Five Fabulous Things that Make a Great Dad
by Theresa Meyers
I know Father’s Day is already come and gone this weekend, but it really got me to thinking about what makes a great dad. My latest book THE SWITCHED BABY SCANDAL has a character who is a dad to the core. He’s so wrapped up in wanting to take care of his daughter, that Reece Wallace will do anything for Emily, even though he’s only just met her. So, based on Reece, my dad, my step-dads, my daughter’s friend’s dads and my own amazing hubby, I’ve come up with a list of five things that make dad’s great. See what you think.
A lot of times as parents we get so caught up in just keeping the bills paid and food on the table and shoes on little feet that we forget that our kids just need us to listen. Listen with our whole heart, not just half an ear. They need to know we value the things that are important to them, even if they seem outlandish or silly to us. Dads who take time to listen to their kids explain in detail their entire Lego town, or listen over dinner to all that’s happened during the day in sixth grade without trying to fix it – just listen, are amazing!
Kids have a lot of dreams. Some of them are small and some of them are huge. For example: At age three my daughter wanted to ride horses. Seriously the kid could whinny before she could speak real words – a regular horse whisperer. By age six she wanted a horse. We had the land, but not the place. My husband hand dug post holes, put up a fence, built a shelter and made a place for her first horse. She’s had one ever since. He put a lot of blood (literally), sweat and effort into making his little girl’s dream come true. And I’ve seen so many dads who do this. They put their kids’ dreams first. When I asked my husband why, he had a simple answer: “They’re only kids for such a short time. I want her to grow up believing anything is possible.”
Especially when we’re young and through the early teen years, having a dad that will stand up for you and intervene to protect you is a big deal to kids. It’s even more important when it isn’t just playground or friend issues, but bigger stuff, like bullying. I think that’s why when I was writing Reece, it was so incredibly important for him to protect Emily. Even though he hadn’t met his biological child before age four, he was still a great enough dad to want to protect her no matter what. Now his case was extraordinary in that he’d already lost his wife and the little girl he believed to be his daughter in a drunk driving accident. But I believe that deep grief and survivor’s guilt honed his drive to be the best dad he could be to Emily. It was his second chance. And if there’s one thing dad’s can do better than anyone else, it’s protect their families.
It’s one thing for dad to be a great example, and another for him to be a strong authority figure, but don’t be fooled – one thing that’s really important for kids is to be able to laugh with their dad. That sense of humor makes the rough edges and occasional fatherly lecture easier to take. Plus it has the added bonus of acting as a bonding moment. I’ve never seen my kids happier than when they are laughing with their dad. And aren’t those the memories we want to create with our kids anyway? The fun things where we could laugh together?
Even though dad might lay down the law now and again, as long as kids know that they are loved and the rules are for their safety and well-being, it’s all good. Knowing we are loved unconditionally is the biggest gift dads give their kids and in so many cases it lays down the foundation of their self-worth. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen it over and over again, both in my own teen years and now as a mom—girls who know their dad loves them no matter what are always more stable and have less issues than those who doubt it, or feel they don’t matter to their dad. And it’s the same with boys! (Working at a junior high gives you all kinds of insights into teens.) And that’s why my number one thing that makes a great dad is a man who lets his kids know how much they are loved no matter what.
So what about you? What would your fab five be? Who’s your favorite fictional dad in books, movies or TV?
She is married to the first man she ever went on a real date with (to their high school prom), who she knew was hero material when he suffered through having to let her parents drive, and her brother sit between them in the backseat of the car. They currently live in a Victorian house on a mini farm in the Pacific Northwest with their two children, two cats, an old chestnut Arabian gelding, an energetic mini-Aussie shepherd dog, a parakeet and an out-of-control herb garden.
She collects teapots, teddy bears and steampunk gadgetry, and when not writing can be found sewing, painting, canning, baking, or hiding out in a comfy chair reading a wonderful book. On occasion, you might find her scuba diving or riding her white quad with hot pink flames on the sand dunes. Her favorite television shows are Supernatural (Dean Girl), The Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time and Grimm (is it any wonder she writes fiction?).
The Switched Baby Scandal by Theresa Meyers
Book #1 in the Scandals of San Sebastian series
His child. Her daughter. One monumental mix-up.
Single mom Taylor Lawrence just discovered that the hospital sent her home with the wrong infant five years ago. Now the headstrong and handsome biological father wants his child back. But Emily has always been her daughter, and Taylor won’t give her up without a fight.
Widower Reece Wallace believed his life was over when a drunk driver killed his wife and daughter. So when he learns of the baby switch, he sees this child as his ultimate salvation. But he never anticipated the fiery woman on the other side of this custody battle or how shed stir feelings in him long dormant.
As the media storm surrounding the hospitals mistake intensifies, Taylor and Reece find there’s more to sort out than custody of Emily they must work together to protect her while grappling with their growing attraction. Can they pick up the pieces of two broken families and meld them into something new?
To be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and tell us: So what about you? What would your fab five be? Who’s your favorite fictional dad in books, movies or TV?
Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 7 July 2013!