What Would You Tell Him?

12 Jul



letter This week fellow dad blogger Adam Dolgin at Fodder 4 Fathers (credit where credit is due) published a blogpost that, frankly, moved me. It started out innocently enough, a little experiment he ran on his blog’s Facebook page where he asked his followers “If you could go back in time and tell your father one thing before he had kids, what would it be?” The results were quite surprising, and moving — so much so that I’d like to try the same experiment with the DorkDaddy.com readers. (Try not to read Adam’s post until after you do the experiment. We don’t want to influence the results.)

In the comments section below this blog post, please answer the question:

If you could go back in time and tell your father one thing before he had kids, what would it be?

Be as open and honest as you can. You don’t even need to identify yourself if you aren’t comfortable doing so. But think back and imagine who that man was, or might have been. What is the one thing you would want him to hear before he had children? I will make sure that the comments section remains a safe place to share.

I am very interested in where your thoughts take you, and what you would have to say.


-Dork Dad

30 Responses to “What Would You Tell Him?”

  1. Little Bird's Dad July 12, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    I would tell my Dad: “Chill the frick out, and don’t get old so quick”.

  2. DiatribesAndOvations.com July 12, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    “Spend as much time as possible with your kids … and then another hour.”

  3. Escaping Elegance July 12, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    I also read Adam’s post… It is hard to believe that some people would rather not have been born than have the father they had. My advice would be not to change a thing – I have an amazing dad.

    My sister and I always came before work and still do. Even retired, he is extremely busy but everything gets dropped if we need him. Same for his grand-kids. My boys and my sister’s children know how much Grandpa loves them. He’ll take them for a day or the night and I never need worry that they’ll be bored! (This all goes for my mom too, of course!) I am very lucky to have parents that tell me they love me everyday – in words and actions.

  4. Allison July 12, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    If you leave at 3 years old, they won’t have a single memory of you, so I don’t know, maybe write them a letter or something.

  5. Anonymous July 12, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Life is short.

  6. Smash July 12, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    I would probably tell him “it’s okay to face things head on, don’t hide behind humour when things get serious. Talk with your kids, not at them.”

  7. morrighansmuse July 12, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    I’d tell him to spend more time with his children, who wanted more of his time than his money.

  8. Lisa Shaw July 12, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Love your kids. Spend time with them, listen to them, take an interest in who they are and what they do. Share your knowledge, your enthusiasms and, most importantly, your time with them. Be kind to them. Be gentle and patient and always on their side.

    Kids are not an interruption of your working life, they are the reason you work. Leave the office. Come home. You can’t go back later in life and make up the time you missed with your kids when they were young, so don’t waste a day.

    The parenting you got is no excuse for the parenting you give. You can make better choices than your parents did. Your kids are your living legacy in the world, not any of the work that you did. Nothing else you *ever* do will matter more than how you parent your children.

    There is no substitute for a father’s love, and the absence of it leaves a hole in the heart that nothing else can ever fill.

    Please, love your kids.

    • dorkdad July 12, 2013 at 11:54 am #

      “The parenting you got is no excuse for the parenting you give.”


  9. michaelmulholland July 12, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Daddyhood is tough,but hang in there and do your best…always!

  10. Kat July 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Instead of spending time at the tavern and in the basement guzzling beer, spend that time doing things with your family. It’s time that you’ll never get back.

  11. jeff markowitz July 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Even now, as I approach my sixty-first birthday, I can still say with pride, “When I grow up I want to be just like my Dad.” So I’m not sure I’d tell him much of anything. Except perhaps, to remember to enjoy every moment, because all too soon it’s all too late.

  12. LadyBird Magpie of Parkdale July 12, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    I don’t think I would tell him anything. I would ask him questions. What was it like when you were a kid? What were you like as a teenager? How did you….why did you…what were my grandparents like?

    My dad died just before I turned 15– my father’s day post this year was about the characteristics I *think* inherited from him. The truth is that I just don’t know how I’m like him, and telling him something wouldn’t change that. Asking questions would probably afford me the most gains.

