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Just in time for Father's Day: Fatherly advice and bad dad jokes

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A dad runs with his daughter in the kid's play area during an event
Advice from dad has a way of clearing everything up, and jokes from dad have a way of clearing the room.
Timothy Clary | AFP | Getty Images

But daaaaaad! 

Fatherly advice can seem annoying when we're young but it becomes invaluable when you eventually realize just how right he was. 

Hang in there dads — we'll get it someday.

So in honor of dads, their sage knowledge and their terrible sense of humor, here's some advice shared by fathers via our Public Insight Network — along with some bad dad jokes, just for fun and just to celebrate dad on his special day. 

Share yours here.


The advice: "The Golden Rule applies to children, treat them well and earn their respect. Every day."

The joke: "Dentists tend to be pretty booked up in the afternoon, usually around 2:30. Get it? Tooth-Hurty? And boom goes the dynamite."

— John Yaeger


The advice: "I tell my kids 'My job is not to make your choices for you. My job is to teach you how to make the best choices you can for yourself. My job is also to teach you how to correct your course when you make a mistake, and the best way I can do that is by admitting my own mistakes and correcting them in front of you. And, if I do my job right, I will have taught you to be the best parent you can be to your own children.'"

The joke: "I tell a lot of dad jokes. But people don't usually laugh at them. Once, I told a group of people 10 puns in a row. I hoped that at least one of the jokes would land, but no pun in 10 did. No. Pun. InTenDid. Get it?"

— Paul Coate


The advice

"1. Trust dogs. They always know who to stay away from. 
2. Mount from both sides so the horse becomes used to change.
3. Treat your father-in-law like your own dad. You'll miss him when he's gone.
4. Share everything you have with the people you love.
5. When in doubt, always ask your mother."

The joke: "A string walks into a bar with a few friends and orders a beer. The bartender says, 'I'm sorry, but we don't serve strings here.' The the string goes back to his table. He ties himself in a loop and messes up the top of his hair. He walks back up to the bar and orders a beer. The bartender squints at him and says, 'Hey, aren't you a string?' The string says, 'Nope, I'm a frayed knot.'"

— Rowland Gosling


The advice: "Two principles to follow through life — 'save first, spend second' and 'everything in moderation.'"

— Bob Peterson


The advice: "My father taught me how to fish and have patience while fishing. The latter came by subjecting me to hours sitting quietly in a boat as we still fished for pike using large minnows and bobbers on one of Minnesota's beautiful northern lakes. When my bobber would finally go down, I would overreact excitedly to bring a fish in, often forgetting to set the hook. After a few failed attempts he would always tell me 'Don't forget to set the hook and don't do it too fast. Count to 10 to let him take time to swallow the minnow, then set the hook.' Following his advice nearly always brought in the fish — it was the best advice for still fishing and I found the underlying premise useful in many other life situations. It's all about not letting emotion drive your actions. Be thoughtful. Take a breath. Better decisions come from it!"

— Dan Erkkila


The advice: "For sons: It's just as easy to marry a rich girl as a poor one. For daughters: It's just as easy to marry a rich man as a poor one."

— Stanley Goldstein


The advice: "My advice to new fathers is to be authentic.  Kids pick up on things quickly. Show them your successes and failures — they'll become better people and turn out to be great humans.  Most importantly, enjoy the ride!"

The joke: "What did the Father bison say to his son? Bison!"

— Brian Ernste


The advice: "I have been a dad for just a few days, since June 9, 2018. My best fatherly advice is to take a break during feeding to burp the baby. Learned this real quick."

The joke: "Why did the raccoon climb the skyscraper? To reach the Summit. (I tweeted this via the @Summitbeer account this week. I'll never top it.)"

— Brendan Kennealy


The advice: "Keep two telephone poles between you and the car in front of you. Don't use the cruise control in bad weather. Call your mother!"

— Glen Pederson


The advice: "It came from my father when I was probably 15 or 16. I had 4 younger sisters. One of them was 3 or 4 and brought a handful of dandelions into the house and announced that she had made a bouquet for our Mom. Foolishly, I told her that they were just dandelions and that our Mom wouldn't appreciate them. She burst into tearful disappointment. Our father heard the commotion, came to investigate and learned what had happened. He looked at me and said, 'Son, you just broke a little girl's heart.' I've never forgotten how right he was and how gentle a man he was for realizing the importance of those weeds to my sister. I apologized to her, fished the dandelions out of the trash, washed them off and put them in an empty jelly jar vase. A smile returned to my sister's face and I filed away a valuable lesson learned."

