• My Dad’s Life Lesson That Really Stuck With Me

    Father’s Day is just around the corner, and like many people, it’s gotten me thinking about my own father. I never fully appreciated how much he did for me until I left the house and began my own life without parental supervision.
    When I left for college, I finally recognized the full force of his influence over my life. Everything from dealing with roommates to buying my own food to dealing with peer pressure about drugs was a brand new experience, and his leadership helped me through some of the toughest times. Among all the things my dad taught me, there was one lesson that really stood out: the value of hard work.
    Growing up, we didn’t have a lot, but my dad was a very hard worker. I remember many nights going to bed before he came home from work because he took on an extra shift. He wanted his children to put the same stock in hard work as he did, but it wasn’t an easy feat, particularly with me. I didn’t have much interest in working, but I wanted some extra cash, so I got a summer job working on a farm. The hours were long and the work was strenuous. I was tasked with picking up large rocks from the fields and carrying them in a wheelbarrow to a dumpsite. I came home sore and exhausted every day, and my attitude only grew more bitter. One day, I refused to go. I called my boss and said that I was sick. My dad had already left for work when I made the call. I’m pretty sure my mom knew I was faking, but she didn’t say anything. When my dad came home for lunch and saw me there, he wasn’t happy. He sat me down and lectured me about how I was letting my boss down and how I had a responsibility to do my job, even when the work was hard. He didn’t yell, and he didn’t tell me that I was being stupid, but he let me know he was disappointed, and that hurt more than anything.
    I never skipped work again. I wasn’t sure at that time why I was so determined to go to work for the rest of the summer, but I knew that I didn’t want my dad to see me fail again. I hated that my hard working father saw me doing the exact opposite of what he would do.
    Looking back, I can identify that feeling as respect. My father taught me through gentle guidance, patience, kindness, and friendship that hard work is something to be valued, and I respected his opinion more than anything. That lesson has stuck with me for a  lifetime, and since that day, I’ve been determined to not only keep my commitments, but also to do the best job possible. I’ll forever be grateful for this and all the other lessons my father taught me.
    Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | Linkedin

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