My four-year-old son’s eyes light up when he sees his daddy. It’s a look made up of awe, affection, and all the admiration in the world. In his eyes, his daddy is a superhero. I know the feeling because my dad was my superhero, too. It’s not a title won without effort though. Being a good dad takes work, intentionality, and a lot of love, but when dads do it right, they become superheroes in the eyes of their children.
Here are 7 things dads do that make them superheroes:
1. They do things moms would never dream of doing.
Dads eat the gross leftovers of taco meat and bananas and stick their hands in toilets. They let their kids wear mismatched clothes or pajamas to school or to the grocery store. Dads throw kids ridiculously high in the air to get them to laugh or spin them around until they are dizzy. And at the end of the day, their kids think they’re all the more awesome for it. And they continue putting weird things down the toilet, too, because they know dad will fish it out.
2. They protect their kids and have their backs.
It’s not uncommon to hear one preschooler tell another, “My daddy can beat up your daddy.” Little kids know their dads are their protectors – their real life superheroes ready to do battle with anyone who would try to hurt them. And, teenagers may roll their eyes at their dad’s dumb jokes, but deep down, they still have that “my daddy can beat up your daddy” mentality and know he’ll be there at a minute’s notice if they need him.
3. They show up at important life events.
My dad worked long hours when I was growing up, but somehow he always managed to make it to my ball games and other important life events. It’s the simplest things that sometimes have the biggest impact. Yes, there are times when dads can’t make it to every game or event, but kids want their daddies at those big events. They’ll fervently search the bleachers just to see their dad’s face because when it comes down to it, they know he’s their biggest fan.
4. They work hard for their families.
When kids are little they don’t really appreciate how hard their dads (and moms) work to provide for them. I know my kids would prefer for my husband to quit his job and stay home with them every day so they could have more time for wrestling matches and trips to the park, but one day they’ll understand that he gives up time with them to provide all the little things they take for granted. A good father models hard work for his kids, and they respect him for it, or, at least, one day, they will.
5. They dream big dreams for their kids and encourage them.
My dad dreamed big dreams for me, and I was able to see my potential through his eyes. He pushed me, encouraged me, and believed in me even when I didn’t know if I believed in me. He taught me to work hard and to never let the fear of failure keep me from trying my best, and yet I knew that his love for me wasn’t based on what I achieved but simply based on the fact that I was his daughter. That kind of unconditional love and encouragement made him a hero in my eyes.
7. They say “I love you” and “I’m proud of you.”
A child can never hear these words enough, and the best dads never quit telling them.
Dads just don’t get enough credit for all that they do. When I became a young adult, I started realizing all that my father had done for me – all the love and support and encouragement he’d given me, not to mention all the hours that he’d worked to provide for our family. To say that I’m grateful is an understatement. I feel honored to be his child – to be the daughter of a superhero dad. To all those super-dads out there like mine – keep up the good work and have a happy Father’s Day!