Father’s Day Competition: Dad taught me…


One of my first memories of my dad was his teaching me how to dance by standing on top of his feet. We twirled, jumped and burst into fits of laughter as we glided across the room. At my wedding many years later, the father-daughter dance brought back these great childhood memories.

Fathers, grandfathers and step-fathers teach us many things. Whether it’s an important life lesson, how to dance, ride a bike or being a source of wisdom, they are essential to our upbringing.
With Father’s Day around the corner, we want to honor these men in our lives, and all they’ve taught us. What better way to honor your father’s legacy than with his family tree, past and present?

One lucky reader will have an opportunity to preserve their father’s heritage with a one-year MyHeritage Premium Plus site subscription, and a data subscription with access to billions of historical records.

Ready for the chance to win? Tell us how your dad made an impact on you in the comments below. What did he teach you? What pearls of wisdom did he share that you still keep today?

Comment below by finishing the sentence “Dad taught me…” by June 16. We’ll choose our favorite to win!

We look forward to reading your memories and sound advice! How will you celebrate next week?

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  • Marie Keep

    June 13, 2014

    Dad taught me to laugh, smile and be happy. Dad had a wicked sense of humour and taught me that it is much better to laugh and smile and be happy then to spread misery around. He taught me amusing rhymes that I remember to this day.

    Dad taught me to love maths. His favourite thing was to add up the columns in the telephone directory and encouraged me to do the same to see if we got the same answers (thank goodness the phone books then weren’t as big as they are now!).

    Dad taught me the importance of family. He loved every family social occasion and it was nothing to see several grandkids hanging off him or sitting on his lap all lapping up his teasing and attention. He loved his big family!

    I remember when dad was to give me away at my wedding. We both needed a bit of “dutch courage”and out he comes with a little nip of scotch for us both to “settle the nerves”.

    But what I remember most of all were the times when dad would slip my younger brother and myself a shilling (10cents) and tell us to buy ourselves a meat pie for lunch. Those days the money was so scarce and treats rare but I remember the thrill we would get on that cold winters day when we were like “the others” at school and could buy something warm for lunch.

    Thank you dad for these and all the other memories you have left behind. I love you dad. Happy Fathers Day!

  • Judith Liversage

    June 13, 2014

    My dad taught me to put things where I find them Especialy in Hairdressing He taught me the Art in hairdressing I miss him. He was a kind hearted strict father. He always SMILED. Love you Dad.

  • Tracy

    June 13, 2014

    My dad is my hero and just an ALL-STAR daddy! He is a minister and taught me to pray, taught me about God, he lived an exemplary life that embodied important attributes as dedication, love, unselfishness, support, and community service. He taught me to feel secure and always be able to talk to him about anything; that family matters; to work hard; to believe in myself; never listen to others that may be discouraging/ignore the naysayers; always keep getting up when I get knocked down; to enjoy the little things of life; to stand up for myself and to love with my whole heart!I’ll always be my daddy’s (only) girl! I love you daddy!! Happy Father’s Day!

  • Walt Robbins, Jr

    June 14, 2014

    My Dad taught me the importance of habits. When turn signals first became available in automobiles we were driving down one of our county roads on our way home when dad came to a road and he turned on the signal. I looked all around and did not see another vehicle in sight. I asked Dad why he was using his turn signal since nobody would see it. Dad responded that if he used the turn signal every time he was making a turn then he would get in the habit of using this new device and then he would not forget to use it when it really mattered.

    He also taught me to always remove the keys from the car when you shut off the engine and put them in your pocket. That way you would not accidentally lock your keys in your car. People look at me and smile when they see me stopped for a train, because I will shut off the engine and remove the keys from the ignition.

    These are two examples of the ways my Dad taught me to use habits to make my life easier and less stressful. They have been valuable and I continue to follow both of them to this day.

