16 Words for Dads

My father (“Hoke” to his grandchildren) used to tell me, “If you can’t say it clearly in one sentence, it’s not worth talking about.” That drove me crazy as a young man but now that I have five children of my own I see his point.

I am beginning a new series called 16 Words for Dads. Over the next 20 weeks, we will reveal a new entry, each exactly 16 words long, and link to more details (for those who want to read more). Below is a list of the first five, along with additional text for those who crave more than 16 words!

Why 16 words? The truth is, I was sitting in church recently, trying to think of a catchy title for this series. I wanted to offer short, one or two sentence tips for dads and I couldn’t think of what to call it. I wrote down the first couple of entries I would offer and looked at them. Each of them had exactly 16 words. I thought about that title for a few minutes. It grew on me. After worship, I used my smart phone to look some things up and was surprised to see how much can be said in 16 words.

“Government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from this earth.” Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear blank, happy birthday to you.” “In the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit. Amen.” It was that last one that got me. So 16 words it is.

The tips offered are intended to give dads something to think about when faced with the raising of their children. I’m not foolish enough to think that every father will think that every item on the list is for them. It is simply a compilation of experiences and lessons learned over the years, all boiled down into a digestible 16 words. Hopefully, one or two of them will have meaning to you or a dad you love.

By the way, we’d love to hear from you as well. Let us know if you agree, disagree, disagree strongly… or maybe have 16 words of your own wisdom you’d like to share with other dads.

16 Word for Dads

  1. Be willing to “turn the car around”. Your kids need to know your threats are serious. [Read More]
  2. Insist that your kids use “Mr.” and “Mrs.”, then last names of adults in their lives. [Read More]
  3. Family meetings are essential. Start with scripture, then fill with honesty and finally, end with laughter. [Read More]
  4. Let your kids see you kiss and hug their mother. It matters and they are watching. [Read More]
  5. Never let your child hear your voice when they are playing organized team sports games. Never. [Read More]


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

2 thoughts on “16 Words for Dads

  1. Thanks Tara. I am “revealing” additional materials one per day for the first five days. Then one per week.

    #5 on the list will be a controversial one I’m sure. Obviously very few of these are hard and fast rules, etched in stone so to speak. I’m hoping to start connecting dads to each other with tips and suggestions on how to raise strong, respectful kids.

    I hoping many others will write in with theirs as well.

  2. I LOVE this idea and I think your first few entries are great! I am wondering why u said never let your child hear your voice when they are playing an organized sport? Too obnoxious? I can see that. But on the flip side, hearing your support could be a positive, yes? Overall I think this is a wonderful idea and love how the whole ”plan” came together! :)