Father's Day is over for this year, but that doesn't mean a dad's day is over - just like the ladies like to say that mom's deserve more than just one day - we both do. Men in our society have a tough position - we are supposed to be the rugged protectors, breadwinners, warriors but also the optimistic guardians of our family and treasure. This isn't to diminish what our better halfs also go through, but it's important to not just celebrate our roles one day each year but to appreciate and respect the challenges that we face throughout the year. This goes not just for "dad" but for all men living in a family since even for those without children the roles are similar.
Part of what I love about mancations and guys weekends is that they are not only about travel and partying with your peers, but especially intergenerational adventures are a great opportunity for you to share life lessons with those younger than yourself. It can also be a great opportunity for parents, grandparents, and uncles to learn from us as well. After all, the trick of looking for pancake bubbles is magic to a five year old learning to cook for the first time is just as mind blowing of a revelation as being able to text a photo for your grandfather.
With that in mind, here are some lessons from dad that I remember being shared with me ...
How to Watch the Wind and Use it to Go Fast
Like many lessons, this one is pretty complex since it involves machines (ropes / winches), science (meteorology), strength, and skills that can only be learned by doing. If you were to be dropped in a bay and told to sail home - you would NEVER be able to do it. However, with a little guidance from dad, things start to come together, skills build on each other, and suddenly you can harness a light breeze to fly across the water. Just like in life, sailing is about harnessing and exploiting the resources you've been given by nature and man.
Watch the Bubbles in Your Pancakes to Tell When to Flip
Ok, so this may be basic to many of you reading this but knowing when to flip a pancake is a REALLY BIG DEAL. As a kid I remember the excitement of cooking breakfast in the morning with my dad and surprising mom. It was fun and it was a time to bond. If you guys don't know what I am talking about here, you need to watch the edge of the pancake and flip once bubbles are formed and the edges start to curl a little bit. If you go sooner it will be a mess ... and if you wait too long you'll have a blackened mess on one side.
The Importance of Saving Money
I've had some pretty awesome experiences in my life and while many I get through writing - others I have to pay for. Saving money is one of those key areas that a dad can help his kids understand. This can start with things as basic as an allowance and a piggy bank to save up for "big things". It seems like today kids expect to be given everything and the stuff they want is expensive. It took me a long time to save up for my car and even things as basic as my deposit on the loft. Without saving money you'll never get there.
How to Spend Money Smartly
Equally important to saving money is learning how to spend money smartly. This is something I am still struggling with and it is the key to success in business as it is in personal life. The key here is knowing how to get a good deal for services and product you purchase - but also when to do things yourself and when someone else is better suited to doing it for you.
Mowing the Lawn In Patterns
Raise your hand if you just mow your lawn in the same circle or lines every time! Did you know that it's better to switch up the patterns periodically (or every time)? I didn't either at first.
Apparently that way the grass will grow stronger, instead of being pushed in one direction and clippings will be spread in different directions rather than piling up.
How to Shuck and Oyster
Finally, this is one of the greatest lessons from dad that you can ever learn since it encompasses so many others. In our family, eating oysters was something that was social over beers (or root beers!), it's a test of strength and strategy, but it's also a chance to talk about the proper use of knives.