27 People Share the Positive Lessons They Learned From Their Fathers

I feel very fortunate that I have a great dad who was always a positive role model and who taught my siblings and I to do the right thing.

The older I get, the more I realize how lucky I am, because a lot of people have bad fathers or no fathers at all.

In this article, people talk about the most important lessons they learned from their dads.

Here’s what AskReddit users had to say.

1. Exactly!

“Be kind, be polite, and saying you’ll be somewhere “on time” means 10 minutes early.”

2. The world is crazy.

“My favorite quote came from the early 2000’s.

He died 11 years ago.

“If the way this world works ever starts to make sense to you, you need to start worrying about yourself.””

3. Be curious.


Just being eager to learn how stuff works, in general. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, I just like to observe things and wonder things about them (might sound banal but a lot of people seem to lack this).”

4. Be kind.

“My dad taught me to always be kind.

Kindness isn’t loud, it doesn’t need to be stated.

It should just be inherent in everything you do.

You don’t have to like everyone or treat them well if they don’t treat you well, but you should try to approach everyone with the same kindness you’d wish they’d give you.”

5. Can’t please everyone.

“You’re going to disappoint/offend someone no matter what you do.

So if you know you’re doing the right thing, don’t let these people get to you.

I never thought I’d have to follow his advice for him.”

6. Words of wisdom.

“To always do what is honest. Never cheat, never try and get one- over on anybody, keep your word, show respect to everybody.

Family as a priority. Time and effort.

Words don’t need to wasted. Don’t talk for the sake of hearing your own voice. Speech has power, use it responsibly. Especially if it involves a good pun.

Education is everything.

Always lend a hand if you can.”

7. Don’t panic.

“My dad was in Vietnam as an infantryman. He has seen some sh*t. Growing up, whenever the situation called for it, he would always say “Never panic. If you panic, you’re dead.” I always thought he was exaggerating and thought “sure thing, dad.”

When I was barely nineteen, I was in Iraq. A rocket hit our barracks roof. The power went out, I couldn’t hear sh*t, and there was dust and smoke in the air making it difficult to breathe and see. Then I could hear him in my head say “Never panic. If you panic, you’re dead.”

And here I am, thirteen years later. Married, three kids. I found myself telling my family after a near miss of what would have been a horrible car accident while driving home from Florida last year to “never panic. Because if you panic…you’re dead.””

8. I love this.

“Being present is sometimes enough.

Know your worth and don’t lower your standards.

If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

He’s the most humble man I’ve ever met and I’m so grateful that he’s my dad.

He’s my hero but he’ll never understand why.”

9. It’s true.

“To kids, Time = Love.

My dad was always teaching me different things and doing all kind of activities with me, I was only seeing him one weekend on 2 while my mom had me the rest of the time and I actually don’t really remember doing anything at all with my mom besides 2 vacations we had together.

But my dad I remember he showed me how to ride a bike, do rollerblades, hiking, how to skate, skiing, gardening, going to bookstores or antique stores and more.

I remember much more clearly the days me and my dad did different activities and actually spend time doing stuffs together and I still have a really good relationship with him right now.

It also developed my curiosity to try new things and we still go on bike ride together once every summer even though he’s 73 now and I still love gardening with him and we exchange books these days too.

10. It’s up to you.

“”You are the only person you have to live with for the rest of your life .”

In other words, take responsibility for what you do, learn how to move past your mistakes, and realize that your actions have consequences.”

11. Nothing is easy.

“If it was easy, everyone would do it.

This is what I have to remind myself when my job gets real tough.

Everyone in my family loves to quit when the going gets tough and it’s something I’ve really had to work hard to fight against.”

12. Use your ears.

“If you don’t know how to make things better, just listen.

Boy, was he right.

Not enough people know how to do this.”

13. You don’t need it.

“If you ever feel like you have a problem, just know you can live a full happy life without alcohol.

He couldn’t control it, and neither could I.

He gave it up so he could have his son in his life, I gave it up because of his example.”

14. Get outside.

“To appreciate nature. The power of sitting in silence and looking at the night sky.

When I was ten years old my dad took us out to the country to see the comet Hyukatake.

That ultimately set me on my passion in life and today I’m a professional astronomer.”

15. Good lessons.

“To always make your loved ones a priority. Make it your purpose.

