With just days to go until Father’s Day, the four of us VG brothers are thinking about some of the many ways fatherhood has impacted our lives. First, there are all of the lessons we learned from our father, Wayne Van Groningen, who has been a leader not only in our family but also in the family business. Secondly, all four of us have been blessed with children of our own - a wonderful brood of next generation VGs that keeps on growing!
Having a great father is an incredible gift, and having the opportunity to be a father yourself is no less special. Here’s what we’ve learned along the way.
What our dad taught us about life
“Dad taught me to work hard for the important things in life, and spend wisely,” Kyle says. Chad agrees, and adds, “He taught us that hard work will get you what you want. You’ll have a greater appreciation for something you created with your own two hands than for something that you bought.” Oldest brother Cory and youngest brother Kevin feel the same way. “Dad has taught me to work hard to build a good life for the family. It’s the most worthy cause,” Kevin explains.
What we’ve learned about life from being a dad
Cory is a proud father to four beautiful daughters while second-born brother Chad has two energetic sons. Third-born Kyle also has two sons (the youngest is just six months old!) and fourth brother Kevin welcomed his third child last month (he’s got two daughters and a son). That’s eleven VG grandkids, in case you’re keeping track!
Kyle has learned a lot about love from his kids. “Being a father has taught me how much love you actually have to give. Even during the difficult times and stresses of life, these little ones are always there with a smile.” Cory agrees, knowing that his daughters brighten every day. He often includes them in tasks on the family farm - a great learning and bonding experience for the whole family!
Chad has learned that when you support your children’s individuality, it benefits the whole family. “All people are unique and have their own way of doing things. Forcing your way on your kids is sometimes like putting a square peg in a round hole - it just won't work. Instead, you need to work with their unique personality to get to the desired outcome,” he explains. “There are many different ways to do things. Kids are like sponges and will learn from your reactions how to react to similar situations in the future.” Navigating this challenge as a parent can be boiled down to one piece of advice: “Don’t freak out! Stay composed.”
Kevin feels that his father’s life lessons resonate even more now that he’s a dad himself. “Working hard for the sake of the family IS the most worthy cause.”
Happy Father’s Day
We’d love to hear about the amazing dads in your life. Please feel free to add your stories to the comments on Facebook, whether they’re about your father, grandfather, stepdad, another great father figure or the father of your own children. No matter what your family looks like, we’re pleased to raise a glass and say “cheers” to the special men in your life. From all of us at VG Meats, Happy Father’s Day!