  13. Anonymous July 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Make the time to go to your kids sports and dance events and play.I know you are busy and worried about paying for kids education and you will do a great job taking care of us and loving us. We would just like to share more time with you, please try and make the time.

  14. Father of Dork July 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    be the father you will be, your son

  15. Dreams July 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    I would tell him that it’s okay if you don’t spend time with your first set of kids as long as you make it up to the second set. I would tell him the future. How he gets divorced after ten years of marriage and two kids to marry a younger woman and have two kids with her. How it would be to hard too hard to stay involved in the lives of his older children and not be interested in what kind of adults they became. But it’s okay because his first wife was the best mother who was able to take care of his older children and raise human beings that grew up with a lot of love from other people.

    • Mom of Dork July 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

      You are going to be wonderful father because you will live with love. You, along with their mother, will raise two loving, well adjusted children. Your children will then raise your 5 grandchildren well because you both will be just the right kind of roll models. Enjoy your life now, it will be short and you will be missed by those whom you loved so well.

      • Dreams July 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

        Thank you for your kind words.

  16. Anonymous July 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    If you want kids, have them. But be aware that they will want to spend time with you. Don’t waste this time trying to earn money. Spend it with your kids. They don’t need a fancy house or even a fancy education as much as they need your presence. Be there for them -physically and emotionally. Making kids is the easy bit.

  17. yellowragelingerie July 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Next time wear a condom.

  18. Mr. E July 12, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    A great question!

    I would say “Follow your dreams and don’t get caught up with a controlling woman (my mother)”. I can’t say I care much for my father which is another story but I do feel sorry for him, now 75, that he wasn’t able to do what he should have because of his controlling mother and marrying a manipulating woman. Any hint of the same in my relationships makes me run in the opposite direction. I’m not sure how good that is either.

  19. traciemcbride July 12, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    When you get to around 60, and you’re justifiably proud of the excellent shape you’re in, but you start getting these niggling pains, and the doctor tells you it’s just indigestion…it’s not. Get that second opinion IMMEDIATELY.

  20. апостол Бааз July 13, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    That’s what I would say to his father guy who is interested in such a preliminary answer: – Dad, before you make babies, do not forget that the children are beautiful and high quality are obtained only when you get married for real love and, necessarily a virgin. If not, then your son will think you’re a jerk.
    With kind regards Dr. Baaz

  21. zeudytigre July 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Be yourself, you will be great. Just don’t be afraid to talk to your kids. And allow them to be themselves. Trust them to be themselves; they will turn out just fine 🙂

  22. Jennie O July 13, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

    I’d say, “thanks.”

  23. puppy1952 July 18, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Trusty your instincts and don’t rely on others to tell you how to raise your kids. You will be a great dad.

  24. Saronai July 21, 2013 at 3:20 am #

    I would choose not to go at all. There would be so many things I’d want to say to him, and if I went back, I probably would end up saying them all before storming away in my TARDIS (I’ve decided this is how I’m going). Unfortunately, they are all things that might be potentially life altering for me. Some of them might actually fix traumas I’ve experienced in the past, but then mess up my wonderful present in my son and husband. I don’t want to jeopardize that, even if I could get him to stop the event that’s saddled me with post traumatic stress disorder.

    I would totally make The Doctor take me somewhere else though. Time travel (unlike bow ties) is cool.

    If I could be assured I’d still have my son and husband when I got back to my time though, and the wonderful life I have now (or better, and with them)…meh, I already said all those things to my dad over a year ago and it was a mess, I can’t imagine it going any better when he’s younger. I’d just go back and visit my great grandma instead. I have so many questions for her and not enough answers from family.

    • Saronai July 21, 2013 at 3:23 am #

      Her, I’d do whatever I could to get her to tell me all about her life while I sat and just listened for hours. I’ve never met her but I feel this strong connection to her all the same…like I have met her and never really said goodbye.


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