My dad worked hard to give us a comfortable life and more opportunities than most. And after what I can only assume was a long and tiring day, the first thing he’d do was sit and watch cartoons with me and my brothers while asking us about our day.

And when he was forced to quit his job and decided to start up his own company, go on for half a year without income, I can only imagine how stressful it was to be so uncertain about the future while providing for a family of 6.

I was slightly young but I never knew anything was wrong. He never let it show. And even though he worked probably ten hours a day, he always took the time to ask me how I was doing and go to every important event with us. My dad was and is a superhero. Always will be.

The next thing I’d say I learnt from him was patience. Whenever he was upset with me or thought there was something up, he’d ask me about it and wait until I was done with my side before saying anything.

Really made me feel heard and less worried to tell him something even when I knew its not what he’d like to hear.”

16. Nature lover.

“He taught me to love nature and animals. He taught me not to waste my time on liars and idiots. He taught me how to change a tire. He taught me unconditional love.

I was a bit of a f*ck up as a teenager and he was always there to tow my car, drive me to the airport and give me a big hug whenever I needed it.

And most of all, by the way he treated my mom, with love, respect and admiration so that I recognized a good man when I saw one.”

17. A smart man.

“Never make important decisions based upon emotion.

Don’t let emotions run your life, or they will ruin your life.”

18. Don’t give up.

“Things can be very sad and unjust, but what you should do is to find your own way, move on and keep fighting for what you want – in an honorable way.

If good people give up, what would this already chaotic world turn into?”

19. Always treat them well.

“That good men treat good women like their mama.

I grew up in a house with a strong sense of family. Both my mother and my father love each other and have an amazing marriage. They have set the stage for what I look for in a relationship.

My father treats my mother like an equal. You get back what you put in. I see so many unhealthy relationships and I feel incredibly fortunate to have great role models to show me what is out there.

The other part of this is the “good woman” bit. My father has taught me how to be just that. Someone who is deserving of that love and kindness. Like I said, you get out what you put in.”

20. Sad, but true.

“Life is not fair. (He always said that when we would complain that something “wasn’t fair”). Unfortunately he was no wrong, life is unfair

He died of cancer when I was 18, and then my sister died of another type of cancer about 4 years later.”

21. Work hard.

“You can’t control how lucky you are.

But 90% of what people think is luck is actually hard work paying off.”

22. Thanks, Dad.

“Study hard so your life doesn’t suck.

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but being poor makes you miserable.

Be good to people, because otherwise you suck.

The world is full of people who suck and who will mistreat you for being who you are, so stand up to injustice when and where you see it.”

23. Do your best.

“Always be the best at everything or just give it 100 percent and always try do a fine job.

If you are a garbage man, be the best garbage man in your entire crew.”

24. The way it is for most people.

“Jobs are for money, hobbies are for fun.

The two very rarely intersect. Don’t fool yourself.”

25. Push through the hard times.

“Endure hardship no matter what to improve your life and yourself.

My father is rather strict but he gave us some discipline and mental strength to be able to deal with tough situations and take responsibility for what we do.”

26. Life goes on.

“”Things will get better and life must go on”.

He told me this as he was dying with cancer. I think he knew of my suicidal thoughts as well as my depression despite never talking about it.

He wanted me to continue living even when he’s gone, and come to think of it, that’s exactly what kept me going when I was at my lowest.”

27. This is great.

“I learned how to be selfless, how to feed everyone else before I sit down, how to enjoy taking care of someone.

I learned how to grow vegetables, I learned how to fix a sink, or rig something together if I need to. I learned diplomacy and patience and practicality.

I learned to pay attention to what sounds my car is making, how it feels when it turns or when I let go of the wheel. I learned resilience and perseverance. I learned that I should work hard and do the best I can every time I can and that that’s all I can do.

He taught he responsibility and morals, regardless of religion or politics. He taught me how to chop parsley and cook steak, how to fry potatoes for breakfast and how to slice tomatoes thin.

My father is an immigrant, an engineer, a practical but sensitive and caring man. I wouldn’t be who I am or have what I do without him; everything I am or will be is owed to him (and my mother, who is equally magnanimous).”

Now we’d like to hear from you.

In the comments, tell us about the good lessons you learned from your dad.

Please and thank you!