Looking back at past generations, dads have come a long way from the “hands-off” types who left all the child-rearing to the mothers and the men who stood outside smoking cigars in the waiting rooms while their wives huffed it out alone in the delivery room. These days, dads share the responsibilities of everything from feeding and changing to making dinner and vacuuming. Coparenting really is coparenting, and the example set by these dads who show up is an incredibly important way to create a new generation of strong individuals with strong values.
For Brandon Accardo, being a dad—one who is actively involved in his kid’s life—is an incredibly important job, one that he finds both challenging and rewarding. “I continually try to communicate and teach my son daily so he can be the best version of himself,” says Accardo, who works as a financial representative at Northwestern Mutual.
As different as financial planning is to parenting, there are takeaways from his job that Accardo applies to his role as a dad. “My biggest lesson in work is just listening more,” he says. “I find that, the more you listen, the more you will learn. Listening is also an important part of being a parent, because you learn about your kids and what they need from you.”
As he and his wife work to support their family, Accardo knows that they are instilling in him some valuable lessons and principles. “My family sees what it takes to be successful,” he says. “I want my son to see our hard work ethics so he can learn the same attributes and build on this in his future. He sees the passion I have for my career, and I am certain he will find his path with the same burning passion. Finding that is important to finding fulfilment in what you do in life, and I want that for him.”
An Army vet who served in combat, Accardo takes a great deal of pride in his service to his country and preserving its freedoms. He also considers it to be a great source of his character. “This is where I learned my base foundation of who I wanted to be,” he explains. “I was groomed and educated by some highly respected mentors who impact me to this day.”
As his son grows into manhood, Accardo hopes that he takes away memories of his childhood that never leave a doubt that he was loved. “I want my son to remember both the good times and the hard times and realize that tough times never last—tough people do,” he says. “And I want him to hold my love for him as close and as tight as he can when I am gone and give it all to his children, as I did for him.”
As wise to the world as he is, Accardo has learned some things from fatherhood: “I have learned how to find my patience and remember that I was once just a kid like him!”