In this excerpt from his new book, “My Father’s Day Gift,” Dr. David Andrews breaks down ten ways that dads can gratefully acknowledge the father figures who helped shape their development as parents.
Dr. David Andrews is one of the nation’s foremost experts on education and the impact of adults on the emerging lives of children. He is the Dean of the John Hopkins University’s #1 ranked School of Education in the U.S. As a professor at three major research universities, he has written extensively about the role of adults in parenting, educating, and shaping the future of children. This list is an exclusive excerpt from the afterword of his first work of fiction, “My Father’s Day Gift” (available now).
Take time to remember the special times you shared with your mentors. Reflect upon the lessons learned and relish the role they continue to play in shaping your life choices.
9. Appreciate Your Good Fortune
Recognize that not all children and youth have positive male role models. Count your blessings and be appreciative of the time you shared with your mentors.
8. Keep in Touch
Find ways to keep your mentors involved in your life. As we mature into adulthood, it’s easy to lose touch with those who have had a profound impact on your life. Try hard to stay in touch. Reach out on their birthday or on holidays, or find a special day tied to a unique event in your shared life.
Lost mentors can usually be found. If you lose touch, take the time to reconnect. A meaningful voice or message from the past can be a powerful boost for both mentor and mentee. Regardless of the time lost, the reunion will likely create yet another influence.
6. Convey Your Story
You don’t have to write a book to communicate to your mentor the importance of the very specific experiences you had with them that shaped your life choices. You can find easier ways. You may be surprised to find out that they never knew you considered them important.
5. Share Your Accomplishments
One of the best ways to show gratitude to your mentor is to share your success. We all share pride in the success of those we think we influenced, whether we are responsible for the specific accomplishments or not.
4. Return the Favor
Find ways to give back to mentors who have had an impact. As mentors age, or simply need help, mentees should find ways to return the favor. Mentors “pay forward” with their investments. They could enjoy an occasional return on that investment.
3. Mentor the Next Generation
If you are a father, make certain you understand the primary role you play as a mentor. Whether or not you have your own children, find a way to mentor other young people. Volunteer with a formal organization, or simply make time for relatives and friends who need the support of an adult.
2. Help Others Mentor
We need an army of highly engaged mentors to guide the next generation. There are many ways to build this army. Spend time helping a new father. Find and support a formal fathering or mentoring organization. Share your time, talent, and treasure in assuring that all children build rich memories of time with their mentors.
1. Live the Lessons Learned
The most direct and meaningful way to honor your mentors is to live a life that reflects their influence.