2. Every dad needs to be able to do an impression of a completely fearsome creature, that can be defeated by a four-year-old.
3. If you have no clue what to do at home, you’d be surprised how often ordering Chinese food for dinner solves 75% of the problem.
4. Your kids have a need to be proud of you. That thing that makes them proud, is probably that thing you stopped doing to spend more time with the kids.
5. Know that the best moments in your kid’s life, are typically preceded by the words, “Don’t tell your mother.”
6. Accept that you’re probably going to screw up being a dad at some point. All you can do is your best, and hope that one day it was enough, and you’ll be forgiven.
7. Know that when you were little, your father was totally faking it. He had no clue what he was doing with you. Yet you thought he was amazing.
8. Small naughty children are like Klingons. Speak to them as such, and they respond so much better. Come here now. Put toys away.
9. Go to your kids’ parent teacher nights and the other school stuff like their plays and sports events. Yes they can be painfully boring, but you being there is important to them.
10. Part of your job is to let your kids take risks and fail. Life isn’t always fair, or easy, or simple. Sometimes the best teacher is a bad outcome. It’s your job to let them get hurt, but not injured. It’s your job to let them get embarrassed, but not ashamed. It’s your job to let them get anxious, but not fearful.
11. Have a good marriage. In a world of divorce, you’d be surprised how seriously kids appreciate that you’re still together.
12. Show the kids how to do stuff. Almost anything counts.
13. You should treat the kids all the same in a general sense, but different kids have different needs, so you’re going to have to treat them differently too.
14. Play ball inside the house. The kids are more valuable than the things that can be broken.
15. You do a vastly better job at defeating under the bed monsters than mom ever will.
16. Wear the dumb crap they bought you for your birthday, if only during the party.
17. If your kid does something good, put it on display on the fridge. When you take it down, keep it all in a secret stash somewhere.
18. Realize that half the time your kids are hanging out and watching sports with you, or whatever it is you’re into, your kids aren’t really into it. They’re just not opposed to it and are here just to hang out with you.
19. Tell them the stories from when you were little, about your dad.
20. Say you love them.