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The Top 8 Things I Swore I’d Never Do as a Dad

By mikeadamick |

There are things I swore I’d never do as a dad, and this is one of them. Right here, right now, sitting the grass, watching my daughter begin to cry — she’s fighting back tears and trying her best to keep it together, as her friends toddle off back to the soccer — I feel like the lowest human being in the world.

Scum. Garbage. Santorum.

Who makes his daughter tear up over a stupid game?

I swore I wouldn’t be “that dad” — the one who takes things like sports so seriously that he ruins the very essence of sports itself: fun, camaraderie, learning to be a good sport. But in the heat of the moment, I said something stupid about her lackluster playing and turned a glorious, sun-kissed day into one of the worst of my life. I watched her take the criticism and turn it over for a moment before beginning to cry. She’s five.

This is not the introduction to the sporting world I had envisioned, for either of us.

I always thought I would be more chill, more of a roll-with-the-punches type of sideline dad who revels in hard work and having fun. This little moment was a life lesson that I know will stick with me for the rest of my child-watching sports days: It’s a game, lighten up, dude; it’s supposed to be fun. I just wish that I didn’t have to learn it the hard way, as the one who really suffered was my daughter.

The episode got me thinking about all the things that I swore I would NEVER do as a dad. And yet, I wound up doing all of them any way. This is, indeed, the most dramatic and the one that constantly plagues me. But there are other, thankfully much lighter things, that I find myself doing now, despite the fact that my pre-kid self would probably shake his head in disbelief. (If not come right out and mock me altogether.)

So here you go, the things I never thought I’d do as a dad. I’d love to hear yours in the comments.

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The Top 8 Things I Swore I'd Never Do As a Dad

Become a sideline clown

You know? THAT DAD. The one who is not being a good sport himself? Ugh, this one will bother me for the rest of my days. I feel horrible every time I think about it. I love sports and the last thing I want is to turn my daughter away from the fun of it all. I'm sorry, kiddo!

Mike Adamick writes at Cry It Out! and is on Facebook.


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About mikeadamick



As the “Daddy Issues” columnist for and a prime mover at “The Poop,” the parenting blog of the San Francisco Chronicle, Mike Adamick is no stranger to writing about modern fatherhood with wit and wisdom. He blogs at Cry It Out! Read bio and latest posts → Read mikeadamick's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “The Top 8 Things I Swore I’d Never Do as a Dad

  1. Beta Dad says:

    All of the above except for the sports, only because I haven’t yet had the chance. Plus, yelling at my children. Absolutely pointless and shameful, and yet I seem to do it about three times a week.

  2. mikeadamick says:

    Oh god, yelling. I could have put that one on there. Things I never thought I’d do as a dad: be an asshole. No wonder they become teenagers and hate us. Thanks, man.

  3. the muskrat says:

    Yeah, haven’t had to deal with sports yet, but we were all “no TV”for the 5-year-old, and at some point a couple years later when her brother came along, that changed. Like Andy above, I yell too much. As for wearing dresses and tiaras? I did that way before becoming a dad and will continue way after they move out.

  4. patrice says:

    Yep Im right there with ya on pretty much all your points except the sports thing,Im pretty chill about that. The bathroom thing i agree 100% I have 6 kids so I haven’t had ANY bathroom privacy in so long Im not sure I could go to the bathroom without an audience anymore…lol..and yes Im a yeller too and that’s the thing I hate most!!! Thanks for the chuckles!!

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