us.

As a dad of two school-age daughters, I’m realizing just how much of my parenting style was learned from my own dad.

1. Attitude is Everything

Growing up, my dad was a full-time school teacher AND farmer which led to some pretty long days. Imagine getting up at 4:30 a.m. on a -20 degree Minnesota morning to tend to a sick cow, do chores and plow away the new snow drifts that blew in overnight. And that was before heading out for a full day of teaching, coming home to more farm chores, and then spending some quality time with us kids before tucking us into bed.

But when you asked him about his day, he’d talk about how great it was to get up on a crisp, clear morning, how beautiful the snow was by starlight before the sun came up, and a story about something great one of his students did that day.

As a kid, I saw my dad choose to view even the mundane chores of life as opportunities to learn, have fun, or appreciate the beauty of the world around him. It’s inspired me to set the same example for my girls.

2. Kids Will - And Should - Mess Up

We've all heard the term helicopter parent. Try as we might, we all get into helicopter mode once in awhile. It’s a natural instinct to try and protect our kids from the scary things in life: getting hurt, making bad decisions, or generally going down the “wrong path.”

Growing up, my dad got to see me do some pretty dumb and irresponsible things. And often (as long as my life wasn't in danger) he’d let me. He knew that making mistakes—getting a little bruised—was a chance to learn and grow. And when I messed up, he’d be there to talk through it and what I might do differently next time.

It’s still hard for me to let my kids mess up, but I’m getting better at it…

3. Sleep Well at Night

I've spent my whole career in the financial services industry so I am hard pressed to let a blog post go by without incorporating a bit of financial wisdom.

In this case, it’s a pretty easy link; my dad did a lot of financially-smart things for our family. Knowing that farming (and life in general) can be dangerous, having adequate life and disability insurance in place was incredibly important. He said he slept better knowing that we’d be taken care of if something ever happened to him.

When my first daughter was on the way, I followed his example by putting additional life and disability protection in place for my own growing family. It’s helped me sleep better, too.

As dads, we've got plenty of things to keep us up at night. Worrying about financial protection for our families doesn't need to be one of them. Protect your family. Get insured. Sleep well.

Written by Ryan Hahler

This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).

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