Being a Dad " What did you wish you knew Dad?"

I should have said before, I am a Dad. 
Not sure how good a Dad but I try. I wish I was better and more than anything I wish I spent far more time with my 3 remarkable boys. Oh yeah,I forgot!, like so many others I am divorced from their mum, and she has them for the bulk of time.
A month or so ago I got into a funk about not seeing them more, I realised my MH meant it wasn’t possible but I decided I should try to do something about it. 
Hello! Can you dig me out now Guys!
The Boy’s came to visit and we talked about how we could talk to each other more, like most modern boys they have mobiles and laptops, so we set up email accounts for each so I could write things to them as a team or as individuals.( We have a thing called “Team *family name* when we do shared chores, where each of us has one part to do like washing up, one washes one dry’s one puts away , that sort of thing)
Most of these will stay personal but I thought I’d put a few on to the blog, to show how hard I am trying to keep away the moisture that becomes the smog.
My oldest boy who is 13 asked me that day “What did you wish you’d  known when you were little that you know now?”
Crikey! (as we English are prone to saying.) 
We talked for about an hour with my 9 yr old and 8 yr old boys joining in over a strawberry milk. Middle son “I bet you wish you knew about all the different types of ants there are eh Daddy!”  “Oh yes buddy, I really do.” ( I don’t need to know now because he tells me!). ” Do you wish you could ride your bike to your friends house like I do Dad?” That’s my 8yr old talking. “Well I did like to do that but not as much as you do!” 
My eldest has learnt to be patient with all this and was very quiet after the first few minutes of asking and being interrupted. It seemed important to him I could tell, but I wasn’t sure why. We talked quietly after the 2 youngest drifted away to their respective “things” but like many young men he didn’t seem to want to explain why he was interested.
Rain does not stop play!
Our day moved on and before they went I promised to write them each an email almost every day. I’ve kept a pretty good strike rate up, not every day but several times a week at least, not always a lot, sometimes a link to a web site or video or a one line message, but  a few days after they had been I sat thinking about the eldest and decided I should try to answer him.
I thought hard about this and I will be honest searched the web for inspiration. Lot’s had stuff that was useful but nothing that seemed to answer to my boy specifically, so I jotted a lot of things down and came up with the following. 
I sent it to all 3 but my eldest was the one who texted me back an hour or so later. (“Thanks Dad! That’s well cool!)
The following is what I sent and thanks to all on the interweb that inspired it.

These things that I’d like you to know more than anything else:

YOU! Are more than good enough. Okay! 
Most people are afraid to do things because they are afraid they’re not good enough, afraid they’ll get it wrong. But YOU are good enough — learn that and you won’t be afraid of new things, you won’t be afraid to get it wrong, won’t need the approval of others. You’ll be pre-approved —> by you. (and me of course!:0))
Make mistakes! Get it Wrong Sometimes!
Your mistakes will be your best teachers. Instead of being frightened of mistakes, learn to enjoy them, laugh at them, but  learn to learn from them, and learn to put them behind you quickly, you don’t need them to affect your confidence, okay? You don’t need someone else to make you happy with your choices. You don’t need a teacher to tell you that you’re great at what you do. You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend to tell you that you’re lovable. You don’t need your friends’ approval. Having loved ones and friends in your life is amazing, find them, keep them, cherish them, but know who you are first.
Have fun being active
Sure, there’s a lot of fun to be had online and in eating sweets and chips, and in watching Telly and films and playing video games. But going outside and playing with your friends,(or me! :)) throwing a ball around, swimming, climbing something, challenging each other these are even more fun and leads to a healthier life, healthier heart, and more energetic, better focused and more alert mind.
Learn compassion
Okay I know you want what you want. Having compassion is about realising we are not more important than everyone else, and we are not the centre of the universe. Someone annoys you? So what! Get over it! Get outside of your little shell, and try to see how their day is going. How can you help them be less angry, or to suffer from less pain? Think about putting the other man first but don’t ignore your needs and remember a need is not a want!
Never stop learning. 
If you just learn one little something each day, it will add up over time immensely. Never assume you know and never ever be afraid to ask a question, there is no such thing as a “stupid question” ! If you don’t know ASK! and if someone tells you it’s stupid, remember it means they were too scared to ask for that reason and one day will miss out because they didn’t ask! Stay in education as long as you possibly can, the friends you make in college will last longer than any others you make.
Everything you need to be happy you already have
Some people think happiness is in food, drugs, alcohol, shopping, partying, sex, because these things make them happy, they’re wrong. They don’t realise happiness is not what you do it’s what you are. Inside you, you already have:  the ability to make and create  and do something meaningful, even in a small way that’s what happiness is.