  • Nancy

    June 14, 2014

    My dad was a devout Catholic & I spent the first 11 1/2 years at Catholic schools. I’ve since rejected most of the Catholic teachings but when I was very young, he offered each of us kids a quarter to memorize the Prayer for Peace by St. Francis of Assisi. At that time, a quarter meant five big candy bars!
    Lord make me an instrument of Thy peace. .
    Where there is hatred,
    let me sow love.
    Where there is injury,
    Where there is doubt,
    Where there is despair,
    Where there is darkness,
    Where there is sadness,
    O Divine Master;
    grant that I may not so much seek to be con­soled
    as to console;
    to be understood as to understand
    to be loved as to love
    for it is in giving that we receive,
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

    I got more than candy out of that deal. I got my life mantra.

    Great investment, Dad!
    He seemed destined to being a professional baseball player when he was accepted to play on the farm club of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the St. Paul Saints. When WWII broke out, he joined the Marines & ended up with a leg injury at Guadalcanal. After a year in the hospital in Australia, he again tried out for the Saints. Although they were impressed by his skills, they were afraid he would re-injure his leg so in the last cut before the season began, they let him go. It was the kind of disappointment that would have broken a lesser man, but he used the GI Bill to go to college & become a teacher. By the time he graduated, he & my mom had 5 kids. At the time, this was so unusual the St. Paul paper printed our picture & told his story.
    I remember him teaching me how to bat. He said a switch hitter was more valuable so I learned how to bat left handed. I learned so well that I couldn’t swing right handed to save my soul. Being female was no excuse when he used to send us across the field & he would hit fly balls to us. Some of my fondest memories of him are sitting next to him out in the left field bleachers, watching a Twins game. I could never tell by his mood after the game whether we won or lost. He was happy to see a good game. That was never based on winning. Another good investment, Dad.
    I hope I’m making you as proud of me as I am of you! (and Mom) Hold the fort down until we can be together again

  • Vera Tallmadge

    June 15, 2014

    Dad taught me who a hero is and what love means:

    If heroes exist; if heroes are the driving power of our existence and continued survival; if heroes rise above and beyond the mundane and the drivel of everyday life with their love and faith and selflessness, then my dad is the greatest hero I have ever known.
    He never believed that he was the kind of father we children deserved, and he probably wasn’t – he was far, far more than any child could hope for. Love like his isn’t something a person can deserve — it is divine, sent from a heaven that smiles on newborn souls. He was our inspiration, education, wisdom, direction, guidance, and source of faith. When I say he loved us, the word takes on new meaning, for his love wasn’t passive; it was active and powerful and unconditional. He was love-in-action, a force to be reckoned with, a source from which to draw strength, a fortress of that power higher than all others.
    He was never rich nor in any way famous. He was born in the backwoods of Alabama to a mother who wouldn’t live to see his tenth birthday. He had three brothers and one sister, all of whom were older than he, save the youngest, Billy. When his mother died, the four children were given away to aunts and uncles and foster families because his father was put in jail for stealing a cow with which to feed the four children – or so the story goes. My dad grew up in a series of foster homes, never being able to stay in one for very long at a time. He never complained, looking back, or even made us feel badly for his childhood. Instead, he kept us laughing with stories of his escapades and the shenanigans he pulled as a boy. Tom Sawyer had nothing on my dad. He never wore a pair of shoes until he started school, and he never even knew he had a first name until he entered the Air Force at age eighteen.
    He told us the story of the time he was forced to take trombone lessons as a young boy, and he so hated it that finally, not knowing what to do, he simply sat on it and broke it. Another story involved beets. My dad hated beets. But at one foster parent’s home, he was told that he could not leave the table until he ate them. He sat there, alone, at the table for a long time, until finally he came up with a brilliant idea: he hid the beets in the cuffs of his pants. He said it would have worked, too – if the dog hadn’t smelled them.
    My dad would do anything to make us laugh – at the grocery store, when the prices were high, he would act as if he were crazy, picking imaginary bugs out of the air and putting them in his shirt pocket. On the highway, he’d honk and wave happily at people he didn’t even know. We laughed and laughed whenever we were with my dad, when he tickled us until we rolled on the floor laughing and squirming and yelling “Uncle,” when his big toe was “broke” after our pulling off one of his tired boots at the end of a long day shift, when toothpicks magically disappeared into his mouth, our noses disappeared to reappear as his thumb, and when my father sang, “I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck,” and when — after much begging and wheedling — he WIGGLED HIS EARS for us.
    I learned about what love means when, after a full night at the refinery and a full day repairing refrigerators and air conditioners, the only complaint I ever heard on his way back to work was “I’m just tahred,” when I saw worn-out hand-cut cardboard insoles in his decade-old church shoes but a brand-new formal for my first Sweetheart Banquet, when I smelled the blue Aqua Velva after-shave that was his single Christmas present one year, when I snitched a swig of his coffee or tea while he tried not to grin, when I felt the safest, strongest, best arms in my whole universe elaborately and gently tuck me in at night, and when I viewed the depths of the human heart through silver-green eyes that warmed and softened and smiled when he gazed at one of us, his children.
    I remember strongest the one statement my father spoke from his heart over and over, time and time again. The first time, I didn’t understand; I had done nothing extraordinary. But I have come to recognize that we received his greatest benediction, our legacy and our mantra, in a single sincere statement that both held and liberated us, praised and inspired us, guided and disciplined us — four words and more of love than some children ever receive their whole lives: “I’m proud of you.”
    When I grew into an adolescent girl, old enough to contemplate “true love,” my father captured it for me in these words, “True love is when you place the happiness of the one you love above everything, even your own,” and I realized that all I had needed to know about real love had been standing there before me all along.

