Whether a man is your biological dad or has stepped in to play that role, he holds a special place in your heart. Besides the awful dad jokes and embarrassing stories, dads provide a whole lot of support and even more love.
You may remember these four dads, they each took the internet by storm with their viral stories involving their children. In light of Father’s Day, I reached out to each of them and asked them to share their best advice for other dads. Their responses will make your heart melt.
1. Dad who wept tears of pure joy when his wife told him she was pregnant says, “Tell your wife she’s beautiful, every day.”
When Austin Spomer came home, his wife told him that she had an early present for him. Assuming it was an early Christmas present because it was December, he hesitantly took the present from her.
Tears began welling up in her eyes and he instantly knew; this wasn’t a joke. With tears now falling down both of their faces, he pulled the tissue paper out from the bag and found a framed picture that said, “Baby Spomer coming in August.” His reaction went viral.
This wasn’t an early Christmas present, but an early birthday present! Their little girl’s due date was set for August 19, which happens to be Austin’s birthday. The couple has continued to share sweet moments like this on their YouTube channel as they prepare for their first child.
As Austin and his wife prepare, he said he is excited about many things as a new dad. “I am most excited to be the best man in her life,” he said. “To teach her that she’s capable of anything, and can do anything if she works hard enough for it.” More immediately, he told me, he is excited to cuddle with his daughter while watching football games.
To other soon-to-be-dads, Austin suggests helping your wife fight against the lies that hormones are whispering to her. “Tell your wife she’s beautiful, every day, because she is,” he said. “Her knowing that you still see her as beautiful as she was before, will mean the world to her.”
“Also, stash chocolate for emergencies,” he added.
2. Dad who jumped up on stage to dance with his daughter says that you “must be quick to adapt.”
Little Bella began to cry and scream as she took the stage with the other ballerinas in her class. She loved dancing, but stage fright reared its ugly head as she waited to perform.
Instead of embarrassing his daughter by escorting her off stage in front of everyone, Marc Daniels encouraged her to finish her routine. He grabbed her hand and asked if she would like him to dance with her. She said yes, stopped crying, and gained a lot of confidence with her dad dancing by her side. Or as Daniels put it, “she got her swagger back.”
Thanks to the way her dad helped encourage her to push past her fear of being on stage, Bella beamed her way through the official performance, on her own. Daniels explained that he and his wife were extremely proud of the way his daughter bounced back.
“We felt proud to know that perhaps my going on stage with Bella during the dance rehearsal gave her that extra boost of confidence to really shine and build her character,” he recalled. “I think it is fair to say that both Kim and I had goosebumps watching our girls and there were a few occasions I had to wipe tears of joy from my eyes.”
“I want them to fulfill their potential and to live simply, with their hearts filled with love and joy,” he said when asked about his biggest hope for his children. “Our focus has been to raise them to appreciate our creation, the value of family, and to keep God at the center of their existence and manifest His vision for them.”
Daniels also said that he prays for his children daily and that he hopes that they can make a difference in the world with their unique talents and gifts.
Daniels gives credit to his own father, his wife, and God for helping him become the father is his today. When I asked him what kind of advice he wished he had gotten when he first became a dad, he said, “Each baby has their own unique differences, gifts, and arguably, challenges, so one must be quick to adapt and be willing to sacrifice; to learn to become self-less for their benefit.”
3. Dad who sat with his toddler in the parking lot of a Red Robin while she threw a tantrum says, “Love your child’s mother.”
Clint Edwards and his family decided to go out to enjoy a nice meal at Red Robin. As a father of three, he was no stranger to the potential threat of a meltdown. So when his 2-year-old daughter began kicking and screaming because her mom told her she couldn’t throw her chicken strips, he knew exactly what needed to be done.
He picked up his daughter and carried her outside, noticing the judgmental stares on the way out.
Edwards, a writer for his blog “No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog” and author of the book “I’m Sorry…Love, Your Husband: Honest, Hilarious Stories From a Father of Three Who Made All the Mistakes (and Made up for Them),” decided to address those who gave him dirty looks while he taking his screaming toddler outside.
“She’s two and it’s going to take years to teach her how to act appropriately in public,” he wrote. “The only way I am ever going to teach that is to take her out and show her what’s right and wrong.” Many people related to this common parenting moment and his picture quickly went viral.
Edwards told me that his biggest hope for his children would be that they “grow up to be good people.” He elaborated, “I want them to love their families and the ones they are with, and I want them to love their communities.”
His biggest piece of advice to other dads actually focuses more on the mother. He said, “The best thing you can do as (a) father is love your child’s mother.”
4. Dad who let his little girl wear a Supergirl costume for school pictures says, “Follow your kiddos lead.”
When then 3-year-old Kalieann confidently came down the stairs to show her parents which outfit she had chosen for “Picture Day” at school, they couldn’t help but laugh. They had been letting their toddler express herself by choosing her daily outfit from three parent-approved choices.
But that particular morning, she didn’t like any of the outfits laid out by her parents. She just looked up and yelled, “Pootergirl!” She wanted to wear her special Supergirl costume for the special day. Austin Steinbach, Kalieann’s dad, said that he and his wife decided to let her run (or fly) with it.
When he posted the picture to Reddit, he said, “My daughter got to pick what she wore for her school pictures. Daddy approves.” The picture quickly went viral and people all over were applauding Austin and his wife for fostering such independence in their toddler.
When I asked Austin what his biggest hope for his daughter was, he said, “I really only hope that she becomes a strong, independent, and successful woman in whatever path she chooses. I cannot wait to see her tackle all of her own dreams.”
But his biggest piece of advice to other dads? “Follow your kiddos lead,” he said. “They have a mind, personality, and drive of their own and it’s so much more fun and meaningful getting to follow him/her through their day rather than pushing your wants and beliefs onto them.”
These four dads are the perfect example of why we owe so much to the dads of our society. Their stories are a sweet reminder that dads help teach us how to be respectful humans, encourage us in our dreams, and love us even more than we can imagine.
If you’re a dad, take some of the advice given here to heart. If you’re not a dad, make sure to reach out to your father-figure this Father’s Day and thank him, for everything.
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