“To every dad who wants to be a hero for his family.”
With this dedication author Greg Trimble starts his book Dads Who Stay and Fight: How to Be a Hero for Your Family. This book puts in words how I feel as a father. Dads Who Stay and Fight is in a simple to read and understand format. As a father of five children, I think the topics are timely and important in this world.
The foreword to this book was written by Tim Ballard. He is the founder of Operation Underground Railroad; an organization that works to save children who have been taken for trafficking. Tim Ballard is a hero of mine. He exemplifies what it takes to be a dad who stays and fights. Ballard states:
“There is no greater cause and no greater calling than to be a dad! It’s all up to you! Let’s go!”
Trimble in his introduction explains why he has written this book. It is not just to help current dads learn how to be better. It’s also so that future dads will be taught how to be good dads.
“If good men don’t grow up to be good dads, then the family will suffer to no end. We can’t let that happen. We’ve got to fight.”
Trimble also states his goal for when his life has finished:
“All I can ever hope for in this life is that someday my wife and kids will look back and remember me as their hero.”
Truthfully, if all dads can be a hero to their families, how much better would society be? Is this not something we strive for? When I look into my children’s eyes will they reflect a hero in me?
The book is divided into five sections:
- What Good Dads Do
- Qualities of Good Dads
- Dads’ Roles
- The Dad Rules
- Spiritual Dads
The chapter on listening, in the Qualities of Good Dads section, is one that every dad should read.
“One of the most neglected skills to master as a father is the skill of listening.”
Listening appears to be a lost art and this chapter does a great job of helping a dad understand the importance of listening. After reading this book, I have tried to listen a little more. I need a lot of practice though. I still catch myself interrupting my children instead of letting them finish. I’m working on it though.
There are three chapters in the Dads’ Roles section that I feel are pivotal to being a hero dad. Dads Who Serve Mom, Dads Who Help Mom Feel Beautiful, and Dads and Daughters. Nothing to me says “great dad” more than the ones who treat their wives and daughters as queens and princesses. I love the fact that the Dads and Daughters chapter comes before the Dads and Sons chapter. Focusing on the women in our lives is another lost skill. These chapters reinforce something I recently wrote about in the blog on Teaching Respect.
In The Dad Rules section there is a chapter that really struck home. Trimble relates the story of when he was playing baseball and was complaining in the dugout. Trimble’s coach talked with him:
“’Greg,’ he said, ‘there are two types of people in this life: there are fountains and there are drains. Which one are you?’”
This is a question that everyone should ask of themselves. It hit me hard. I had to look at myself as a father and ask which I was. I evaluated recent interactions with my wife and kids to see if I was “continually springing up” or was I “sit[ting] in dark corners hiding from sight, always taking and never giving.” I realized with my youngest daughter Lia that I was more of a drain than a fountain because the majority of the time I tell her no instead of finding a way to say yes. Yesterday, I tried to be more of a fountain which included going on a “mini-date” for breakfast. I think normally I would have denied her that experience with me, but I recognized I was being a drain and turned it around to be a fountain. You should have seen the look on her face and the size of her smile.
Trimble does a good job of focusing on areas where dads can improve. The book’s stories are very relatable and I was able to see areas in my life where the topics apply. I recommend this book to all dads, in fact I’m thinking it would make a great Father’s Day gift.