What I learned from my Dad about being a Dad

in life •  11 months ago


My Dad wasn't a bad guy. He just wasn't very good at expressing emotion. Like so many men of his generation, and countless millions before and since, he didn't do affection.

It is one of my great regrets that I didn't push past that barrier and make it happen. Because these things can change. For example, as a family we didn't really express affection either. But after Dad died I made a conscious effort to tell my brothers and sister, and my Mum, that I love them at the end of every phone call. And after a bit it came back to me.

And now, sometimes my daughter asks me to tell her a story that always makes her sad. And I realised this morning that it's part of the story about the last act of physical affection I got from my Dad - years and years before he died.

As a kid, I must have felt the lack of affection from him pretty strongly, and I must have noticed that Dad was more physically affectionate with our dog than with me. Pats. Tummy rubs. You know the kind of thing.

So one day, I must have been around 8 years old, maybe 9, I started acting like a doggie around my Dad. For a while it worked, too. Pats and occasional cuddles. I remember feeling incredibly happy at these moments.

But then one day, to his credit, he told me he liked having his little boy around too. And maybe it was time to stop the dog routine. (that's not the way he put it - but it's the way I interpreted what he said. I was literally devastated.

And that day. That very minute, was the last time I was ever touched affectionately by my father.

I don't know how I feel about this now. Except that I know that I want to do better, be better, for my daughter. I want to model the kind of man who can be strong and affectionate, loving, caring and compassionate.

I feel so sorry for the countless men who, because of some borked social norm inherited from history, never learnt how to express love, or to truly get to know their kids. Or, probably, their wives.

Men like my Dad.

May all beings be happy.

Picture courtesy of pixabay.com



@drwom footer by the awesome @ryivhnn !!


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An interesting post, and one I can relate to, like I'm sure a lot of people can.

That being said, as an adult, and no longer a child, I see it very differently.

My Dad was a good man, but not affectionate. (not including his doggies lol)

But you know what? - He got out of bed every morning, worked 7 days a week, and never took a penny from his earnings.

It all went back into the family. No complaints, no whining.

For decades.

Which has more real value?

That - or someone who tells you how much they love you, as they head out to meet their mates?

Expression of love can come in many forms, and to put into into the box we have been sold on what love 'is' does a massive disservice to people who love just as much - but don't express it according to the standards that 'Cosmopolitan' has set down as 'the right way', for the last 50 years...

....just sayin'...


True that.
Thanks for the shot of "tell it like it is" perspective. 'Cause when you say it like that, my Dad was exactly the same. Worked hard, never complained and it all went into the family.

Certainly something to ponder here.

Thanks mate.

This is exactly like my dad, i just hope i end up like that..wouldn't want my children to go through the same thing i did.



We can be whatever we want to be.

Great writing skill @drwom... I learn from my dad many things. But one of the best learn is prepare for each moment to be a learning moment.


What a great lesson. I reckon that's worth a post, and if you do I would love to read it.
Thank you.

This is quite a touching story. It's a good thing that you do show your love to your family now.

At times, we always take for granted on the people that we truly care about.

Thanks for sharing this. I'm touched. ^^


I like that a lot. Thanks :)


You're welcome. Enjoyed the read. ^^

my dad wasn't very good at expressing emotion too, i think men are not good at expressing their mood when they became a father, i cant feel it



Hahaha #punkisdad - you should trademark that :-)

I think men can break out of the old mould though. I reckon it's worth it.

If my sons will look at me when they are grown up, like how I look at my dad, I can consider my life partly successful.
My dad is always there for me and my sis, like he is always there for his grandchildren. No asked question is to much. Maybe he did not always shown his affection but actions proves more love than words.
Now, I am a dad myself, I respect him even more. He had so much patience with us, a lot more than I have with my kids. He is my role model! Nobody comes even close to him!


Nice - thanks.

Patience with kids - now there's a role model :-)