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LBI staffers and dads talk lessons learned in fatherhood

While brainstorming what polo shirt, golf club or barbecue utensil to purchase for our fathers this year, we got to thinking about fatherhood. Sure, both parents take care of their children. But just because they perform some of the same jobs—diaper changes, bath times and playtimes—doesn’t mean they have the same experience.

With inRegister‘s editorial staff consisting entirely of women, we reached out to some of our colleagues ahead of Father’s Day this Sunday, June 20. Fellow Louisiana Business Inc. (inRegister’s parent company) staffers, as well as some of the freelance writers and photographers that make the magazine special, filled us in on the intricacies of fatherhood. Read on for what they’ve learned from their kids and their own fathers.

“Though my father passed away 28 years ago, his influence with me continues to be a guide. Ol’ Skipper, as he was affectionately known, was a remarkably creative soul who not only nurtured that in me but also taught me the joy and fulfillment that can come from curiosity, reflection, a keen eye and a willingness to paint outside the lines. As one who has generally found success through process and out-working others, having someone emphasize the extraordinary colors beyond black and white has not only made me more complete—and happy—person but also hopefully a better father.” – JR Ball, executive editor of Business Report

“It’s an old saying, but for fathers and grandfathers, ‘children spell love, T-I-M-E.’ Make them your priority and don’t have regrets. Harry Chapin says it best in the song, ‘Cat’s in the Cradle.’ Listen to it.” – Rolfe McCollister, chairman

“From my father I learned that integrity means everything. Do what you say you’re going to do, with things big and small, every single time, and give it your all in whatever you commit to, whether that’s building a career, coaching a team, or creating quality family time without the distractions of the world. Be there and be there fully.” – Jeff Roedel, freelance writer (Check out his latest cover story here.)

“I have learned to be engaged and present because time flies too fast. Also, to make fun a priority in raising your kids.” – Julio Melara, president and CEO

“The most valuable lesson my father taught me was to never respond in anger. I deal with many people, with deserved high expectations, and inevitably, I encounter some rough emails on various work-related issues. Instead of firing off a response, I take a measured 24 hours to evaluate their side and respond properly. I have come out of every conflict on the high road and been able to defuse the situation rather than escalate.

The most valuable lesson I have learned as a father is creating work-life boundaries. I used to take every job I could, working every weekend and night. I still keep long hours, but I put things down as soon as the kids walk through the door most nights and try to be present. Every client I have explained my work hours to has understood and often agrees, and if they don’t, they aren’t worth it anyway. No one dies wishing they had worked more.” – Collin Richie, freelance photographer (You can find his pictures in every issue, but check out this story with him here.)

“My father once told me when I was a teen, learn how to do a little of everything. So that when you’re looking for work, you will have options. I try to instill that into my own children now. I want them to take all the classes that their school offers and try out for as many sports and clubs as they can handle. You never know what you’re good at until you try it.” – Hoa Vu, art director

“As a new dad, I hope to instill the same values that my father taught to me. I want to be that same rock that she can always come to for advice and support.” – James Hume, director of audience development, digital manager