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The Man in the White Hat

“Donnie, be sure to bundle up.” “It’s going to be cold out there today.”

As I strapped on my shin-guards and put on enough clothes that even my wife would be warm. I was ready to get out on the soccer field.

As we walked out the door, I remember my dad wearing his tan jacket and white hat.

I don’t know what was written on the hat; I just remember it looking like a trucker’s hat.

To this day it still makes me smile when I picture my dad in that white hat. I’m sure my boys get a kick out of the clothes I wear, especially when I wear my Christmas sweater.

I remember it being a cold and rainy fall day. And thinking, who enjoys playing in this type of weather. It is why I enjoy basketball so much; you get to play in a nice warm gym.

The weather didn’t matter though, as my dad and I jumped into his blue GMC Jimmy. Man! He loved that truck. I remember rolling in the driveway with him when he bought the truck and the look on my mom’s face as she walked out the front door as we rolled up.

Anyway! That memory calls for an entirely different conversation.

Back to soccer. Game on!

I don’t remember much of the soccer game besides it was cold and rainy. What I do remember is my dad standing on the sideline cheering me on in his tan jacket and white hat as he braced the rain pelting his face.

Growing up my dad and I never really had any deep conversations, and to date, our conversations appear to have a word limit. Even though we didn’t have those conversations, I always knew he was there for me because he consistently showed up.

It didn’t matter if it was cold, raining, hailing (yes, played soccer in the hail once), snowing, or miles away in a rundown musty gym he made it a point to show up and cheer me on.

Showing up is one of the great lessons I learned from my dad. Whether that be at a preschool graduation, chess tournament, school awards, school play, or sporting event. Showing up, supporting, and cheering your kid on can have a profound impact on how your kid views themselves, you, and the world.

Want your kid to grow up strong and confident? Show up! Get involved in their life!

Lesson Learned: Being there for your children doesn’t always mean deep conversations. It can be as simple as standing on the sideline in the pouring rain wearing a ridiculous white hat and cheering.

Action: Ask yourself the following question: How can you show up in your children’s lives? What message are you sending your children by not showing up? Do the following: Block out time for your children on your calendar. Keep the appointment! Put away all devices!

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Donnie Boroff, M.A., CPC, ELI-MP, C-IQ is a father of four boys and husband with a passion for dads. A Dad Coach and founder of Everdad. With a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology along with being a Certified Professional Coach, Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, and Certified in Conversational Intelligence, he assists dads in exploring and discovering how they are showing up in their children’s lives.

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