Good Fathers

“Daughters of Reddit Who Have a Great Relationship with Their Father, What Did He Do Raising You that Enabled Your Relationship to Stay Close to This Day?”

1) Podaroo wrote this:

“My dad is the best. It’s hard to put a finger on why or how, but here are some concrete things that he did that I think would work across the board:

“He read to us. When my sister and I were little, both of our parents read to us a lot. But my dad had a ritual where he’d read us a chapter (or two) of a book every night. We read The Hobbit, a biography of the mathematician and electrical engineer Charles Steinmetz, The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs, Just So Stories, so many Doctor Dolittle books … It was great. Not only did it foster a love of reading in both of us, but there are passages of certain books that I still hear in my father’s voice, with the sense memory of snuggling up warm against him in my parents’ big bed and feeling the vibrations of his voice in his chest.

“He was kind. He wasn’t perfect, he wasn’t always patient, and sometimes he lost his temper, but he was gentle and he was nice. That goes a long way.

“He obviously loves and respects our mother. Not every marriage is as happy as theirs is, but I think that even if things are sh[*]tty, you can try to model behaviors like listening to your partner/co-parent, keeping any intra-parental conflicts out of children’s view, and generally giving your children a sense that they are the product of two good people who are really happy that they’re here.

“He was honest. Obviously, how honest and about what depends on the ages of your children. But he would always answer any questions I brought to him, and when I brought up topics that in retrospect were maybe a little embarrassing or alarming, he’d treat them like perfectly reasonable things for a dad to be talking about with his daughter. Be it bad gas or bisexuality or overly adult literature.

“He made time for us. My dad and I went for a walk together every night when I was in high school. Summer or winter, rain (or snow) or shine. Sometimes we’d just go around the block. It was nice.

“We ate dinner together. Every night at dinner we’d talk about things we were reading or what we were doing in school or even the weather. We had a set of encyclopedias, and my sister and I would look things up to settle arguments. It was nice. 

“We did things together. My dad’s very musical, and so’s my sister. They’d play the piano and sing in the evening, and sometimes I’d play, too. I played stand-up bass and my sister plays violin, so we’d play string quartets with my dad covering the other two parts on the piano. We’d go outside and look at planets through his telescope. He taught me how to program and my sister how to take photographs. Looking back, it feels like he involved us in pretty much all of his hobbies.

“He was there. One of the things I loved as a kid was the feeling of all of us in the house, doing our own thing. We had school and activities, and both our parents worked and were involved in local politics and other things, but even if we weren’t together all the time, when I look back it feels like we were. I think the trick is having those touchstones like dinner and books and walks that add up to a feeling of unity.

“And don’t worry if you make mistakes. I was far from a perfect kid, and I’m far from a perfect adult. Sometimes I wish my parents had been stricter with me, and like anyone I have memories of them saying things that hurt or were unfair. But don’t get bogged down in that. Go for the broad strokes. Try to be good to your daughters. Let them know that you love them for who they are. Be there when they need you, as much as you can. You’ll do fine.”

2) helluvabella wrote this:

“I love my dad. He has always been my hero and now he is one of my closest friends (I’m 30). I think there are a lot of reasons, but I think the most important is how we communicate(d). He never talked down to me and always encouraged open conversation about topics. He was my homework help, we did science experiments together including brewing beer, which I thought was so cool at 8, we talked about current events and watched the news together … and he always considered my opinion … to this day, if I have a hard issue at work or in my personal life, he is always my sounding board and I value his advice over anyone. He takes the time to learn about what is important to me. I have a hobby he didn’t know anything about and he asks all kinds of questions so we can talk about it. I will be totally honest, though, in that much of my respect for my dad is because he is an outstanding human. He has a PhD and two masters degrees. He was a true Indiana Jones archeologist until I was born (he didn’t want to travel that much), so he became a futures trader and took my mom and me on the majority of his business trips. He is thoughtful and kind and a wonderful teacher. We always did charity work together when I was growing up and now that he is retired he works with a number of charities. One of my best memories with him is when I (now also in finance) had just taken my first CFA exam and he and I sat and shared a great brandy. It was the first time I felt like his equal and that was worth every ounce of work I had ever done. 

“I could talk about my dad forever, but if people reading this have one take away it’s that, regardless of how smart he is, he always treats people with kindness and does his best to meet them on whatever level they are at intellectually when having a conversation. I think kids are smarter than they get credit for and being talked to like an adult, but using language and concepts they understand, will make the relationship you have long term better.”

3) HAPPY_FLAPPY_BUTT wrote this:

“My dad adored my mom. I loved my mommy and thus I loved everyone else who loved her, too! I loved how he would always go out of his way to make her feel special. Peas in a pod they were. He loved talking about her and would include me in secret plans to make her happy. That made me feel really good, really safe. Their love for one another overflowed and filled up the whole house. Home was a loving safe place where mistakes were learning tools and people were loved for being themselves. 

“As for my father/daughter relationship, it was just filled with neat little things that were just between us. Midnight chats, power tools, using a t-shirt as a message board, and he would cry laughing from my stupid jokes. He made me feel like I was capable of something uniquely special. And he truly believed I was talented and one-of-a-kind. He was my biggest cheerleader! He believed I could do ANYTHING! 

“I gave his eulogy, about five years ago. I wish he could have met my sons. 

“E: My Dad would be telling all his friends right now about how his baby girl got a ‘GOLD’ from a STRANGER on the Internet all because I wrote about him. I can hear it now: 

“‘Well, she writes comments on a website called Reddit. I guess it’s really popular. One time she wrote one of the best comments and it was about me (she exaggerates, A LOT) and it was so good that someone put a gold star by it. Those things are rare! She’s always been good at writing.’

“And then he would continue to brag about me because he loved telling strangers how awesome all his kids were. Thanks, Internet stranger! Go call your Dad before it’s too late!

“I just wrote this in a comment further down:

“Here’s a story Mom told me about him that made me cry.

“He had back surgery to fix lordosis [a curvature of the spine] and his lower vertebrae were all fused together and fused to his pelvis. So he couldn’t stand up properly and walked a bit funny. When he was dating Mom (whom he always claimed was so far out of his league), one day Mom confessed that she had to break up with him. She said she couldn’t get past how he walked and the way his back looked had just got to be a deal breaker for her.

“He took a moment … frowned … and then smiled at her and said, ‘If that’s the only thing you can find wrong with me, then you’ve just made my day!’ And he turned around and walked out on her.

“After that Mom cried for two days and realized how great he was and how stupid she was for breaking up with someone over such a superficial reason. She went and begged to have him back. They were married for almost 30 years!”

Source: Dubscitygx2, “[Serious] Daughters of Reddit who have a great relationship with their father, what did he do raising you that enabled your relationship to stay close to this day?” AskReddit. 5 February 2018



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