Anthony Harvey/PictureGroup
June 16, 2015 06:25 PM

Father knows best. At least that’s what Kelly Ripa‘s husband Mark Consuelos likes to think.

In a new essay for Men’s Health, the Nine Lives star opens up about the man he never thought he’d become: his father.

“For better or worse, you always end up sounding like your dad,” Consuelos writes of his father Saul Consuelos. “You never think it’s going to happen but when you become a parent, it just happens.”

For Consuelos, 44, that means being a strong disciplinarian for his and brood with Ripa – Michael Joseph, 18, Lola Grace, 14, and Joaquin Antonio, 12 – and leaving the fun stuff to grandpa.

Below, a few fatherhood pointers Consuelos picked up from his old man.

Be a father, not a friend
“These days, my dad and I are good friends. We talk all the time and have great conversations. I can’t afford to be like that with my kids at this point. Being friends with my kids just isn’t in the cards. I have to be like my dad was with me.”

Teach your kids responsibility
“My son might not want to go to one of his soccer games, and he’ll beg me to let him stay home. No way. When I would try to skip a soccer game as a kid, my dad would say, ‘You made the commitment; you’re going.’ ”

Save the fun stuff for your grandkids
“When my dad is doing his grandfather stuff, he’s so laid back and mellow I look at my son and tell him, ‘That guy was like Pancho Villa and Saddam Hussein . He was so strict.’ My parents are grandparents now, and they’re totally different. My father spoils my kids, and they absolutely adore him for it.”

Always Show Up
“Ninety percent of success in this world is just showing up, he’d say. Just show up, and you’ll figure it out. It’s the best lesson I ever learned from him. My dad showed up for me, and I’m showing up for my kids. That’s what it means to become a better man. Show up.”

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