A to Z Challenge: S is for Sand in My Toes


Sometimes you read a blog that you wish you’d written. Or that your kids would write.

CD az challengeToday on the A to Z Challenge, S is for Sand In My Toes. As in, the blog, by Tarana Khan Siddiqi. Ever read it? She first appeared on the Coach Daddy scene in a comment on Michelle Nahom’s brilliant guest post about sports parents.

Today, Tarana is here to share five parenting lessons she learned from her dad.

She shares with me a background in journalism and content writing, as well as copy editing. She’s an incredible and expressive parent who has written so many poignant posts, especially on toddlers. You’ll love her style as I do.

It’s an honor to have her here today on the CD. Please give her a warm welcome.

Five parenting lessons I learned from Dad

tarana graphicI’ve always looked up to my Dad, because to me, he’s the best human being I’ve known. As I grew up, I was happy to know that many people looked up to him as well, and still do. I spent a lot of time with him during childhood, mostly because he had his own small business and not a nine-to-five job.

Now that I’m a parent myself, I’m surprised at how much I’m influenced by Dad in how I approach my three-year old son. I never really expected my childhood memories to have an impact on my parenting style, but inspiration can come from anywhere. And this just goes on to show how our childhood experiences have a major role to play in the kind of person we grow up to be.

These are the five parenting lessons I learned from my Dad

1. Answer every question.

photo credit: maze via photopin (license)
photo credit: maze via photopin (license)

I had a lot of questions as a little girl. A lot! I was as curious as any 5Β year old, I guess. I wanted to know how planes flew and why something was one way and not the other. Well, my Dad always answered my questions. Every single one of them. He never said. ‘I’m busy’ or ‘I don’t know’. He did his best to factually provide the best information he could. I think I learned a lot about how things work just from him. Back to the present, and my toddler is pretty curious too. When I’m about to throw my hands up with his barrage of questions, I try to think of my Dad, and reply to every one to the best of my knowledge.

2. Be patient. Very patient.

It’s not that my Dad never lost his temper. But when he helped me learn new things, like riding a bike, he was extremely patient. From this, I learned to keep trying when doing something new and not give up easily. As a parent, if there’s one virtue you really need, it’s patience. Like any other first-time parent, I’ve been through some challenging times, and they keep coming. But I just try to keep moving ahead, and keep my cool. Because, there’s really no other way of doing it without losing your mind!

3. Reward honesty.

photo credit: Keegan meets Kitty via photopin (license)
photo credit: Keegan meets Kitty via photopin (license)

Even when I did something wrong, I found it hard to lie to my Dad. Somehow, he made it look like there was no other option except to tell the truth, and he didn’t make it hard. Of course, there were consequences, but they were preceded by a pat on the back for coming clean about my actions. Over time, I’ve realized how important it is to allow our children to be honest with us. Open communication without fear is what builds a great relationship between parents and their kids. My son is a little young to understand this, but I just let him know that he can tell me anything and everything, and I hope it remains this way.

4. Set a good example.

Being a good parent is also about being a good human being. Because, our kids mirror our behaviour. Growing up, I saw my Dad as a hard-working and modest person who always took care not to hurt another’s feelings. I wish I could say that I picked up on all those qualities, but I am less than perfect. But since becoming a parent, I have made an extra effort to do the right things and be the kind of person I want my son to become.

5. Make your kids laugh.


He didn’t have the easiest life, but my Dad did remember to laugh. I’m glad he did, because he made us laugh with him. To make some great memories for your kids, just make them laugh often. It’s as simple as that. Kids don’t always remember the expensive gifts you got them, but they will definitely recall the good times you spent together laughing and being silly. That’s the one thing I try to do every day.

About me:

tarana mugTarana Khan is mom to a toddler, living an expat life. She loves writing and has done her stints as a copywriter, reporter and content editor, before embracing parenthood full time. She blogs at Sand In My Toes, where you can drop by to read more of her parenting and other adventures! You can also catch up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Google+.

sand quote


51 Comments Add yours

  1. abookdragon says:

    I agree! Wondering if I’ll remember this when the grandkids come along

    Gina, I’m #1201, today, blogging at Book Dragon’s Lair

    1. Tarana Khan says:

      Thank you, I’m sure you will!

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad to see you here Gina – I enjoyed your blog yesterday!

  2. Tarana Khan says:

    Thanks for the fantastic introduction! I’m honored to be featured on your awesome blog, especially since this is a subject close to my heart.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Fully deserved, Tarana. It’s every dad’s hope that he lived in a way that left this sort of impression on his kids. Thank you for writing this, and thanks to your dad for setting the high bar for the rest of us.

  3. Aw, what great lessons and definitely sounds like you had a wonderful father. Thanks for sharing with us here today.

    1. Tarana Khan says:

      He is! Thanks Janine.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      This is about a dad who did it right, Janine.

