Tuning into dads on Father’s Day

“I can’t imagine time before you; what did I do?  To me you’re everything. You make me feel brand new.”
~ Chris Mozy, singer/songwriter

In honor of Father’s Day, I’m delighted to share this song, “Everything,” from Chris Mozy, a local singer/songwriter here in North Carolina. He wrote it after his first child was born: https://youtu.be/q-1bsQhNVEw

He sounds even better performing live, where he’s a natural at engaging the audience with his warmth and passion for his blend of music that he describes as “POP-countryish.”

In my joy of supporting both local talent and small businesses, I heard Chris performing in Cary, N.C., one lovely afternoon in the sweet backyard of Home For Entertainment, which hosts Sunday afternoon concerts.

Chris, who also holds another job in the real estate industry, returned to his music career after taking 10 years off. You can learn more about his work on Instagram @chris.mozy and at: https://linktr.ee/chrismozy.


I feel blessed to know a diversity of kind and generous men—of different ages, across the country, and from all walks of life—who took a moment to contribute to this Father’s Day article.

I polled several of them, asking that they share brief thoughts or insights on being a dad. Here is a sampling of their responses (in the order I received them). Enjoy!

1) “I have some young men as clients who hope to be fathers someday. I suggest that they practice now with their inner child. What I’ve learned is to be with kids right where they are. With little ones that means being on the floor at their level. When they are upset, asking: ‘What’s going on Sweetie?’ (good question for your own inner child). At all ages, listen to what’s happening in their life and to their feelings. Be curious, observant. Share wisdom that you’ve gained. When I’m with my youngest grandkids we have philosophy half hour with grandpa first thing in the morning where we talk about all sorts of things. I’m always amazed at what I learn from them – and my kids have been wonderful teachers for me.”

~ Craig Hopkins, Conifer, CO, father of three adults and grandfather of a 25-year- old, 20-year-old, and 11-year-old twins.

2) “Dads are:
keepers of the flame, and are an
unabashedly proud standard bearer of dad jokes.”

~ Wayne, Phoenix, AZ, two daughters and six grandchildren

3) “Parenting can sometimes mean making tough decisions. We may make mistakes, but as long as we did the best that we can, we should all feel good about the job we did.”

~ Bill, Burke, VA, three young adult children.

4) “For me, one of the biggest lessons in fatherhood was the realization that I was the hero figure for my two sons. Everything that I did or said was looked upon with awe and reverence by my boys.

I was responsible for protecting, and providing not only basic needs, but also a value system and a basis for them to develop an understanding of moral and community responsibility.

I needed to train them in sportsmanship, citizenship, family values and rules.

To give them the basics in economics and fiscal responsibility. To teach them how to save and manage a checkbook.

To give them a foundation for their spiritual journey and to let them know that failure was
a human trait, but perseverance was also a human trait.

I needed to make sure that they understood that I would always be there for them.

That the family unit is a bond that transcends time, distance, poor judgment, human frailty and the shortcomings that we each will experience at one time or another.

I needed them to know that I was forever a part of them… and they a part of me.

I know you asked for the one trait of fatherhood… but the role of father is one that cannot be packaged as a singularity.”

~ Doug Campbell, Middleton, MA, two sons, 29-and 32-years-old

5) “Insight: Things are not as beyond-our-control as they seem.  The world responds to our subconscious beliefs and expectations.  Set your intent.  Visualize it as fully as possible.  See it as if you were there already.  Then let go of any expectations around how long it will take to manifest while simultaneously knowing it will, in fact,  come to pass.  Apply this process liberally to all areas of your life”

~ Brett Hightower, Raleigh, NC, one awesome 22-year-old daughter

6) “The greatest lesson that I have learned as a dad is that our number one asset that we can give our kids is our time and attention. To be present. To listen, be curious and creative. Genuinely giving our attention and love is the greatest gift and that valuable time every day is something I know we both cherish.

I also like to keep my daughter involved when we are doing things together. She’s not a back seat passenger to our plans. She knows where we’re going, what we’re doing, why we’re going there. And during the process, if it’s shopping or paying for lunch and leaving a proper tip, pumping gas, going to a fun event…anything, my daughter is my sidekick and not a tag-along. I believe that we learn more being involved and getting hands on experience.”

~ Mike, Buffalo, NY, daughter, age 9

7) “My insights on being a father, for 32 years and still going, is a learning process as well as life-long processes:

Being patient, supportive, a good listener, and not judging, as well as not being critical. Allow them to make their own choices and learn from those choices. This strategy and approach open the door to having teachable moments.

~ Robert Vozzella, Boston Area,  stepson, Michael, age 32, and biological son Vincent age 28

8) “I don’t have any particularly unique insights into parenting, but in a word, I have learned some small degree of patience. Never would I have thought my children would be so different from me. That’s the way it goes.”

~ John Dodge, West Newbury, MA, daughter Katie, age 34, and son Chris, age 35

9) “At any age (even today) your kids listen and watch what you say and do more than you think.  They’ll remember something you said or did ten years ago like it was yesterday.”

~ Phil Kluge, Boston, son, age 33, and daughter, age 31

10) “I consider being a dad the most important responsibility besides being a good husband or partner in life.  With this responsibility comes accountability.  Lead by example, be transparent, and be there for them.  The simple things turn out to be some of the most rewarding things later on in life.  Especially after they have moved out on their own.  At times I found I was parenting and being there for my kids more when they were out of the house taking on life’s challenges, then when they were physically present growing up.  Simply put, there is no greater reward than being a mom or dad.”

~ John Ruppel, Wake Forest, NC, son, age 30, daughter, age 28

11) “Being a parent is a journey of identifying and knowing your child’s uniqueness, loving and caring for them in a way that resonates with their individual existence, knowing that there is no one else in the world quite like them. It’s about adapting one’s own preconceived notions of what’s best based on past experiences, and disregarding anything that does not promote growth, character, perseverance, and flourishing. First and foremost, it’s about demonstrating grace both always to yourself and to the child you love.”

~ Philip Glenn, Raleigh, NC, son, age 6 and daughter, age 4

# # # #
Wishing you all a joy-filled, relaxing summer.

I’ll be taking a break from posting blogs and emails as I focus on serving select clients and completing my book (and I am still looking for more teens and young adults, ages 13 to 26, to interview if you know of any you can send my way).

Email gailjones@claimyourworthiness.com with “interview information” in the subject line to learn more about contributing to my book. Those interviewed so far tell me I make the process fun and rewarding. I have been so touched by the stories they have shared, and their eagerness to help others through the insights they gained from their life lessons.

With love and gratitude,


P.S: Speaking of gratitude, I am so thankful to have received this very short, heart-centered, video testimonial as a complete surprise, from Randy Peyser, CEO of Author One Stop, Inc.:

BE ONE OF THE TWO: I invite you to experience your own powerful shift and upgrade in life. I am accepting two new clients to start in June/July, and I am also booking now for fall speaking/workshop engagements in the Raleigh/Cary, N.C., and Boston areas. Email gailjones@claimyourworthiness.com, with “booking info” in subject line, to learn more about becoming a new client or scheduling time for a customized workshop or my signature presentation of “A journey to the heart of worthiness” (that I have taught locally and globally).


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  • Doug Campbell says:

    What a wonderful tribute to all of the fathers out there! Great insight and wisdom! Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers out there!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones (“Coach Gail Jones”—Your worthiness expert) says:

      Thanks, Doug. And I appreciate your taking the time to write such a wise and in-depth contribution. Blessings, Gail

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