“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother”.

~ Rev. Theodore Hesburgh ~

We don’t get re-dos as fathers gentlemen.

Very few men seem to realize that how we behave as a father has long range implications in our children’s future lives.

Children are a blessing and a gift. They can teach us a great deal about what kind of man we are and what kind of man we should become.

As fathers we are flawed from the beginning because we parent through our own experiences as children, some of them good, some of them bad. As fathers we should want to improve on what our children experience in life. As a father I knew what I needed to change in my children’s lives based on my own experiences as a child. I succeeded on some things and was unsuccessful in others. As my own father once told me, each generation of men are responsible for bringing improvements to what the family’s children experience.

It is true that one of the most important things a man can demonstrate to his children is the unconditional love he has for their mother. Unconditional means exactly what it means. Whether you’re still together as a couple or not, you need to be man enough to love her unconditionally. She is and always will be the mother of your children. Gentlemen you need to respect their mother. You need to respect her no matter what because your sons will learn how to treat women from your actions and interactions with their mother and your daughters will learn from you that they are to be treated with love and respect.

I have the deepest love and respect for the mother of my children.

I realize that “no matter what” can be a tall order gentlemen. This is where we separate men from real men.

As men and as fathers we also need to learn how to listen. If we can listen without trying to formulate a response while the other person is still talking, then we just might learn something from the person speaking to us. Many of us spend a great deal of time and energy arguing and trying to be right. But what happens after we are right?

Listen to your children. Listen to their mother. There is truth in their words.

I’ve still got a lot to learn.

I have always wanted my children to be proud of me. This has meant stepping up to the plate. This has meant me having to work on being a better person and a better man. It requires me to do constant soul-searching and work on my personal and spiritual development. How I conduct my life speaks volumes to my children. This means that my personal standards need to remain high at all times. This means not conducting myself in a selfish or foolish manner. This sometimes requires deep personal sacrifices. It is what a man does. It is what a father does.

My children are now in their twenties. My role as their father hasn’t diminished nor has it become less important in their lives. As a matter of fact how I conduct myself is just as important now. Especially now.

My Grandfather gave me a series of Maxims to live by decades ago.

They were written in 1830 and I believe are still valid today.

Here are the two that I think are the most relevant for Father’s day.

– Your character cannot be essentially injured, except by your own acts.

– If anyone speaks evil of you, let your life be so that none will believe him.

Simple truths to live by.

To my children Meg and Connor, I send my love to both of you. You are two extraordinary individuals who have enriched my life tremendously. I am so proud of who you are and who you have become.

I love you.