Show Them What You Love (But Don’t Make Them Love It)

You have been looking forward to this for so long. The opportunity to turn them onto your favorite bands. To watch your favorite movies. To take them to your favorite places. To order your favorite foods together. 

It’s about seeing that look on their faces. It’s about paying it forward. It’s about opening their eyes to something amazing, something they didn’t even know existed. 

This is special and wonderful. Because it shows you care. Because you’re not just sharing experiences or sights or sounds or tastes, but a part of yourself. Because these things shaped who you are and how you became that person. 

But we must be prepared, even expect that they won’t like these things. Why would they? They are not us. They are their own people. You share many interests and likes and dislikes with your own father, but do you not remember how different you are, too? Do you not suspect that part of the way you expressed your independence as a kid was in rejecting some of the things your own parents earnestly hoped to share with you?

You have to be happy just having the moment with your kids, that you’re lucky enough to try. Don’t demand buy-in, don’t demand fealty. Let them have their own reactions. Be patient, let them come around. Show them what you love, be excited, but also be ready for them not to love it too. Be ok with that. 

Because you did the same thing to your folks.

P.S. This was originally sent on June 21, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

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