This is a Guest Post by Brandi and Brandon Duncan for our Father’s Day Memories Series 2012.
Brandi and I grew up in much different households with often-differing values and traditions. But, regardless of these differences, we also had several similarities. With Father’s Day approaching, we decided to write this from the perspective of the similar things we learned from our dads. Here are the top five things that two very different people taught us: (in no particular order)
Both of our dads are hard workers. Brandi’s dad has always been more of a hands-on type of person working in maintenance, oil rigs, and construction type jobs. Mine was military for 30 years, then moved on to technology and communications based jobs. Regardless of the field, both have unsurpassed work ethic, and they both taught us that you work for what you want and don’t take handouts.
A friend in need…
Both of our dads would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it. This is certainly a dying quality in people these days. The funniest thing about them both, though, is while they would do anything for you; it may not have always been the things you thought you needed at that time. Both seemed to have an uncanny knack for knowing what was better for you in the long term rather than the short. It made us both appreciate the “Teach a man to fish…” adage.
Be open-minded and never judge
This is certainly a lesson that we all need to continue to pass down. Neither of our dads judged people at face value. Bigotry had no place, though both of them came from a time when it was a common practice. Our kids face a much more diverse society than even we did growing up, but we continue to reinforce that a person is a person regardless of their sexual preference, color, religion, or where they live.
Manners will get you everywhere. Granted, where Brandi’s dad is from, “yes, sir/ma’am” is expected (and enforced, even in schools) and that was not the case in my home, both of our dads insisted on showing respect to others and you treat people how they should be and how you would want to be treated yourself. Surprisingly enough both of them used the phrase “always be invited back”—something we both still use today. Our kids know that they are to act not only right, but also in such a way that the other parent would not hesitate to have them over again.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
One of the most endearing qualities in both of our dads is that neither takes their self very serious. Both have the mentality that you work hard and you make the time to play hard. Beyond making it a rule that you enjoy your life, they both agreed that you can’t let the little things in life get to you. After all, if you stress about the little things, what are you going to do when faced with something big? More than that, they both taught us that some things you just can’t avoid, so find a way to fix it rather than focusing on how bad it is at the moment. (I believe mine once uttered that “a bill never killed anyone”—very true.)
There you have it—two very different dads who instilled very similar values into their kids. Brandi and I are thankful for these lessons and are adamant about passing them to our kids. And, both of us will admit that it sure is nice to hear how well-behaved and good our kids have been when they return from somewhere. We must be doing something right.
In closing, Brandi and I want to thank Raul, Lucy, and the rest of the Papa Heroes team for the opportunity to guest post on their wonderful blog. We look forward to watching it continue to grow and continue to be a great resource for parents in the fight for online safety and good parenting for our kids.
Thanks to Team Duncan for submitting this post. You can find Brandi (@DuncanBrandi) and Brandon (@BrandonPDuncan) here: