Simply enjoying your children: A father’s advice for love and joy

Written by Blake Brewer
Published on June 18, 2021

“Tell me you are from a small town without saying you are from a small town . . . .”

“Tell me you are married without saying that you are married . . . .”

“Tell me that you have a dog without saying you have a dog . . . .” 

I see questions like that pop up on my social media, and I’m always intrigued so I usually stick around to see what they’ll say. 

A lot of the questions that get asked I would not be able to answer, but I know one question that my kids are asking every single day—even if it’s at a subconscious level. And I know it’s my job as their dad to nail this answer to the best of my ability.  

“Dad, tell me that you love me without saying that you love me.”  

How would you answer this?  

I’ll share with you an answer that will be right every single time. It won’t cost you a lot of money, and you’ll be able to give it over and over again. 

All things to all people

Dads—not you, but other dads—sometimes fall into the trap of thinking they are answering this question by simply financially providing for their children or “working hard” to be able to afford that nicer house or that Disney vacation. 

You don’t need any of that to show love or be a great father. Many have realized that until it was too late.  

But you and I both know there is a lot of pressure on us dads to be all things to all people. We are trying to do well at work, do well with our wife, at church, with God, with our friends, and definitely with our children.  

Luckily, all of us can answer the question “how do you tell your children that you love them without saying that you love them” very easily today, and every day, without too much effort.  

Show love

Here’s the very simple answer—just enjoy them.  

My dad simply enjoyed being with me hundreds and thousands of times over the nineteen years of my life that he was alive. When someone enjoys being with you, you know it—you just feel it. 

It was actually one of the last things he did on this earth moments before he died. 

As I caught up to my dad on the beach in Hawaii and before we dove into the water, my dad looked at me with a big smile and said, “And look who decided to join me!” 

His smile, his tone, and his posture were all saying one thing loud and clear—”I love you.” 

At that moment he didn’t need the words I love you to say I love you—he just showed me.  

I knew my dad loved me. How did I know? Because he enjoyed being with me. At the time, there was no way I was aware enough to communicate what was happening because it was a subconscious feeling.  

But as I became a father myself and as I continue to study and understand the father/child connection I realize, “Oh, that’s what my dad was doing for me.” He was telling me he loved me. 

Uncontrollable joy

Another story—one summer evening going into my junior year of high school, I walked into our living room and plopped down on the couch.  

I told my mom and dad I went inside the neighbor’s house for the first time and got a tour. I had started working for our millionaire neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Russell earlier that week as his yardman. 

We lived in a nice neighborhood, but the Russells’ house was on another level, almost out of place. It looked like it belonged in the Hollywood Hills. 

I did my best to share what I saw, and my mother followed up with a question that still brings a smile to my face to this day.  

“What color are the curtains?” 

It was actually a very normal question for any woman who has decorated a house. And it’s not really the question that makes me look back so fondly—it’s what happened next. 

My dad and I “had a moment.”  

As soon as my mom asked what color the curtains were, my dad and I locked eyes with each other, and we both had the exact same thought at the same time: “What kind of question is that? Who knows? Who cares?”  

We burst into uncontrollable laughter. Crying laughter. Deep belly laughter.  

Intentional fun

It’s one thing to laugh with someone, but it’s another level when you are laughing together and you literally can’t stop. I don’t know the best word to describe those laughs, but if you’ve ever experienced it, you know.  

If my dad was alive I have no idea if he would remember the “what color are the curtains? moment.” But that moment, to a sixteen-year-old boy, was unforgettable. My dad simply enjoyed me. He loved me. 

Now that I’m a dad, I see how easy it is to forget to have fun. Every evening can feel like one big routine with my wife and I having to keep everyone on track so we can get their bellies full and then to sleep, all so we can have a few peaceful moments before we fall asleep.  

But I know my kids need more. So I intentionally say to myself, Let’s have fun! Let’s laugh! I’m going to enjoy you! 

I hope you are saying, “I already do all of this!” Great! This is just affirming what you are already doing.  

But if you are looking for a great way to show your children love today, put down your phone, turn off the TV, and just go enjoy them!

Live perfectly imperfect

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Blake Brewer

Blake is on a mission to help 1 million dads write at least one well written, meaningful, lasting Legacy Letter to their children.  Blake has a wonderful wife and loves being a father to his three children, all under 5.  As he leads his family, he draws from many mentors, but none more important than his late father Larry Brewer. Check out

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