07/26/2010 07:01 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

5 Things My Dad Said That I Don't Mind Saying Now

My own father died when I was eleven so most of my experience of him is memories or stories I heard from my many siblings. I'm a father now with three children, ages 13, 10, and 7, and like most parents I find myself beginning to sound just like my parents. But the view from this angle, from being a dad myself, is not so bad.

I don't mind saying these things, but I do prefer to add my own slant to them.

  1. Because I said so: If you make a commitment you need to follow through and be the example for your children. It's not about "wanting to" or "feeling like it"; it's about doing what you said you would do because you said you would.
  2. Because I'm your father: In our house there are things that I handle and the stuff that doesn't fall into any other category belongs to me too. It's about 100 percent responsibility because I consider that any excuses or blaming anyone else means losing power in life. "If it's to be, it's up to me," is the motto and it is one of the values I want my kids to carry into their own lives.
  3. If I have to come up there, someone's going to wind up crying: this can sound bad, but consider it as empowering. What it says is, "I'm going to give you a chance to work it out on your own but don't take too long. If I come up there you'll have to go by my judgment and that could mean being upset (crying) because you 'lose' the argument".
  4. Don't talk back to your mother: This says to have respect for your parent, like the Fifth Commandment says, and respect their authority. Respecting authority also means honoring wisdom and being okay with listening to opinions other than your own. Not only that, but a father who honors a mother teaches a lot of good lessons to carry forward.
  5. Who wants to go for a ride? When things get really crazy a dad will know that it's time to take a break and do something different, possibly something fun. When things get hot, when energy is down, when boredom is rampant, a dad can make the offer to take a break, recharge and come back fresh.

I'm happy being a father. I love the daily lesson of being a father, of how what I say and do can affect the adults my children will become and the influence they'll have on the world to come. Aside from that I am humbled by the fact that I have other human beings connected to me on the deep level parenting offers.

I recommend parenting to anyone considering it but be careful; you'll never be the same. In my book that's a good thing and if you want to ask questions the only answer I can offer you is: Because I'm the dad, that's why.