Fab Dads

Travis Jungling

Jungling is a photojournalist with the Channel 13 (WHO-TV) news department. “I go out and gather video and interviews for the Channel 13 newscasts and Web site. Sometimes that means working with a reporter. Sometimes I’m out on my own. Sometimes it involves broadcasting live on scene, and sometimes I record it and bring it back to the station to edit it.”

Follow at: Twitter, @TJungling13

Dad to: Lake, 4, and Etta, almost 2

Hometown: Wellsburg

Favorite ways to spend family time in IA: We just like to get out and about as much as possible. The girls are at the age where it’s hard to beat a good playground. We also enjoy hitting the festivals and farmers markets around the Des Moines area. In the summertime, splash pads and swimming pools are definitely up our alley.

Your most rewarding fatherhood moment: Any time I see evidence that either of the girls are displaying the characteristics we’re trying to instill in them is a rewarding moment. They’re still very young, but when I see little acts of kindness or generosity toward others or between the two of them, it’s special for me.

Biggest challenge as a dad: My instinct is to give them what they want at all times so that they’ll be happy and comforted in that moment. Knowing that isn’t always the best thing for them and saying “no” can be very difficult. Even at 4 and 2, they are figuring out ways to “work their daddy.” Disappointing them in the short term for something that will benefit them in the long term is a challenging thing for me to do at times.

A father who inspires you and why: Definitely my own dad. He was such a big supporter of me in whatever I chose to do while also being an amazing example of how to live. He was truly a man of service to others and that’s the highest compliment you can give to someone in my opinion. We lost him 20 years ago when I was 26, but he has remained with me all of these years and his legacy lives strong!

Best piece of advice for a new dad: Just don’t overthink it. If you are truly present for them as much as you possibly can be you’re doing your job. Don’t get stressed about all of the milestones and don’t read too many “this is how to make your child _____” articles. They figure things out. Give them a safe and loving environment to learn in and watch them explore and grow.

Your biggest hope for your children: I hope that they live life to the fullest while truly appreciating all the beauty and wonder that the world has to offer. I hope they are lifelong learners who dive into whatever interests them and figure out all that they’re capable of. Most importantly, that they figure out that the one surefire way to true happiness is to serve others as much as possible.

How are you celebrating Father’s Day? We’ll go out to brunch and then take a walk somewhere (probably around Gray’s Lake). My oldest is really into special occasions lately so I’m sure she’ll be excited and try to do whatever she can to make it special for Daddy. Also, my wife never disappoints when it comes to giving me a great day!

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