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If Only They’d Known: 5 Tips For New Dads From Experienced Fathers

Dad Larry Beavers
Dad Larry Beavers

There’s no single how-to manual for being a good dad but experienced fathers from select Watermark Retirement Communities coast to coast are offering advice as their Father’s Day gift to young dads.

Dad Russell Tomlin
Dad Russell Tomlin

Having finished raising their children decades ago, these fathers are great dads who admit they might have done a few things differently had they known then what they know now. Here are words each of them offered about the most important aspects of being a good father.

1. Set an Example

“Work together as a team with your wife. Never yell at your spouse as the kids will follow your actions.” – Russell Tomlin, Vintage Hills at Prairie Trail

“Be very careful what you do dollar wise. Be very patient and work together with your wife. Enjoy the little moments.” – James Chandler, Rockland Place

Dad Ed Morrison
Dad Ed Morrison

2. Be There

“A boss of mine once said, ‘Success begins by showing up.’ It’s as true for you as a father as it is for you as an employee or an athletic team member. And it starts early, ” said Ed Morrison, father of seven. He added, “Time spent with your child says ‘I

love you. You are important to me. I care about who you are becoming.’” – Ed Morrison, Parkview in Frisco Resident

3. Time

Ask any empty nester today and they’ll tell you, in retrospect, those early years go by in a flash.

McNamara said, “If I had a redo, I would have spent more time with my daughter. I don’t think I prioritized my time wisely. She never complained growing up, but as an adult she often says she wishes I had spent more time.” – John McNamara, The Fountains at Sea Bluffs

Dad Jerome O'Keefe
Dad Jerome O’Keefe

4. Love

O’Keefe, who raised nine children, touched on broad themes when he told dads, “Remember to love them, read to them and just try your best to teach them the important things in life.” With a family as large as the O’Keefe’s, such a big picture approach seems prudent. – Jerome O’Keefe, The Fountains at Crystal Lake

Johnson, a father of three, said his favorite quote is also his best advice to today’s dads: “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” (Source unknown.) – Chad Johnson, The Fountains at The Carlotta

5. Be Stern

“Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Whatever you do reflects upon your parents.” – Larry Beavers, The Fountains at Canterbury

With all of the competing demands placed on fathers, being a good dad is not easy. These fathers hope that their hindsight might in some small way help today’s young fathers raise great kids and look back with no regrets.

About Watermark Retirement Communities: In 2015, the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) ranked Tucson-based Watermark Retirement Communities as the thirteenth largest senior housing operator in the U.S. Watermark’s commitment to creating extraordinary communities where people thrive dates back nearly 30 years to when it opened its first retirement community in 1987. A privately held company with a reputation of service, success, growth, integrity and financial stability, Watermark Retirement Communities manages 38 retirement communities coast to coast, with headquarters in Tucson, Ariz. www.watermarkcommunities.com

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  1. sangeetha menon
    June 21, 2016 @ 10:43 pm

    This article is one perfect read for all new dads.


  2. Anita Becker
    May 23, 2017 @ 7:46 pm

    Re: Chad Johnson: I believe this quotation is from Dr. James Dobson: “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”


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