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What a tree frog feels like, how to soothe a sick child, I may be a zombie and other lessons from fatherhood

Published: Friday, June 14 2013 12:00 p.m. MDT

Men and women who have children are more likely to live longer than those who do not, according to a study released last December by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

While health reasons, as mentioned in the study, may be one benefit to having kids in the home, this Father's Day several Utah dads commented on many other blessings their kids bring and shared what they have learned from their children.

Shaun McKnight of the YouTube channel Cute Girls Hairstyles wrote about what he has learned as a father to five girls and one boy:

"My children are teaching me to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. We often get too caught up in the daily schedule and operation of our lives to notice them. For example, nothing makes me stop and smile more than my 2-year-old daughter chasing our puppy around the house," McKnight wrote in an email to the Deseret News.

"Just the other day I found two more children playing for hours with old, empty boxes. Another picked a bouquet of dandelions for my wife. If we can take time to notice and enjoy these simple pleasures ... I am sure our daily stresses would feel much lighter."

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Joe Kelly, author and co-founder of the U.S. advocacy group Dads and Daughters, wrote what he has learned from his children.

"I've learned to honor mistakes — mine and theirs. Mistakes give us the chance to learn such important life lessons; including the skill of forgiveness."

Brett Roberts of the Kid History video series wrote about what he's learned as a father of four kids between ages 6 and 14:

"I've learned from my children that a person can have fun anywhere, doing anything, as long as you are with loved ones. Some of my fondest memories involve hanging out with my children in some pretty boring situations.

"Long road trips, and destinations that we would not recommend to anyone, become times filled with fun, laughter and new inside jokes. We'll always remember the vacations gone wrong, not because of the arguing and hurt feelings, but because of their ability to turn them into a fun memory."

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Blaine Wiggins, a filmmaking father of four, wrote about what he has learned from his kids:

"I could say that my kids and their great examples taught me all kinds of things this year, from the importance of serving others all the way to the importance of being patient and keeping your cool when you really don't think you can. My kids constantly remind me to not take myself or things too seriously.

"Recently the kids asked me if we could make our own Harlem Shake video as a family. We did, and all four of them embraced their inner weirdness to perfection in what I would call the most random moments we've ever had as a family. Their examples rubbed off on me (and my normally not-so-random wife), and the result was a great memory that we'll have forever."

Wiggins also shared stories that illustrate what each of his children have taught him:

Easton (10): "I changed roles at my job after nearly three years as a vice president the same week that Easton was elected VP of his student body at his school. He said, 'Don't worry, Dad, at least we still have one VP left in the house.' He taught me to look on the bright side."

Cambry (8): "She left a post-it note on the staircase one day that read, 'I love Mom and Dad. I hope they are not zombies.' She taught me that hope and faith are relevant, even in the most obvious of situations."

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