  • M. Diane Rogers

    June 15, 2014

    #dadtaughtme to put my money where my mouth is – and to volunteer there as well.

  • moses

    June 15, 2014

    He loved us all, 24 kids. To date iy is hard to know whom he loved most. Because of this evenly devided love we love each other. Dad we love you and even your grave. We meet Dad.

  • jenny blakeman

    June 15, 2014

    My dad taught me several things, be loving, be friendly and be kind.

  • Hester Engelbrecht Tredoux

    June 15, 2014

    My dad taught me if you can’t respect another person or his property, how can you respect yourself or your own property.

  • Barbara Morgan

    June 15, 2014

    My dad taught me to always be honest, keep my word and most importantly to treat others like I want them to treat me.

  • Tina Pond

    June 16, 2014

    Tina Pond My papa taught me lessons up to his last breathe! Breathe slow and deep and that his love would encompass my life even when he left! Life is a journey, do your best. Respect yourself and others. Work hard and don’t take things for granted, life is short and you have just a small amount of time to do your best and make a difference in the world. Be proud and stand on your own. Try not to take from others but always offer your help to those in need. Live life, love your family, and keep them close and safe! All this, and more! Painting, cars, sewing, and dreams! Love him, RESPECT! Truly a great man, role model, for my siblings and I!

  • Joseph Auffray

    June 16, 2014

    This person is not my dad but my step-father. He meant the world to me, a person who I could look up to. That person, Thomas Goodall married my mom when I was two & my brother 6. He took my brother & I as his own even though he & my mom never had kids. He put us the two of through school & made us the men which we are today. For this I’m eternally grateful for. He passed away 2 years ago & each father since including his birthday’s is fondly remembered. RIP my Hero!!

  • Teah Middleton

    June 16, 2014

    My dad raised me because my bio dad left. He taught me that anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad. He gave me away in my two weddings and took me to school even thought I clung to his let not wanting him to leave… He taught me how to care for all of the animals we had through my life and how to ride horses, drive a car, shoot pool and how to pick a special dad for my son when I remarried. He lived for us kids and worked very hard for many years to get us everything we ever wanted.. Now hes in heaven and I know he is still teaching me. My only child, my son is in the army and dad is with me everytime I think of my son. I know he will help keep my son, his grandson very safe for us coz he was so proud of all of us and the job that he did teaching us about a good life…

  • Teah Middleton

    June 16, 2014

    Family history was very important to him also…