(Taken from my guest post for Cedar Fort Books, April 13, 2012)
My name is Treion, and as they say in Southern Utah where I went to college, “I’m not from around these parts.” No, I am actually from waaaay down south, South Africa. Yes, I was born on the African continent and raised on the outskirts of the “City of Gold” (aka Johannesburg) with no money, no father, and definitely no gold.
To oversimplify things, life was hard. And it was even harder for my dear mother who scrapped and scraped her entire short life to provide for her two sons. I think we moved almost every year of my young life as she tried to find stable work. I don’t believe she ever found real peace in this life, and passed away of cancer at the very young age of forty-three.
So, why share this rather sad and pathetic tale with you? Because that’s when I made a decision that I would be a good father, not someone who would leave a wife and kids to battle the storms of life alone. And that’s also when I became an author–one who would only be published twenty years later.
Today, I am a dad to five beautiful children, husband to one amazing woman, and author of Dad Rules: A Simple Manual For a Complex Job. Dad Rules is the everyman’s instruction manual that fathers have been waiting for, in the language they can understand. Dad Rules includes 81 short but entertaining rules to help fathers understand what they should know, say, and do in those difficult moments when they cannot find an app to solve a problem.
Does this mean I have risen from the ashes of my difficult childhood and become the perfect dad? No, not even close. But I am working on that goal every day. In other words, I am trying to practice the first rule in my book, “Show up for the job every day.”
If you think about it, even though I only wrote my book last year, I have really been writing it over the past twenty years. Because since I made the decision back then to be a good father I have been actively observing how other dads have tackled fatherhood—the good and bad examples. I have read dozens of books on parenting, and asked several dads how they do it. I did all this not with the intent to write a book, but rather to be a great dad. However, these informal methods of research made it possible for me to write my book in less than two months. I know it isn’t very long, and doesn’t require the same amount of time a novel would, but because I was already passionate about the topic the words flowed freely onto the page.
The last rule in my book (Rule 81) is “Share what you have learned with other dads.” With this rule in mind I would love to hear from you, whether you are a dad or not, because I am confident you know what makes a good dad. So, please share what you feel are some dad rules you admire, respect, and believe in?