1. Love their mother. Treat her with respect, honor, and heaping spoonfuls of affection. When your kids grow up, there is a big chance that your sons will treat their wife just as you have treated their mother. Your daughter will marry someone who treats her just like she has seen you treat her mother. Good or bad, that is just the way it is...choose good.
2. Always be there. Quality time does not happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than to just be in each others presence. Be interested in the things that interest your children, even your daughter, and her dolls. Your children need you to be involved in every aspect of their life. Dont just sit idly by while they add years to themselves, add life to their years.
4. Savor every moment you have together. Today one is in 1st grade, the other toddling around in his undies with his "motocycle" and the other is dreaming away. Tomorrow you will be handing one the keys to his car, the other teaching him how to drive and then the third...walking her down the isle. Someday soon, hanging out with their "old man" wont be so cool anymore. Life happens pretty fast so cherish it while you can.
5. Pray with them and for them regularly and continually.
6. Buy them each a glove...a four wheeler.....whatever you choose and make them proud to know how to do things for themselves. Teach them how to ride a bike, rollerblade, skateboard...sing....dance....make them proud to be who they are!!
7. They will fight with their mother, especially your daughter, choose your side wisely.
9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo and talking to her in that little voice. Do it anyways. Of course you look like a kid chasing your boys around with a hose..do it anyway.
10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time. They do the funniest thinigs!!
11. There will come a time when they ask you for just some daddy time. Do not over think it.. just say "Yes!"
13. Do something important for each of them on their birthday!
14. Buy them a pair of hiking boots as soon as possible and for your daughter a pair of dance shoes as soon as she starts walking.
16. Take them fishing. They will probably talk your ear off and squirm more than the worm on you hook, thats OKAY!
17. Continue to say "No." They may pitch a fit today, but in the future, they will all be glad that you stuck to your guns.
18. Tell your wife and daughter that they are beautiful. Tell them over and over again. Someday and animated movie or beauty magazine will be trying to convience your daughter otherwise. Tell your boys how amazing they are and that they are leaders, one day..peer pressure will try to get the best of them.
19. Teach them how to work on cars, teach them how to work hard. Teach your daughter how to change a flat (even though the first time it happens to her, she will call crying..teach her anyways), teach her that a tire without air does not need to be a massive need of panic in her life. Teach your boys how important it is to be handy, and keep their things nice.
21. Let them hold the wheel. They will always remember when daddy let them drive.
24. Knowing how fix a part will never get them into college, knowing them how to eat sunflower seeds will never get them into college, knowing how to drive a four wheeler will never get them into college ..teach them anyways.
25. Letting them ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and they are still tiny.
26. Its in their nature to love music and dancing. Its your duty to introduce them to wool socks on the wooden floor.
27. If there is a splash park near our home, take them often! They will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.
29. If their mom enrolls them in sports...dance...or whatever, make sure you go too. Do not be intimidated if their are no other dads their, it is their loss.
30. Never miss their birthday. In ten years, they wont remember what you bought them, but they will remember if you werent there.
31. Teach them to have confidence.
32. Remind your wife to let them play in the mud and roll around on the grass, its good for her soul.
33. Take your daughter swim suit shopping. Remind her to stay modest but try to refrain from wanting to buy her a full body pajama :)
34. Somewhere between the time your daughter turns 3 and her 6th birthday, the odds are she will ask you to marry her...let her down gently.
35. They will always want to crawl in your bed when they are scared. This is a good thing. Let them do it.
36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying child than their fathers hand...NEVER FORGET THIS!!!
38. When they are a bit older, that definition of higher will be the same as yours...go ahead and give it all you got! They will love it!!!
39. Throwing them up in the air is great for your biceps. WARNING: They have not concept of muscle fatigue.
40. They may ask you to buy them a pony on their birthday, unless you have a farm dont buy one..but its okay to rent one :)
42. Let them know that they can ALWAYS come home, NO MATTER WHAT!
43. Remember just like the butterfly, they will to spread their wings and fly someday. So for now, enjoy those caterpillar years.
44. Write your children a handwritten letter every year for their birthday. Give them to them when they go off to college, becomes a parent themselves, or you feel that they are ready for them.
45. Learn to trust them. Gradually give them more freedom as they get older. They will rise to the expectations that you give them.
47. When your kids are teenagers, and they are upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life (remind your wife of this as well).
48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know their favorite flavors.
49. Dating age is coming soon. There is nothing that you can do to be ready for it..no gun you can shine...the sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.
50. Today they are walking over to their bus, watching the Mickey Mouse Club House, and learning that they have a vioce and can squeal...tomorrow they are heading off to college. DONT BLINK!!