What Dad taught me

Olivia Yao, Three Moons

The best lessons you learned from your father are the ones he didn’t just preach, but the ones he lived. Dads share what they learned and hope to pass on to their children.

1.   Choose your own path.

“My dad made me feel that it’s okay to choose what you want and who you want to be,” shared Jem Villarin. “I applied for business courses only. He supported me even though I knew that he wanted (me to become an engineer like him). I want to impart the same empowered feeling to my son Santi. It's his life and he will choose how to live it.”

Jamie Bautista, a dad of two, has a similar experience. “Ours is a line of sons trying at first to please their fathers, but then going on to do their own thing—and being allowed to by our fathers. Whatever my kids decide to do, I'll support them.”

2.   Value family.

Arvin Lim was never close to his dad so he vowed, “Growing up, I promised myself I'd spend more quality time with my daughter than I ever had with my dad.”  Still, his dad “successfully ingrain(ed) these family values in me and my siblings.”

3.   Don’t compromise your integrity.

“I'm expected to be honest because my dad shows this by example,” said Rey Laguda. “He made sacrifices just so as not to compromise his integrity.”

Jek Inocencio learned, too, to be upright. “You can be the most unpopular person by being the one who thinks differently from most, but at least you can sleep well at night. Your principles mold who you are, what your family is, and the good karma that'll come your way. Mind you, those words never came from my dad's mouth, it's just how he was. And he was awesome.”

4.   You can overcome anything.

Jappy Lim’s dad never made it past his freshman year in college. “But despite that, he went on to make a name for himself in the hotel and tourism industry. He managed to support his wife and three kids and we all lived quite comfortably. The lesson I'd like to pass on to my son is that, despite the obstacles life will throw in your path, there will always be a way to overcome them, as long as you are committed to reaching your goal.”

5.   Work for someone else.

Learn to be a good boss by working for someone else first, Jamie Bautista’s dad advised him. “We can only learn to lead others after we learn what it's like to be led well,” he explained.

6.   Pay it forward.

Generosity and sensitivity to the needs of others were lessons Aidoo Santiago learned from his dad. “These are values I want to show and teach my two boys. I believe that what you sow is what you reap.”

Now it’s your turn. What was the most valuable lesson you learned from your dad that made you the person you are today? Share it in our comments section.

Got a parenting or relationship question for Olivia? Shoot her an email at threeolivias@yahoo.com.

Olivia Yao has been writing ever since she can remember. She has written for health, teen, parenting, and children's magazines. Her latest endeavor is being a mom to her three-year-old daughter—her toughest assignment yet.