Today should have been my Dad’s 65th birthday. It blows my mind that we’re coming up on the 5th anniversary of his passing but I promise, this not a sad post.

Instead, it’s a post on all the things he made me do or did to me while I was growing up that I absolutely hated. You know what I’m talking about because you’re doing it to your kids right now. You make them do things that make them crazy and curse you under their breath.

And yes, your kids curse you under their breath.. stop kidding yourself.

But if you’re like me, you’re doing these things for the same reason my dad did them to me.. to teach my kids the important lessons about life.  And someday – if we’re lucky, they’ll let us know that all that Charlie Brown talking (wa-wah-wa-wah-wa-wah) worked and that THEY learned, too.

READ MORE: 20 Life Lessons I Want To Teach My Daughter

I only regret I didn’t tell him more often how those lessons actually sank in.

1. If you’re going to do it, do it right – I can’t tell you how many times I did something, thought I was finished and ready to cruise on to the important part of my day (playing) and was promptly sent back to do it over. Sometimes multiple times. It made me crazy and then somewhere along the way I realized that if I just did it really good the first time, I didn’t have to do it over. Shocking.

2. Flat tires don’t change themselves – I’ll never forget the summer before my senior year in high school when my dad called and woke me up from a typical teen slumber to tell me I had a flat tire and that I had better get out there and change it. I couldn’t believe it – how could he leave me like that? I didn’t know how to change a tire. So I did what anyone would do. I called my friend Marsh to help me. Only problem there is that he didn’t know how to change a tire either. So we learned together and got the tire changed. And I’ve never forgotten. Lesson – know the basic things to keep a car maintained.. changing the tire, checking the fluids, etc.

3. For every action, there’s an opposite action – This was the Margo Law of Motion. If you turn it on, turn it off. If you drop it, pick it up. If it breaks, fix it. If it’s dirty, clean it. Not only did he teach me but he did his best to teach my kids, too. I’m still working on teaching them that lesson but trust me – I repeat the Law of Motion multiple times a day.

READ MORE: Dear 16 Year Olds: Life Is Harsh And 5 Other Things You Need To Know

4. Stepping in dog crap is no fun – If you’re going to own an animal, you have to own ALL the animal. The good, fun stuff and the crappy stuff like picking up after it and scooping up the crap out of the front yard. Which I had to do twice a week before I mowed the grass. And yes, I learned the hard way to do it before I mowed. And it’s not just about dog crap. There are always jobs that suck. Just because they suck doesn’t mean you get out of doing them and you should still to do them well.

5. Your reputation and name are all that you have – And if you mess either of them up, it’s hard to come back from it. It really does take a lifetime to build a reputation and one stupid second to ruin it.  Don’t believe me? Look at the news. There are plenty of people doing it everywhere. I tell the girls all the time that you don’t ever want to be “that” girl at school. You know “that” girl and I know it sounds old-fashioned but think about it..  you don’t remember the rockstars from your graduating class nearly as much as you remember the ones who royally screwed up and did something scandalous  The other part of that lesson was if you tell someone you’re going to do something, you better do it. I can guarantee you that if I tell you that I’m going to do something, it’s as good as done. And if I can’t do it, I’m not going lie and tell you that I can. Not worth my name or my reputation.

6. Don’t lie, cheat or steal – The ONLY time that I was spanked when I was gowing up is when I lied. It didn’t happen very often but when I told a lie and got caught, I knew the consequences. So guess what? I don’t lie. Ever. Which may explain why I am usually TOO honest. I also have zero tolerance for people who lie and let’s not get into the cheating and stealing.

READ MORE: How To Teach Your Kids To Self-Motivate

7. You can play when your chores are done – My dad was one of the hardest working men that I have ever known in my life. He was at the office by 7am and when he got home, he put in at least another 3 hours around the house. While I don’t recommend working as much as my dad did (sadly, that’s pretty much how I remember my childhood), I firmly believe that you need to work before you can play. It sucks, but chores have to get done and then we can play. I don’t drive my kids as hard as my dad drove me but I still preach this to them.

My dad taught me so many more lessons and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and wish that he was still with us. But I know that he’s looking down on us and I hope that he’s proud that I DID learn and that I’m doing the best job that I can to instill the same values in my girls.

Happy Birthday to my Dad. We love you and miss you :)

This post was originally featured on Kristen’s blog, Four Hens and a Rooster. Photo via.

If one believes in cultural stereotypes, my birth should have been a day of mourning. I was the fourth girl born to traditional Indian parents. And because I was an overachieving student who started medical school at the age of 19, one may also assume that my immigrant parents were pushing, hovering tiger parents. Neither of these are true.

