Being Raised by “Mr. Fun”
“If you make something fun, it’s easier to learn.” ~ Larry Seaman
(Coach Laura’s Dad)
Have you ever done a values assessment? A values assessment is a process that helps you get clear on your core values. A value is defined as a principle, standard, or quality considered inherently worthwhile or desirable. In the book What Color is Your Parachute, Richard Bolles says, “Values are a matter of what guides you through every day, every task, every encounter with another human being.”
I’ve done several values assessments over the years and one of my values which shows up consistently, time and time again, is fun. I try to find a way to have as many moments of fun in my day as possible. I think the reason this value has been so consistent in my life is because I was raised by “Mr. Fun”. My dad, Larry, is one of the most fun-loving people you will ever meet. With Father’s Day coming up, I thought it would be appropriate to share a little with you about my dad and what it was like being raised in an environment of fun.
One of the things I’ve always admired about my dad was what an excellent father he was despite the fact that his own father died when he was just eight years old and his memories of his dad are very limited. He parented from a place of intuition more than from following the model his father gave him because he just didn’t remember enough about his dad from before he died.
My dad was 23 years old when I was born in May of 1967, and as I’ve been told, he loved me wholeheartedly from the moment he met me. I was definitely Daddy’s Little Girl! My mom says that it wasn’t unusual for him to come home from work with a new dress for me, which he’d promptly put me in and then take me out to show me off to all of his friends.
So many of my earliest memories from my preschool days are full of fun. My dad played on a bowling league and I can remember begging him to let me go with him. I would run around the back of the bowling alley with other kids just waiting for the chance to bowl a couple balls at the end of the night. We’d then go home and my dad would help put me to bed with a bedtime story… he very rarely read to me, but instead made up stories out of his head… and an evening ritual that I named “do face” where I would close my eyes and my dad would lightly trace his fingers around my eyes, nose, and face… I can still remember how relaxing this was for me!
As I approached elementary school age, our fun became more educational. I perfected my spelling with The Spelling Game… which was just my dad giving me a word, spelling bee style, and asking me to spell it. We would play this everywhere, but mostly in the car during long rides. Another one of our favorite car games was Name That Tune… my dad was a harmonica player, so he would play a song, and my brother and I would try to guess what he was playing. At home, we worked on my math skills by playing store. My dad would sit down with me and give me a pile of money. He then would bring me an item he wanted to buy and it was my job to make the correct change from the money he gave me to pay for his “purchase”.
Spending time with family, my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins, was also part of the environment of fun I was raised in. We would get together for crab feasts, card games, holidays, and birthdays. We’d go out in the evening for ice cream followed by a game of hide and seek, and as dusk set in, we’d grab a jar and collect fireflies. We went camping and would sing camp songs, make a fire, and stargaze.
In a nutshell, my childhood was full of love, learning and fun!
So, as we approach Father’s Day this year, I want to say, thank you Dad for raising me in such a way that I recognize the value of FUN!!! Now that I am an adult, I recognize that not everyone is able to give themselves permission to play and have fun the way that I can, and I believe it is because of you that fun always shows up as one of my core values. You are an amazing man and I am lucky to be your daughter!
What fun memories do you have of your dad? Please share them with me! I’d really love to hear some of your stories too!
Today’s author: Laura Hall, CPC, CDWF: As a certified professional coach since 2009, Laura Hall, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator has been helping people just like you make changes in. As a mother of 2 girls, Laura has a special interest in coaching parents, so if you still have children living at home, ask Laura about her Wholehearted Parenting programs. Laura can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to visit her website HallCoaching.com