Wisdom from Dads

June 19, 2016

We’re celebrating Father’s Day this year by paying tribute to the many Dad-isms we have come to love and appreciate. Some of the best advice we could receive begins with the wisdom of our parents, and today we are taking a special look at the wisdom of Dads. For those of us fortunate enough to grow up with both parents, each parent usually takes on a specific role in our lives. For mine (Kristen), my Dad was the practical-advice parent – he taught me how to drive, how to open my first bank account, how to purchase insurance, save for retirement, how to fix things (ok, so I never learned how to fix anything, but Dad still comes and fixes it for me).

Above all, my Dad taught me how to buck-up and own my nonsense. I would call my Mom to whine and complain about the world, and she would sympathize, feel my pain, feel jilted and wronged with me. I called my Dad when I needed someone to listen without bias in my favor.

My Dad was always my rock-star. Despite his pragmatism, he is a hippie with a musician’s soul. He would sing for me – he would sing for my bath time, sing for my bedtime, and he sang at my wedding. I learned a true appreciation of all music from my father.

My father was the one who took me to see The Little Mermaid six times in the theater when it came out in 1989. He was the one to ground me for a month when I experimented with cigarettes. He spent every Sunday morning teaching me how to drive for a year. He also banished me from driving after I got into an accident within the first week of having my license. My Dad taught me balance.


Today we rejoice in the wisdom from all Dads. In a very informal survey, we’ve collected all kinds of fun advice to give honor to the Fathers who have imparted this wisdom. We hope you have a sense of humor, because some of these really made us chuckle!

  • “Always, always keep your promises. A person is only as good as her word.” – Dad of Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo
  • “Measure twice; cut once.” – Dad of Aaron Yavelberg
  • “If you’re not going to do something right, don’t do it at all.” – Dad of Diane Federico-Cogan
  • “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” – Dad of Kaitlyn Lang
  • “Cover their junk with the old diaper while you’re putting on the new one.” – Dad of Michael Leinoff
  • “Guests, like fish, stink after three days.” – Dad of Mary Fusaro
  • “Try to listen more than you talk.” – Dad of Aaron Yavelberg
  • “Funny faces rarely make the situation worse.” – Dad of Aaron Yavelberg
  • “When it comes to men, think of them as a bunch of roses: the first one that wilts, throw it out, but that last one, keep him, he might not stay pretty, but he will endure even when he’s dried up.” – Dad of Ellice D. Harris
  • “If I could read, I could learn to do anything.” – Dad of Angela Carillo
  • “There’s some old doo wop song with lyrics that go “Get a job”. As soon as I was old enough to have working papers and anytime I would ask for something, my dad would sing that song to me. He instilled in me the value of financial responsibility and independence along with a strong work ethic.” – Dad of Heather Brown
  • “You can be right, or you can be happy, but you can’t be both.” – Dad of Brittney Blazicek
  • “My father was an educator. As a high school principal, he considered it his job to make sure his daughter was well educated. I was expected to excel in school or face the consequences. I was never a stellar student though, and I disappointed him often. I was lectured and disciplined if I brought home poor grades.Once, in law school, after being distracted by a boyfriend for an entire semester, I brought home a failing grade. I was sure my father would be angry, and would fuss at me and remind me of what a mess I was making of my future professional life, and then tell me exactly what to do to fix the problem … and help me do so. I was wrong.

    When I told him about my poor grade, he looked at me and said, “I am sorry to hear that. What are you going to do about that?” And he got out of his chair and left the room.

    I was stunned. With just a few words, my Daddy had told me that I had grown up, and that if I wanted to screw up my career, I was perfectly free to do so, while he had other more important things to tend to.

    In that moment, I became a woman. I became responsible for myself and my decisions. I was left to clean up my graduate school career as best I could. I had his love and support while doing so, but he sent the clear message that he was no longer going to spend his time telling me what he knew I already knew. That is, if I let a man or anything else come between me and my ability to achieve professionally, it was my fault, and my responsibility, and that I alone would have to fix the problem.

    I fixed it, Daddy. Thank you for loving me enough to allow me to fall so I could learn how to get back up.” – Dad of Donna Maria




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