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25 Pieces of Dad Advice for Those Who Need a Father Figure

From oil changes to relationships, here are twenty-five pieces of dad advice for when you need a father’s perspective.

Growing up without a dad or father figure can be tough. Whether you’re an adult now or still finding your way, some fatherly advice can go a long way. Here’s a mix of practical tips, life lessons, and a bit of humor inspired by our authors, dads on the internet, and my own dad to help guide you through some of life’s trickier transitions.

1. Buying Your First House

When you’re ready to buy your first house, remember, it’s more than just a roof over your head. Look at the neighborhood, the schools, and the commute. And don’t skip the home inspection—it’s worth every penny. Oh, and if the neighbors seem a bit too curious, just remember: they come with the house, too.

2. Mowing the Lawn

It’s not just about keeping the grass short; it’s a rite of passage. Keep your mower blades sharp, mow in different directions each time to avoid ruts, and trim the edges for that professional look. And always check for dog toys before you start; otherwise, you’ll have litter in the yard and an unhappy puppy.

3. Basic Car Maintenance

Learn to change your oil, replace wiper blades, and check tire pressure. Set a reminder if you have to. These small tasks can save you big bucks. And don’t forget to keep a blanket, flashlight, and some snacks in the trunk—you never know when you might need an impromptu picnic, whether you take one on purpose or not.

4. Grilling Skills

Every dad has their secret to the perfect barbecue. My dad’s? A good tenderizing, patience, and some helping hands. Remember, grilling isn’t just cooking; it’s an art form. And always have extra for the neighbors—they can smell a barbecue from a mile away.

5. Starting a Family

There’s no perfect time to start a family, so don’t stress about it too much. Be ready for sleepless nights, endless diaper changes, and an unimaginable amount of joy. Also, learn to swaddle—it’s like baby origami but better because it stops the crying.

6. Changing a Flat Tire

This one’s crucial. Make sure you know where the jack and spare tire are, and practice in your driveway first. It’s easier to learn when you’re not on the side of the road at midnight. Bonus tip: Keep a pair of gloves in the trunk.

7. Using Basic Tools

A hammer, screwdriver, and wrench can fix almost anything. Learn how to use them, and keep them handy. And remember: measure twice, cut once. Or, as I like to say, “Measure once, curse twice.”

8. Cooking a Simple Meal

You don’t need to be a gourmet chef, but knowing how to cook a few simple meals is essential. Start with spaghetti—it’s easy, and everyone loves it. Plus, it’s hard to mess up boiling water.

9. The Art of Negotiation

Whether it’s buying a car or asking for a raise, negotiation is key. Do your research, know your worth, and don’t be afraid to walk away. And remember, silence is powerful—use it to your advantage.

10. Financial Literacy

Understanding your finances is crucial. Learn to budget, save, and invest wisely. And always have an emergency fund—because life likes to throw curveballs. And yes, coffee can be made at home for a fraction of the cost.

11. Being Handy Around the House

A leaky faucet or a loose cabinet door can be a quick fix. YouTube is your friend here. Just remember to turn off the water before you start fixing that faucet—trust me on this one. (Water. Everywhere.)

12. Laundry 101

Separate your whites and colors, don’t overload the machine, and always check the care labels. And remember, if you ever shrink your favorite shirt, it’s just an excuse to go shopping.

13. Starting a Career

Your first job probably won’t be your dream job, and that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world to change careers as you go; in fact, it’s normal. Work hard, be curious, and keep learning. Every experience teaches you something. And always dress a little better than you think you need to—first impressions matter.

14. Public Speaking

Being able to speak confidently in public is a valuable skill. Practice in front of a mirror, join a group like Toastmasters, and remember: everyone gets nervous, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. And imagine your audience in their underwear—it really does help.

15. Maintaining Friendships

Friends are like plants: They need care and attention to grow. Stay in touch, be there for them, and don’t be afraid to reach out first. And remember, it’s okay to outgrow some friendships—not everyone is meant to be in your life forever.

16. Navigating Relationships

Communication is key. Be honest, listen, and don’t go to bed angry. Relationships take work, but they’re worth it. And always remember: a little surprise, like flowers or their favorite snack, can go a long way.

17. Staying Active

Find a physical activity you enjoy and stick with it. Whether it’s running, swimming, or playing a sport, staying active is crucial for your health. And remember, it’s about progress, not perfection.

18. First Aid Basics

Knowing basic first aid can be a lifesaver. Learn CPR, how to treat cuts and burns, and how to handle choking. And always keep a first aid kit at home and in your car—because accidents happen.

19. Traveling Smart

When traveling, always have a plan but be ready to improvise. Pack light, keep your important documents safe, and try to learn a few phrases in the local language. And always bring a snack—airports are expensive.

20. Gardening

Whether it’s a small herb garden or a full vegetable patch, gardening can be incredibly rewarding. Start with easy plants like tomatoes or basil, and don’t forget to water them. And if you talk to your plants, I won’t judge.

21. Balancing Work and Life

Finding a balance between work and personal life is essential. Set boundaries, make time for yourself, and don’t be afraid to say no. And remember, nobody ever said on their deathbed, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”

22. Handling Stress

Life can be stressful, but learning to manage it is crucial. Find healthy outlets like exercise, hobbies, or talking to a friend. And sometimes, it’s okay to just take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’ve got this.

23. Dealing with Failure

Everyone fails at something—it’s part of life. The important thing is to learn from it and keep going. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and remember, every failure is a step closer to success.

24. Giving Back

Helping others not only feels good but also makes a difference. Volunteer, donate, or just lend a hand to someone in need. It’s a great way to stay connected with your community and make the world a little better.

25. Enjoying the Journey

Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos. Take time to enjoy the little moments, laugh at the silly things, and appreciate the people around you. And remember, you’re doing great.

Share the Dad Advice

Having a father figure can make a big difference, but even if you didn’t grow up with one, you can still navigate life’s challenges with confidence and a bit of humor. Take these pieces of dad advice to heart, and don’t be afraid to pass them on to someone else who might need them. And remember, no matter where you are in life, it’s never too late to learn, grow, and enjoy the journey.

Find More Life Advice with These Books

The cover of the book No-Till Gardening.

No-Till Gardening

The cover of the book Red Zone, Blue Zone.

Red Zone, Blue Zone

The cover of the book Tennis and Life.

Tennis and Life

Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.

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