7 Genius Pieces of Advice for Dads from Our Fave Celebrity Fathers
Born: November 9, 1970
Kids: Ash, Sierra (SiSi), Cheyenne
Career: WWE Superstar, Author, Actor, Musician, Podcaster
Life of Dad: You have so many great themes in your books and podcasts that people should adopt. What is one big one you hope to instill in your kids?
Chris Jericho: Confidence. If you want to do something, then make it happen. That said, if you are 5'5" and you want to be the center for the L.A. Lakers, that is not going to happen. You can do whatever you want in life within the limits of the talents that you have and the attitude that you have and the skill level that you have.
The most important thing that you need to have is the confidence and courage to just try. Do things. Don’t worry about failure. Don’t worry about doing things the wrong way. “No” is a four-letter word. It is an evil word that is accepted far too easily. Instead of accepting the word “no,” just figure out how you can make that “no” a “yes.”
Born: November 21, 1971
Kids: Isabella, Sophia, Tanita, Michael Strahan Jr.
Career: NFL Player, Sports Analyst, TV Host
Life of Dad: You’ve set the bar pretty high from a parenting standpoint by wanting to walk in your dad’s shoes, a man you’ve said is the most influential person in your life. What’s the most important thing you want your kids to learn that you learned?
Michael Strahan: Accountability. I think it is about being a good person. Being nice. Working hard. It is about the simple things. I found in my life the simple things have led me to the best things. I don’t think life gets too complicated. I think it is as complicated as you make it. I think my kids feel very appreciative of everything because there is always an alternative of somewhere where you don’t want to go. That is what helps me with my kids. I tell them that it wasn’t always like this [for me].
Also, at the same time, my life is not your life. Don’t be banking on daddy to take care of you [laughing]. I had to work and you have to work. A lot of people said that I could have retired [after football]. Yes, I could have retired. I could be sitting in Miami just hanging out. I retired when my twins, who are 11 years old, were 3. They don’t remember daddy the football player. The older ones remember me as a football player, but still I am their father. How could I retire at 36 years old and then tell my kids to work hard?
I did work hard, but they don’t remember seeing that. I am giving them an example. That is the most important thing. You’ve got to be an example to your kids. So I am trying to be a good example to them of how to live your life. How to be nice to people. How to work hard. How to enjoy every day and look on the bright side of things.
Born: September 25, 1951
Kids: Nathan, Griffin, Chelsea
Career: Actor, Voice Actor, Writer, Show Host
Life of Dad: What were some of the core values you looked to instill in your kids as they were growing up?
Mark Hamill: All the basics. It is not reinventing the wheel. Honesty, the golden rule, treating people the way you would want to be treated. All those sorts of things like kindness and selflessness, trying to do the right thing. It sounds corny when you put them into words, but I have been very lucky. It is not an easy journey. They go through the arc of life, and there could be troubling times, but you stick with it and they come through.
One of my proudest achievements is that all three of my kids and I have a great relationship. It is not easy to raise three children and not have them all have resentments or be angry at you. Keeping a strong relationship is something that you have to be dedicated to twenty-four
Born: June 15, 1969
Kids: O’Shea Jr., Karima, Deja, Shareef, Darrel
Career: Rapper, Producer, Director, Actor, Writer, Entrepreneur
Life of Dad: What are some of the best pieces of wisdom you’ve tried to pass down to them?
Ice Cube: Mind your own business and you will live longer. Don’t take crap from anybody. Stand up for yourself. Be nice. You don’t have to be mean. Don’t leave it up to the mother to raise your kids. You need to be just as involved. Just being there is not being there. You have to be there and be involved. Don’t sit on the sideline and leave it for your wife to do.
Born: August 6, 1965
Kids: Corey, David Jr., Justin
Career: NBA Hall of Famer, Entrepreneur
Life of Dad: You had a long and successful NBA career that required a lot of travel while your sons were young—however, you have a great relationship with your boys. How were you able to build that and what advice would you give other dads in a similar situation?
David Robinson: The number one thing that I would say is, don’t buy that little argument about quality time and quantity time. Quantity time is quality time. Being there is way more important than you think. I understand if you are in the military. You’ve got to be away. My father had to be away. Kids are resilient. They will bounce back and figure things out.
But if you can be there, then be there. That is just the bottom line. If you have the choice to spend time with your children, spend time with your children. I guarantee you that you will never, ever regret it. That would be the number one thing that I would say for young dads. If you can’t be there, don’t feel guilty about it. That is something that you can’t control. Like I said, kids are very resilient. They will be fine, but they will also know that you couldn’t be there. If you can be there but aren’t, they will know that you could be there but decided not to be there.
Born: September 24, 1965
Kids: Annalise, Talia
Career: Chef, Restaurant Owner, TV Host
Life of Dad: We all want to raise healthy kids, and the first step to making that happen is to teach them how to eat healthy. You’ve made fitness and nutrition a priority in your life and your family. Any tips to get kids to learn how to appreciate healthy foods?
Robert Irvine: One thing I did with my girls was take them to the supermarket and let them pick out five green vegetables and five other vegetables of their own choosing—then we’d bring them back to the house. I’d let them taste each vegetable raw, then I would cook the product with them and then blindfold them and have them taste each dish, and I’d ask, “What’s in this dish?”
For every one they got right, they got 25 cents. It would probably be a dollar these days, but it educates them about different flavors. The more you get kids in the kitchen and the more you have fun and make a mess, the better it is. When I work with both kids and adults I want them to have fun. That means making a mess. It means throwing flour at mom and dad in a playful way. Life is a sequence of moments we never get back. And the more fun moments they have in the kitchen, the better they retain the information.
Born: May 27, 1964
Kids: Natalia, Santino “Sonny”
Career: Comedian, Author, TV Host, Director, Radio Personality, Guinness World Record Holder
Life of Dad: As a man who has worked construction jobs and who has legitimate carpentry skills, what strategies or projects have you used to teach your kids the value of being able to build things with their own two hands?
Adam Carolla: Kids now are digital people. They’re not mechanical people. Everything in their world involves a computer, a screen, chips, and technology. They’re not “manual shift” or “change your own oil” people. If you try and build something that’s less useful for them, like a hummingbird feeder, I don’t know if they’ll want to do that.
I recently built my daughter a platform for her bed. And I built my son a loft for his bedroom. So I built them a couple of things that went in their rooms that they slept on. If you want to build a project that ends up in their room (like a bed or desk or loft) or something that they will use, then there might be a little more skin in the game. I still did all the work myself, but I did get my son out there to help me build the ladder. And we went to Home Depot while I bought the materials and it felt like we were doing it together.
Excerpted from The Life of Dad by Jon Finkel and Art Eddy. Copyright © 2019 by Jon Finkel and Art Eddy. Used with permission of the publisher, Adams Media, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.