My birth was celebrated loudly and authoritarian tiger parents actually inhibit the achievement of their children. Unlike the fierce, competitive, and solitary tiger parent, or the permissive, directionless jellyfish parent; the dolphin parent is collaborative, authoritative (firm yet flexible), and has high expectations for their children. This leads to children with greater confidence, better social skills, and enhanced intrinsic motivation. My father was the ultimate dolphin parent and this father’s day I want to thank him for it.

Growing up, I was often embarrassed that my dad sometimes drove a taxi because I thought it was not “prestigious.” Ironically, it was during my research on motivation at the prestigious Harvard Medical School Addiction Research Program that I realized that much of what motivates me (and all people) comes from lessons I learned from him in that taxi. Here are some of them.

Having fun enhances the learning process. A universal truth is that we are motivated to learn in playful, joyful environments. The ability to complete any and every task is enhanced when we bring positive emotions into it. Many of today’s parents forget this truth or confuse “fun” with something trivial or requiring expensive lessons or experiences. My dad was playful and made driving around in a taxi, counting change for passengers, and doing math fun too.

Humans are motivated by curiosity. Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talents: I am just passionately curious.” Curiosity is linked to our brain’s dopamine reward system and is the fuel that keeps self-motivation for learning going. My dad role modelled and guided me to be curious and ask questions about every person who sat in his back seat. Where did he/she come from? What language did they speak? What did they do for a living? When the search engine Google entered our lives, the era of needing to know the “right answer” left us. To be successful in our modern world, a child must learn how to ask the “right questions,” seek knowledge expansively, and apply that knowledge to diverse settings.

Bonding is a parent’s greatest tool. Bonding means knowing someone for who they really are, not for who you want them to be. It was in the front seat of his taxi, that I got to know my father and he got to know me. It was through our conversations that I discovered his hopes, dreams, and interests. It was through my observations of how he treated his passengers with the same level of respect whether they were high-profile politicians or intoxicated vagabonds, did I come to know his character and values. It was through my connection to him as a person, did I better appreciate his role as my father and his character and values continue to guide me to this day.

Gratitude and optimism are among the most powerful motivators. The most powerful aspect of being in my father’s taxi was witnessing his commitment to work hard not just for himself but to also “pay it forward.” While driving his taxi, it was not uncommon for my father to waive the fare for someone in need or bring home new immigrants who had just landed at the airport with no-where to go. My father was highly optimistic and had deep gratitude for the chance to have a better life. As witness to this, I became optimistic and grateful for my opportunities as well. The scientifically proven benefits of gratefulness are many, such as better sleep, less depression, less stress, better ability to cope with stress, and an improved sense of social relationships and happiness.

As the medical director for child and youth mental health for a culturally diverse city, I have come to realize that we humans are more similar than we are different. Parents would be wise to forget cultural stereotypes that hold us back. Regardless of one’s race, cultural group, or socioeconomic class, all humans are driven by joyfulness, connection, curiosity, optimism, gratitude, and purpose. These are universal human motivators and will guide all children towards their true potential. Thankfully, these traits can all be experienced in any setting — even the front seat of a taxi cab.

This post was originally featured on The Huffington Post

Let’s be honest – life with kids is crazy. 

In the midst of pulling out our hair and trying to remain calm when really we are two steps away from losing our sh*t, it’s always nice to take a step back and share in the chaos with fellow parents. Which is why you should take some time out of your hectic day and laugh at these totally hilarious tweets about life with kids.

Cool, thanks?

The word “balls” will truly never not be funny.

Priorities……

*Shudders* Hell hath no fury like a child robbed of a piece of cake!

Amen.

Excuse me 3 year old, this is a judgement free zone. 

Too real. Too true.

Be right back, time to delete browser history!

There comes a point in every parents life when, “HEY KID!” is just the best we can do.

In their defense, it wasn’t a great movie. 

Absolutely terrifying.

Every grandparent’s trademark. 

No need for an alarm clock with that horrifying whisper in our ear.

Story of a parent’s life. 

Parents should honestly win Oscars for how good of actors we are.

*Cringes and clenches jaw*

*Sends winky face emoji*

AMEN SISTER. LIVE YOUR BEST AND TRUEST LIFE. 

This is a birthday plan we can adhere to.

They were not nearly as amused as we were. 

When our kids have better tastes than us….woof, right?!

*PRAISE HANDS EMOJI*

Time to bring out the good stuff.