Spend less than you earn
Try to save £30 out of every £100 you earn. Everybody that gets a job immediately starts to spend, on a car, rent or mortgage, buying possessions and eating out using credit cards. None of those matters as you grow. Don’t spend it if you don’t have it. Learn to go without, and be happy with less. Learn the difference between need and want. Let the money you earn grow, care for it like everything else in your life, your future will be very pleased you did and will thank you, I promise.
Learn to love healthy food.
 Learn to cook for yourself. (Isn’t it great when we cook together?) Try foods that are new,healthy, different. Cook from scratch it’s healthier and much less expensive as we have proved many times. Try everything at least once. You cannot know until you try. (Do I need to remind you? No thought not! ;))

Do not avoid discomfort get good at it!
Trying to avoid discomfort is very common, but I’ve learnt that’s a mistake. Learning to be OK with some discomfort will change your life. (Remember the camping holiday? Wasn’t that the best fun we ever had?)The things that stress you out don’t matter, they really don’t, let them go. Take a larger view: will this matter tomorrow or next week? Most likely the answer is no. If the answer is yes, deal with it. REMEMBER! Do the thing the first opportunity you get!
Savour everything about life
Not just the usual stuff, but everything and everyone, the stranger on the bus, the sunshine on your face, the quiet in the morning, time with loved ones, time alone, the sounds of your breath as you run. Slow down sometimes, take time to think and relax, Read a Book, clear your mind occasionally. If you have to make the same journey every day, make your mind up to notice something different every day on that trip, it is possible if you really try, it might be a new bird, or flower, a loose tile on a roof, a hole in a field, who knows ? but look and think about looking, pay attention to your surroundings, they matter.
At least once in your life start your own business.
I always thought that owning a business was what other people did. I was wrong. It’s possible for anyone to start their own business, and while you’ll probably do badly at first, you’ll learn quickly. It’s a very effective education possibly as good as college. Everything useful I’ve learnt was learnt from doing. That said; I’ve had some amazing teachers. They’re not always in school, though: they’re everywhere. A friend I made at work my parents, friends, brothers, sisters, grandparents, uncles and aunts my wife, even you, my children. Teachers are everywhere, if you’re willing to learn. Realise everyone has the potential to teach you something even if it’s how not to do something!
Change is good: – Learn to be good at change
Change is the one thing you can guarantee will happen. Learn to let go of “things”, and learn to have a flexible mind. Don’t get stuck doing what’s comfortable, don’t shut out what’s new or uncomfortable. Accept change and it will be better for you, it’s a part of life, go with it and relax you might just find you like it.
Let life be amazing 
Life can be amazing if you don’t shut it out. Other people are amazing. Be willing to take the hurt that sometimes comes with an open heart, and you will experience the best in life.
Success is cool but not a good rule to live by unless it’s about success in love and family. Love your family, friends, co-workers, strangers, your brothers and sisters, humanity. Love even those who think they’re your enemy let them make that choice though, you must never do so. Love the animals we treat as food and friends. Most of all, love you. There is a song by a man called George Benson called “The Greatest Love of All” download it and learn the words by heart, okay?
And always know this; no matter what: 


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