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Dear dad, from your kids

Dear Dad,

Stop what you're doing - I need to tell you something.

1. Make time for me
I know both you and mum are super busy working to pay all of our bills and ensure we have a good life as a family, and for that I am super thankful.
BUT - in 10/20 years, it won't be the brand name clothes, the expensive toys or video games that will be important to me. It won't be the nice family home or private school you sent me to.
Sure these things are great but what is most important to me and what I will remember is the relationship we have. The lessons and values I've learnt from you by the time we spent together. 
I'll remember if you came to watch me play sport or in school performances.
Did I feel comfortable coming to you or were you always too busy for me?
Were you there at significant events in my childhood or were you absent?
Please make time for me.

2. Take care of yourself & get your shit together
Will I look back and see a father who was always stressed, depressed, drinking or fighting with mum ? (your mental health has a big impact on us growing up).
I need a dad who is healthy, both physically and mentally. I need you to mentor me, to lead by example, to encourage & support me and to be proud of me.
To be a grandfather to my kids someday.
I need a dad who can be fully present when spending time with me, not always stressing about things. I need a dad who can have fun with me but can also set the boundaries for me in life.
I need you in my life long term - so please take care of yourself, so you can be there for me! 

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3. Monkey see monkey do
I am going to adopt many of your habits & traits (good & bad). If you treat mum or others with disrespect, I'm likely to do the same. If you bottle up your emotions and don't role model getting support when something is wrong - I'm likely to do the same. If there's things you need to change or work on - do it.
I'll be in my teens and on my P's before you know it and then it's too late.

Ask yourself - In 20 years, would you be happy/proud if I were a similar person to you now ?
If you have a daughter, how would you feel about her marrying someone like you?

I know you want the best for the family and for me but just remember what truly matters!