Growing up everyone was scared of my Dad. He was loud and macho and he would put the fear of God into you if he needed to. Talk about scaring your children (and their friends) straight. All that being said, he is one of the people in my life that I respect the most. And personally, I believe that a little “fear of Dad” is a good thing for kids – it was one heck of a motivator!
My Dad retired as a Lieutenant Colonel (Air Force), a proud member of the Skullbangers (190th) Fighter Squadron, after 28 years of military service. My Dad’s strength, and sacrifices taught me the definition of character. He taught me what honor means. He taught me that without your word, what you say means nothing. So, you always have to do what you say you’re going to do – because your word, and your life, depend on your actions matching those words.
When we were little we had this routine we used to do together. It went like this:
Dad would ask, “Why do I love you my daughter?”
My peppy, unwavering response always came swiftly, “Because I am a good, honest, loving, caring person with lots and lots of character and integrity.”
This seemingly small thing we did with our Dad when we were little, unknowingly shaped my life and my beliefs about personal responsibility. I didn’t know what that phrase meant as I was churning it out at 5 years old. But, as I aged I came to an ever-increasing awareness of just how much weight those words held.
We (myself and my little brother) have been raised to always do the right thing irrespective of personal consequences (way easier said than done sometimes). We have been taught that there is no such thing as an excuse. And to some people this upbringing may seem harsh but, it helped shape my brother and I both into contributing members of society. We have a solid foundation and a great work ethic. We understand what manual labor means. We know that our choices will have consequences, one way or another – and we own those consequences.
I am grateful for the lessons I learned at a young age.
My Dad is a man who stands for something, and he taught us how to stand on our own two feet as well. He taught us how to fight for what we believe in, how to stand our ground.
We are thankful to have been shown that strength can come from within yourself, and from the love of your family. We are blessed to have grown up in a loving home that takes personal responsibility seriously.
We are grateful to have had parents that taught us what integrity stands for.
I am honored to have a Dad, who is a Professional Badass.
Let’s get REAL about the decreased responsibility expected from children.
Let’s get uncomfortable and discuss how we as adults can help our kids be proud of their REAL accomplishments.