Oh how we long for the days of our kids being tiny little creatures that still didn’t know how to use their words properly!

Accurate. So, so accurate.

CONFESSION: We’ve watched this video about 10 times in a row. 

Youtuber La Guardia Cross has a seriously adorable daughter, and he needed to ask her some very important questions. Amalah is no stranger to the camera – Cross first “interviewed” his daughter when she was only 6 weeks old, and now she’s back in full toddler glory. AND WE LOVE HER.

Watch the equal parts adorable and hilarious video – we’re obsessed.

SEE MORE: NEW DAD HILARIOUSLY INTERVIEWS HIS INFANT GIRL

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Infant Interview

This dad needed a little more information on babies, so he sat down with an expert (his six week old daughter) to dig deeper and ask some hard questions…

SEE MORE: THIS MIGHT BE THE BEST FATHER-DAUGHTER DANCE OFF EVER

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Father Daughter Dance Off

What do you do when Mom leaves for the weekend? Make a hilariously adorable dance video, of course…

When Philippe Morgese found himself as a single dad to his daughter, she was just a year old, and styling her hair was pretty simple.

But as Emma grew, so did her hair. Morgese quickly realized that simple hair clips just didn’t cut it. He started giving Emma adorable pigtails.

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Pigtails

via.

Pretty soon Emma had a straight-up full of head of hair, and Morgese knew he had to learn more complex hairstyles such as braiding.

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Braids

via.

Look at those braids! This dad is seriously talented. Other people and parents quickly began to notice Moregese’s talent.

Over time, Morgese began to get many compliments on Emma’s hair. He also received inquiries from other dads, asking him for advice on how to do hair themselves. (via)

Eventually, Morgese realized other dads could really benefit from learning how to do their daughter’s hair. It not only made him feel great as a father, but it instilled confidence in him as a single parent. It’s important for fathers to know things like how to do their daughters hair, because it brings them closer to their child.

“I get a lot of credit for doing her hair and hear compliments about my role as a father because of it,” he said. “I want other dads to be able to experience that.”

So, Morgese reached out to a local beauty school,International Academy, and asked them if they would provide a space for free for the class. He said he wasn’t sure what response he would get, but they thought it was a great idea. (via)

The turn out for Morgese’s class was awesome. Seven dads and daughters were a part of it, and all  had an amazing experience.

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Dad Hair Class

via.

Morgese said he was so happy with how it turned out, he decided to share photos of the event on Reddit to hopefully inspire others.

Now, Morgese said he plans on holding more classes, and even started a Facebook page for them, which he calls the Daddy Daughter Hair Factory. (via)

We love seeing fathers step up and take initiative with their daughters! Even for fathers who are in a two parents household, this is important! How much stress would it relieve us moms to have our husband take on some parenting duties like braiding hair or picking out clothes? We love it.

For the full article on Morgese and his daddy-daughter braiding skills, check out BuzzFeed.com.

Featured image via.

Last week, for my Tuesday Ten and in honor of Father’s Day,  I posted a list of things I learned from my dad.  However, I most certainly do not want to overlook my wonderful hubby who is a fantastic dad to our three girls.  So it may be a couple days late, but for this week’s Tuesday Ten, I enlisted the help of my girls.

READ MORE: Things Your Dad Wants For Father’s Day

I asked them to tell me some things that makes their dad a great dad.  Here’s what they came up with:

Ten Things That Make Our Dad Great

from Rachel (10), Megan (8), & Emily (5)

1. He is silly and he makes us laugh.  But, he knows when to be serious, too. (Rachel)
2. He disciplines us when we need it, but he’s not mean.  (Rachel)
3. He is easy to talk to because he is laid back about our problems.  He helps us see which problems are big ones and which ones are not such a big deal.  (Rachel)
4. He is good at math and helps us understand it.  Science, too.  (Rachel & Megan)
5. He is really smart. (Emily)
6. He helps us when we need help. (Emily)
7. He is cuddly like a big teddy bear and I like to snuggle with him.  (Emily)
8. He is encouraging.  He encourages us to try new things and to do our best.  (Megan)
9. He is hardworking.  He works really hard so we have plenty of money for food and the other stuff we need.  (Megan)
10. He is awesome! (Megan)  (Yep!  I’d say that pretty much sums it up!)

READ MORE: Father’s Day Memories From What The Flicka

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka - 10 Things My Girls Love About Daddy

Happy Father’s Day!
Thanks for all you do!  We love you!

This post was originally featured on Lisa’s blog, The Golden Spoons. Photo via.