  4. Lyn says:

    A lovely tribute to your Dad, Tarana. With such an example, I’m sure, you’ll be a great mother and inspire your children to great things πŸ™‚

    1. Tarana Khan says:

      Thank you Lyn, I really hope so!

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      She’s well on her way, Lyn. You’d love her writing.

  5. Some really great lessons. It was a tough post for me to read, because I miss my dad every day, but it also reminded me about the wonderful things he taught me and how very lucky I am πŸ™‚ I’m a lot like him, so I’m sure everything he taught me has been passed to my own children, which is a pretty great legacy.

    1. Tarana Khan says:

      Sorry to hear about your Dad, but it does sound like he’s with you through all that you imbibed from him.

      1. Absolutely πŸ™‚ thanks, Tarana.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      I love the idea of the legacy, Melissa. I lost my dad too, and I love seeing him in me and in my kids. I hope you notice the same in you and yours, from your dad.

      1. I do and it brings him closer. My girls were small when he died, but they know him through me and my siblings and of course the stories!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Only my oldest daughter met my dad, and she admits to remembering little. The stories are big, aren’t they? They all know him because of the stories.

      3. The stories are precious. They truly are πŸ™‚

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        I know especially in the first year after dad died, I saw more of him in me and the things I did. I liked that.

      5. I like it too πŸ™‚ In fact I love being like my dad! We enjoyed a lot of the same things so it’s like having him with me constantly.

      6. Eli Pacheco says:

        Do you ever blog about your dad?

      7. Yes, I mention him quite a bit, mainly because of my writing and the fact he always feels close. He was so proud of me and would have enjoyed my creations! Last year, because it was the tenth anniversary since we lost him, we all did something in his memory. I created a character after him and published the novel close to his birthday. I’m sure he would have liked that πŸ™‚

  6. Those are great lessons!
    I think being patient is the hardest for me – and certainly was for my Dad, too πŸ˜‰

    This morning, while eating breakfast, my son (6.5 years old) asked “Mommy? What exactly is an ORGY?” So much for answering questions, hahahaha! (Where did he hear this? In a Asterix book!! Bloody Romans!)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think we all want to know what your answer was, Tamara!

      1. “Ask your Dad!”

        Hahaha, kidding.

        I said it’s a special party that Romans liked to have – with lots of food, wine and girlfriends. And they didn’t even sit down to eat, they were lying.

        He seemed happy with this answer. Are you?

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’m okay with that answer … and I now realize what Kramer was after on Seinfeld when he wanted to put levels around his apartment.

  7. I hope my kids see me in this light, if not now maybe in the future. An inspiring and thought provoking piece indeed

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We dads can all hope for that, right mate?

  8. Kim says:

    Oh, man. I need to beef up my Google-fu to keep up with the questions my 4 year old asks. Of course, at this rate he’s going to be “that kid…” You know. The one who ends up teaching all of the neighborhood kids the proper names for anatomical parts or random, awesome holidays (speak like a pirate, pi day, mole day, etc).

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Stay limber, Kimber. “Those kids” sometimes become the teachers of tomorrow – or guests of the state, either or. I feel confident yours will use the powers for good and not (much) evil.

      I always miss Speak Like a Pirate Day, so maybe I’ll just do it tomorrow.

    2. Tarana Khan says:

      Oh yes, thank God for Google!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        If it weren’t for Google, I’d spend 17 hours a week on Go Ask Daddy answers.

  9. ksbeth says:

    all are soooooo important. well done!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Her dad sounds like the bomb, doesn’t he beth?

  10. These lessons should be given to every new parent before they hurry home with their baby.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      … engraved on a flask …

    2. Tarana Khan says:

      Thank you, it certainly helped me!

      1. You’re welcome Tarana, there seems to be no end to the things we need to know as parents.

  11. tamaralikecamera says:

    Today at Friendly’s, Scarlet loudly asked me how two men have babies. She knows how two women have babies. (half of her kindergarten class has two moms or two days)
    I just patiently answered. It’s Northampton, after all
    I like your dad’s style about that one!
    I’m not very patient but I do make them laugh. A lot!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      If you make your kids laugh, especially with your answers, you tell them that questions are a good thing in life.

    2. Tarana Khan says:

      I’m not as patient as I want to be either!

  12. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says:

    Great lessons!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      This guy really set the standard, Lisa.

      1. Tarana Khan says:

        Thanks Lisa, Eli – your words mean a lot!

  13. TheMomCafe.com says:

    Hey Eli and Tarana!!!

    LOVED this Tarana… oh what an amazing dad you have! I love these parenting lessons you were taught through him. I hope I can be that kind of parent to my own kids…

    Thanks for the inspiration!!

    1. Tarana Khan says:

      Thank you Christine, he really is an inspiration!

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m finding that being a good parent has more to do with who you are than what you think you should do – that’s tough, because I think so many of us fall short.

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