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A bit of fatherly advice . . .

Staff writer

Fathers Day is Sunday (have you bought a card and tie yet?), so we thought we’d talk to some fathers about what advice they’d give a new dad.

“Good luck!” Caleb Abbott quickly said while eating lunch at Marion Senior Center.

Any other advice?

“Run!” he said.

Then Abbott, a father of two — a 55-year-old son and 51-year-old daughter — got serious.

“There should always be communication,” he said.

Sitting at the same table, Dale Lind said he would tell new dads to “relish the moments — the good ones.”

He has 60-, 56-, and 50-year-old daughters and a 58-year-old son. He also has 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He and Abbott jokingly compared numbers. Abbott has one great-grandchild.

Both men said being a grandfather and great-grandfather was easier than being a dad.

Lind’s son lives in Marion. Two of his daughters live in Washington state, and one lives in Calgary.

“My son was just like a shadow” as he was growing up, Lind said. “And the girls are as musical as I am. We had an organ and piano at home. We had a lot of fun that way.”

They still do when they’re together, he said.

Marion police officer Duane McCarty’s first piece of advice was “spend as much time with your children as you can.”

“Don’t miss their events, whether it’s sports or school,” he said. “Put your children before your job. And if you can’t, choose a different career.”

McCarty has 39- and 35-year-old daughters. He has eight grandchildren, three of whom are biological grandkids.

Dads should “be there when they need a shoulder to cry on,” he said.

“Discipline when needed, but make sure they always know they’re loved,” McCarty said.

Donald Raymer, principal at Marion High School, quickly answered: “Embrace the journey. Time flies. Be present and be a good role model.”

He has 14- and 12-year-old sons and a 9-year-old daughter.

“Eat dinner with your kids,” he added.

“Be there for them — always,” said Marion businessman Brent Miles, who has five children from age 24 to 36 between he and his wife. “They’ll grow up and be gone all too quickly. Enjoy every moment and love them unconditionally.”

Marion businessman Roger Hannaford has 52- and 42-year-old sons and a 36-year-old daughter. He has eight grandchildren.

“Be engaged, supportive, and loving,” Hannaford said. “Be your child’s positive role model. Enjoy the time together because they grow up way too fast.”

Patience is key, Hillsboro city administrator Matt Stiles said. He described himself as the “proud father of a 6-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl.”

“Kids aren’t little adults,” he said. “They need a lot of love, help and instruction to learn and navigate things. That requires a lot of patience as a parent.”

Peabody city council member and Vintage Bank Kansas loan officer Richard Baker has twin 20-year-old sons and a 16-year-old son.

“Be involved in everything they do from changing diapers to feeding them to all the sports, everything because the time is fleeting,” Baker said. “Enjoy all that. Enjoy teaching them.”

Hillsboro teacher and coach Demetrius Cox had perhaps the most compelling advice. He has two daughters — an 18-year-old and a 13-year-old.

“I know it might sound cliché, but I’m going to say that from my standpoint of losing both of my sons, enjoy every moment and take nothing for granted,” Cox said. “I still have my daughters.”

Last modified June 15, 2023

 

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