Father Cyril Smith teaching his kids to read and the truth about Tooth Fairy

Cyril Smith and sons (Photo Courtesy: Family)
Cyril Smith and sons (Photo Courtesy: Family)

Describe what makes being a father special?
What makes being a father so special is that what you pour into your child is immediately seen in their actions and how they interact with the world. Your time and energy invested is present in the person they become.

What is the mission of a father?
The mission of a father is to get your child ready for the world. To teach them the things that you’ve learned along the way, so that their lives and the lives they impact can be better than yours was.

What would you share with a new father about reading to his child?
Do it every night. I’ve read to my kids from birth, and now I see that they pick up books on their own and start reading them.

How have you established trust with your children?
I believe so. I do my best to be as honest with them as possible. My 6-year-old is very precocious and always has been. I give him the real when he asks me questions, try not to sugarcoat anything. The world won’t sugarcoat it, so he needs the truth from me. Although I did have to explain to him last week that there is no Tooth Fairy.

How do you play a role in the education of your children?
We believe in educating our kids outside of school time. When we were teaching my oldest to read, I used flash cards and taped them to the walls in his room. Once he demonstrated that he could read the words and knew what they meant, I switched out the cards for new ones. We have to take the onus on helping them take things to the next level.

Describe the best moment that allows you to push forward because of something your child did or said.
Every time my son tells me he loves me, it makes me want to work harder as a father. It makes me want to do things in a way that he will always be proud of who his dad is.

What have you learned about yourself because of your children?
I’ve learned that I have a lot of work to do on myself. We’re always learning and growing (at least we should be) and in order for me to teach him how to be the man he needs to be for his own family, I have to make sure I’m providing the example. So, I’m never satisfied with where I’m at, and I have a lot of work to do to get there.

What is your best memory of your father?
I remember junior year in high school, I was playing on the basketball team. The coaches were giving me a really hard time, as if they wanted me to quit the team. I didn’t even know what the word quit meant, so I stayed on the squad all year. I remember my father telling me, at the end of the season, that he was proud of me for not quitting. I had never heard him utter those words before, so it really meant a lot to hear him say that.

Being a father is …
Unlike any other relationship you can have. It’s scary and empowering all at the same time.

When I hug my child, I feel …
The love of someone that depends on you. Someone that you can never let down.

I teach my child …
To always treat people with respect. Don’t make fun of people, who might look different, or have less than you. The situation could always be reversed.

When I see my child my …
I feel purpose.

Fathers should …
Protect and provide.

I want my child to say my father …
Left a positive mark on this world. And taught me how to do the same.

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