Updated: Apr 20
Let me ask you this. Who do you look up to? Not in a literal sense obviously, but who in your life inspires you, really? I’m not talking about someone living in your timeline, I’m referring to someone that has a presence in your life?
My dad is my hero, he's the person that inspires me. I’ve not seen him for a long time as he lives in Cape Town with my mum and I’m in London with my family, but I think of him constantly and we talk often.
He’s the type of dad every child would want to grow up with. I think back fondly of everything he did for us when my sisters and I were just kids ourselves and all the fun we used to have. The weekends away, the camping trips, the Sunday drives, the surprise treats and of course the fishing expeditions - those were the best! The joy it brought me, running along the beaches in Cape Town, pumping worms and prawns for fish bait with my dad. We'd spend weekends away, sleeping rough in his 4x4, exploring Cape Agulhas, where two oceans meet, catching fish with his friends, all weekend - what a great time it was!
It takes someone special to be a dad as the saying goes. He was not just a provider, a caregiver, a protector, a pillar of strength, a teacher, a philosopher, a maths genius and a friend, but he also taught humility. He is like the world-class footballer who credits the team for the success of a game even though he’s skill alone won the result. The quality of being humble and having modesty is always something that I admired about him.
The pandemic means we were unable to see him and the family this year, but oh well, c'est la vie. I've got stories for days about how humble he is in everyday life, but I won’t go into too much, however, I will share this. He once invited a boy, begging in the streets, to have dinner with us at the family table, not many people would do that. He used to pick up stray animals and nurse them back to health - this is the role model I have in my life.
"I dedicate this story to him and all the dads out there doing what's required to care for their families."
I don't want to get overly sentimental, but I feel truly blessed. The connection we share is unwavering, even being 5,000 miles away I feel as close to him as I ever have.
I’ve got to tell you though, he didn't just allow me to just get away with everything. If I'd done something wrong, there would be a consequence. He sorted me out once when I bunked a study session for a major exam and chose to go on a jolly with my friends instead, he was absolutely furious when he found out. I thought he was going to take my head off and he is built solid, like a brick house. If you didn't know him you may be slightly intimidated, he is a gentle giant really.
Where’s this all going?
The world takes a special day to honour and appreciate fathers, but honestly, you need more than just one day to remember and connect with your dad, plus it would be remiss of me to write a dad blog and not mention my own father - so I dedicate this story to him and all the dads out there doing what's required to care for their families. With that in mind, I want to share a few reasons why fathers are so important and the benefits they bring.
Keep You Grounded and Offer Protection
When I lashed out at my mum a couple times as a teenager, he would keep me in check and reminded me to be more considerate and thoughtful towards her, obviously he would say it in his own stern way. Even more so, research suggests a rather surprising link between fathers and delinquent behaviour in children. Studies show that paternal involvement correlates with a lower incidence of unlawful behaviour especially when it comes to some of the risk factors teens face such as truancy, alcohol, drugs, etc.
"Honesty, thankfulness and humility for example are some things that fathers teach their kids so they can have good lives and a positive influence on people around them"
Dads Influence Their Children’s Relationships
A father’s connection with his children sets a standard for their relationships with others. Taking my own experience into account, having two cheeky boys - sons tend to model themselves after their father’s character. They pick up signals on how men are meant to behave, and they seek approval from their dads from a young age.
Daughters, on the other hand, depend on their fathers for emotional support and security. I grew up in a house with 3 sisters, so I can tell you this is true as a matter of fact, my sisters genuinely treated him like he was a teddy bear and would seek his protection whenever they were scared - especially when they were young, but that changed as they got older. The daughter's connection with their dads is fundamental for how girls will relate with other men in their lives and they may look for men who share similar qualities as their dads, but evidently, this may not always be true in some cases.
Leading by Example
A good father imparts good lessons to his kids. Honesty, thankfulness and humility for example are some things that fathers teach their kids so they can have good lives and a positive influence on people around them (Insert my story about the beggar & being an animal lover here) He will lead by example instead of lecturing his children on one thing and then doing something completely the opposite. Kids are very perceptive and will understand what adults are communicating to them in speech and more so in their actions.
Being Boisterous Comes With It’s Rewards
While mums tend to focus on their children’s well-being and safety. They encourage their kids to play safe and rarely push them to take on new risks. It is different with dads, they are more inclined to be firmer with their kids especially sons from a young age and it does have a range of benefits. I can generally count on my dad for anything, but one day I took his brand new Mitsubishi 4x4 then went out with my friends for the night. He didn't know I had taken it and I had lost the keys. He refused to help me when I called him and he said I needed to sort it out myself since it was my decision to take his car without asking in the first place. Experiences like that help you to deal with your own troubles and teaches you how to be more responsible. I’m sure if I was in some other danger and I needed his help, he would do what he can, without question.
Champion and Family Man
My dad had his weekends away, he enjoyed a social life and worked very hard too, but he balanced his busy schedule to be there for his family when needed. I always remember the times he was present and the great things we did, those memories will last a lifetime. Dads are guardians who ensure that the right values are ingrained in his children. They teach their kids how being brave can be used in times of misfortune or how not to compromise beliefs to please others. They are the protectors behind strong and confident children.
Let us know something great about your dad you’d like to share!