— Robert Saumur


The advice: "Speak as if grandma is in the room. Drive as if the police are behind you."

The joke: "My wife told me I had to stop acting like a flamingo. ... I put my foot down.

— Alan Hansen Begg


The advice: "My dad used to say to me, and I've repeated it to my sons, 'You root for two teams: the home team, and if it isn't playing, you root for the underdog.' Dad was a big baseball fan, but he wasn't really talking about baseball, not entirely, anyway."

— Steve Timmer


The advice: "Back when I was 17 or so, my father instilled caution into a decision that was weighing heavily on me, and that decision was whether or not to buy a large quantity of beer from a guy I knew, whom I suspected had stolen it. The guy was offering great prices, on 16- and 12-ounce cans of various brands of beer, that were excruciatingly hard to pass up, so I went to him and told him of my dilemma. Dad said, 'You think this guy is sellin' this beer because he stole it and you're hesitant about it, huh? Well, you know, if he did steal it and gets caught, that you and anyone else who buys it, are an accessory to the theft. You'll be as guilty as he is. I want you to think about it now ...' I readily replied, 'Yeah, well...' 'Have you thought about it?' Dad asked again, looking me in the eye. 'Yeah, I have and I think it's worth the risk. I'm goin' to meet him tonight, ' I said. 'You sure then,' Dad said. I nodded affirmatively. 'Here,' Dad said as he handed me a ten dollar bill. 'Get me two cases.'"

— Steven Reynolds


The advice: "... I think the best advice was from my dad when my oldest was born. He simply said 'Be there.' Looking back at the times my dad missed with me, I realize the power of those two words."

The joke: "Why did Tigger stick his head in the toilet? He was looking for Pooh!"

— Tim Smith


The advice: "Perfection isn't the standard by which we're measured; rather it's how we handle and learn from our mistakes."

The joke: Dad: I've got a good knock knock joke for you! You start.
Kid: Knock, knock!
Dad: Who's there?
Kid: ...

— Brad Koehn


The advice: "My dad told me over and over growing up 'Get a job with health insurance.' While I did follow my passions in life (music, sports, romance), I always had it in my mind that my career and employment was a more vital, essential, serious endeavor, and I really would have so much more to build a life with if I made some sacrifices, planned a little more conservatively, and focused on steady work with a solid comp package that included good health insurance coverage. Thirty plus years later, I believe it may have been the best advice he ever gave me. He died in January. I really miss being able to call him. He was super smart and had great health insurance! Battled mightily for over a decade with cancer. I'm so grateful for his health care, and for what I've been able to provide my four kids. Never met a man I would've picked over him to be my dad. Smart, simple advice, great stuff."

The joke: "Funny dad story, in short: Accidentally buying maternity pants from Goodwill, soooo comfy. My daughters were super impressed, laughing, 'Dad! those are maternity pants!' 'Whatever,' I said. Yes, I re-donated them, eventually. Sooooo comfy."

— Brian Reilly


The advice: "Engage brain before operating mouth."

— Tom Hergert


The advice: "When my children headed to college, my advice was to 'Study hard, work hard, and play harder!'"

The joke: This is a story about my dad: He was a mechanical engineer by education. He worked at Boeing-Wichita. He would come home, eat supper, read the paper, and watch some TV. If something needed fixing it was always going to take 15 minutes. He would start at midnight. The bathroom sink had plugged up. I had been asleep for 2-3 hours (school night). He woke me up and told me to get his tools. He had multiple names for each tool depending on how he planned to use it. He would call out a tool and I was supposed to find it and hand it to him. He got a pot and went under the sink. He got the drain open and into the pot. He told me to empty the pot somewhere, but he had trapped me in the bathroom. I dumped the pot in the only sink available. The one he was still under. My Mom got me to go to bed."

— Jan Fisher


The advice: "My father told me (frequently) 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions.'"

— Fred Green


The advice: "My dad counseled me as I would leave: 'Be good, and if you can't be good be careful.' It was clear that he was referring to the social norms of the time. When it came to breaking the law, he said: 'Call me when you get out. I'll tell you where your stuff is.'"

— Gene Duenow


The joke: Parking for frogs only. All others will be toad. 

Also, pretending the steering has gone out on the car, usually while we are on an interstate exit ramp. We always play it out as if it is a real emergency, and all sigh in relief when I regain control. Or at least I think we all do that together.

— Steve Young-Burns


The advice: "When I was 8 years old, I walked up to my dad while he was reading the morning paper, and asked, 'Dad, could you explain the business to me?' He replied, 'Either you're making more than you're spending, or you're spending more than you are making. One of them is better.'"

— Eliot Axelrod