My old-fashioned, strict father raised five loyal daughters! How did he do it? Here are 10 reasons:
1. Fear motivates. My dad put the fear of God in us! Forget popular psychology and studies that claim children need to be handled with kid gloves. My sisters and I were terrified of getting in trouble – which means we tended to behave.
2. Fear plus love really motivates. Fear alone doesn’t work. But fear plus love (especially unconditional love) produces well-adjusted kids. Besides, my father had my mother — the queen of unconditional love — to help him!
3. Process over results. We just had to do our best. My dad never cared about the results, just the effort!
4. We all need boundaries. Sometimes, boundaries are actually a good thing for kids. I can remember a few times when I probably would have pushed the envelope, but for the fact that I had to make my curfew!
5. Freedom earned is freedom appreciated. Sometimes, we don’t appreciate our freedom unless it’s earned. And earned freedom also teaches responsibility.
6. Those long-haired boyfriends were really jerks. When you’re young and foolish, you can’t always see what’s best. (I never had long-haired, hippy boyfriends, but my sisters? That’s another story.)
7. He always respected our hormones. My dad always gave us our “girl” space. He never pried into “female” issues and he always steered clear of the girls’ bathroom in our home –even if it meant he had to wait.
8. He’s a closet feminist. My dad always taught us we could do and be anything we wanted. In other words, “anything boys can do girls can do better.”
9. Fathers soften with age. Daughters get more stubborn. There, I said it. My dad has melted with age. His daughters? Not so much.
10. He always had our best interests at heart. No matter what, we always knew that our father cared about us more than anything in the world.
Thank God for all the old-fashioned fathers out there. Sure, we might have questioned you growing up, but now that we’re older and wiser, we wouldn’t trade you for the world. Happy Father’s Day!