when kids grow up

5 Things I Want My Kids to Say About Me When They Grow Up

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At a recent funeral for a longtime friend, I noticed how each of his loved ones shared a character trait they loved in him. Although I knew him well, it blew me away to hear how much he was loved. After the funeral, I started to think about what my kids will say about me when I am gone.

When kids grow up, they tend to look back on childhood with clarity. So when my kids grow up, how will they remember me as a dad? How will yours remember you? That day, I made a list of things I want my kids to say about me—things you’d want your kids to say about you, too. Here are 5.

1. My dad was always there.

The reality is that we physically can’t be at everything in our kids’ lives, especially if we have multiple children. However, I want my kids to remember my being there more than they remember my being gone. We have to make it a priority and this may mean we miss out on other good things in our lives.

2. My dad was trustworthy.

When I tell my kids I am going to do something, I want to be the type of dad who follows through. I want my kids to know they can talk to me about anything and I want them to know if I say something, they can trust it. This means we do not lie to our kids; we tell them the truth.

3. My dad was fun.

I love having fun with my kids, but some days are harder than others. Keeping this in mind forces me to be intentional and find the fun in everything we do. I want my kids to remember the random late-night french fry runs just as much as I want them to remember the lessons I taught them.

4. My dad was the same at home and in public.

It’s easy to find ourselves acting a certain way in front of certain people. I don’t want my kids to see me in public as a different person than the dad they see at home. Being consistent means we constantly have to ask ourselves whether we’d also do in public whatever we do at home.

Being safe means that no matter what’s going on in our kids’ lives, they know Dad is a refuge.

5. My dad was a safe place.

Being safe means that no matter what’s going on in our kids’ lives, they know Dad is a refuge. I want my kids to run to me when life is hard—and I want to be there when they do. Of all the ones on this list, I hope my kids will say this one at my funeral.

Earn some points: Are you married? If so, share this iMOM article with your wife: 8 Things Kids Say That Prove You’re a Great Mom.

Sound off: What do you want your kids to say about you?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you want people to say about you?”