The kind I never had myself.
Learning how to be a good parent was easy in the end because I’d basically had the What Not To Do manual.
— David Cassidy
My Dad Wasn’t My Friend
I’d like to start off by saying that my Father was exactly the kind of dad a kid like me needed. I had a tremendous amount of energy when I was a kid and I was definitely on the mischievous side.
Therefore, my dad wasn’t able to be my friend. I never gave him that opportunity. My Dad always had to be the disciplinarian. Somebody had to teach me right from wrong and be a good role model for me. My dad was fantastic at doing exactly that.
He always preached doing the right thing and he led by example. My Father is still to this day highly-respected in our South Indian community. The man has always been a strong leader and voice of reason.
My Dad Wasn’t The Type Of Dad I Wanted — He Was The Type Of Dad I Needed
I also lacked focus as a kid (what kid doesn’t?) And so my Dad always tried to steer me in the right direction.
I never appreciated him enough when I was growing up.
I wanted a Dad who coddled me and told me he loved me so often that it was annoying.
I also wanted a Dad that I felt comfortable talking to about tough topics. Things like girls, peer pressure, drinking alcohol and doing drugs. I desperately wanted to tell my dad how bored I was in school. I should’ve told him about the full extent of the bullying I was dealing with as well.
He had no idea how bad it really was.
I should’ve told my dad about how when I was 12-years-old, I seriously contemplated killing myself. Between the bullying, the bad grades I was getting in school, and the lack of communication between me and my parents, life was unbearable for me.
Yes, I was just a kid, but there were several times during that year that I didn’t want to be around anymore, for anyone. I should’ve told my dad that because he probably would’ve listened to me and showed me compassion. I just never gave him a chance to be that person for me.
My dad wasn’t able to be involved in my life all that much when I was growing up because he was busy working 70-90 hours a week at his job so that our family could live a remotely decent life.
My dad wasn’t around to have these types of conversations with me because he was trying to provide for his family, whom he loves more than anything else in life. It just took me a long time to understand that and to stop resenting him for missing out on so many things that were important to me during this time.
That was my dad. He’ll always be my hero.
I Want To Be Different And Do Even Better
When the time comes for me to start my own family, I’d like to be different and hopefully even better. If that’s even possible, but I’d like to try.
Communication will be key.
I want my kids to feel comfortable talking to me about anything. When they believe they can trust me, I can help them through good times and bad times in their life. I can stop a problem before it even happens. I know that would’ve been the case for me when I was a kid.
I won’t be their buddy, I’ll still be their parent but I don’t want to preach to them. I don’t want to hit them with the “because I said so.” I hated hearing that line when I was growing up. It always made me resentful and made me want to rebel against my parents even more. Therefore, I’d like to explain the consequences of certain actions so that my kids understand the good and bad of what could happen to them when they make certain choices.
That’s the thing, I want my kids to have choices.
I want them to believe in themselves and trust their instincts. They need to know that I won’t be around forever, so they need to become good at making the right decisions for their own life.
I also want to be heavily involved in my kids’ lives. I’d like to be at every game, dance recital, band concert, and whatever other activities my kids happen to be involved with. I want them to be able to look out into the audience and see me cheering for them. I always want to be cheering for them, because someday I might not have the ability to do that anymore.
Life is too damn short.
I Want To Play A Small Part In My Kids Living A Good Life
Through love, empathy, communication, and respect, I’d like to help my kids live the type of life they want to live.
Hopefully, they’ll turn out great and be fantastic individuals that contribute a great deal to our society.
I’d like to play a small part in that. When it’s all said and done, I want my kids to have the type of relationship with me that I yearned for so long to have with my own dad.
My dad and I have a fantastic relationship now. We have a great deal of respect and empathy towards each other. My dad and I love being around each other now and have an extremely open line of communication. We’re brutally honest with one another too. I love it.
But it took 26 years to finally cultivate that relationship.
I won’t let that be the case for my own kids.
From day 1, I’ll be working to develop a strong bond with my kids. As long as I’m still breathing, I want them to know that their dad wants nothing more than for them to live a good life. Whatever that may mean to them.
See you soon Logan and Jasmine. Dad can’t wait.