What I Learned From Ward Cleaver, Al Bundy and Other TV Dads
Father's Day is a time to remember all the lessons we learn from Dads, real and fictional.
I'm lucky. I have a great dad. He was my idol when I was young, annoyed me during my teen years, tolerated me during my 20s but always loved and supported me during whatever phase or trouble I seemed to get myself in to.
He was never big on words of advice, rather he led by example. He never verbally said, “Be happy,” or “Be a person of character,” he just did and was.
He loves my mother, he raised three children he is proud of and he is now a happily retired grandfather of seven who spends his days golfing and enjoying his life.
He’s a good man who earned a good life because he led a good life.
So, although I learned a lot from my own father, I also learned a lot from the other dads I was surrounded by -- via my favorite television shows.
Here are ten of my favorite TV Dads and the lessons they left me with.
- Ward Cleaver, Leave it to Beaver: Dads never yell. They talk sternly, but they never yell and they are never “angry” with you -- just disappointed sometimes.
- Al Bundy, Married… With Children: Dads make mistakes. All the time. They try to do their best, but if they make a mistake, it’s OK as long as no one died. They move on and get over it -- never sweating the small stuff.
- Jim Walsh, Beverly Hills, 90210: Take responsibility. Don’t lie, even when you get caught sneaking in during the middle of the night, break curfew after being on a date with your boyfriend or put a dent in the car. Don’t lie, because eventually, they find out.
- Bill Cosby, The Cosby Show: Laugh. No matter what happens in your life, no matter how hard it can get, laugh and things will be better.
- Dan Connor, Roseanne: Family is what’s important. Nothing else matters as long as your family is together.
- Tony Micelli, Who’s the Boss: Work hard and you will succeed.
- Cam Tucker, Modern Family. Life is fun, so enjoy it. Raising kids is an adventure, so stop being so serious and enjoy the moment and let your kids enjoy being young, messy and silly.
- Phil Dunphy, Modern Family: Happy Wife, Happy Life. Love and support your wife and everything else will fall into place.
- Phillip Banks, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air: Your kids may not always do what you want them to, they may not be what you had expected, but you love, support and are proud of them anyway.
- Mike Brady, The Brady Bunch: Love every child like they’re your own, because every kid needs to be loved.