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Number One Dad – the Father Rules

The following poem about fathers was attributed to Eppie Lederer, better known as “Ann Landers,” one of America’s most reliable and trusted sources of advice for decades as a newspaper columnist. Can you imagine what she could do with social media today??!

Back in the 80’s, I used to have a print out that was similar to this poem that I had taped to my wall for years.  The gist was when I was younger Dad meant everything, as I  got older, I thought less of my father’s wisdom and more of my own. Of course, at 17 I thought I knew everything and I was becoming my own man. As I grew older and became a Dad, I realized how wise my own Dad really was, and wished he was around to talked with.

Any way thought I would share the poem, since I am a #1 Dad…I’m sure it’s part of the responsibility written in the number one Father rule book somewhere.

My Dad When I Was…

4 years old: My daddy can do anything!

5 years old: My daddy knows a lot!

6 years old: My dad is smarter than your dad!

8 years old: My dad doesn’t know exactly everything.

10 years old:  In the olden days when my dad grew up, things were sure different!

12 years old: Oh, well, naturally,  Dad doesn’t know anything about that.  He is too old to remember his childhood.

14 years old: Don’t pay any attention to my dad. He is so old-fashioned!

21 years old: Him? My Lord, he’s hopelessly out of date!

25 years old: Dad knows a little bit about it,  but then he should because he has been around so long.

30 years old: Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks. After all, he’s had a lot of experience.

35 years old: I’m not doing a single thing until I talk to Dad.

40 years old: I wonder how Dad would have handled it. He was so wise and had a world of experience.

50 years old: I’d give anything if Dad were here now  so I could talk this over with him. Too bad I didn’t appreciate how smart he was.  I could have learned a lot from him.  I sure do miss him.

by Ann Landers

“I don’t believe that you have to be a cow to know what milk is.” —Ann Landers


Esther Pauline Lederer. (2014). The website. Retrieved 04:02, Jun 15, 2014, from

Number One Dad – the Father Rules

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2014). Number One Dad – the Father Rules. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Jun 2014
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