Joe Biden shared what he learned about parenting from his mother and father – and his own kids – during the Father of the Year Awards in New York City on Tuesday

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated June 14, 2016 04:10 PM
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Credit: Charlie Neibergall/AP

The role Joe Biden is most proud of is not Vice President – it’s Dad.

Accepting the Father of the Year Award at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City on Tuesday, Biden advised the gathered audience that he is “a success because my kids all turned out better than me.”

The Vice President – who was honored alongside Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath, Hudson’s Bay Company CEO Jerry Storch and Christopher Irving at the National Father’s Day Council event – shared anecdotes about his children, including late son Beau Biden, and daughter Ashley, who introduced him.

In addition, Biden imparted his own wisdom, and words of advice from his parents about how to be a dedicated and loving father. Here are the 73-year-old’s best tips on parenting – just in time for Father’s Day.

1. "Never explain and never complain."
Biden said that even in the hardest of times, his father, Joseph R. Biden Sr., put his children first.

“I cannot remember a single time in my entire life – and I mean this without fear of contradiction – I can’t think of a single time he put his personal interest or his personal comfort before that of his children,” Biden shared of his father. “Never once.”

Even when the family fell on hard times, Biden said his dad adhered by the expression: “Never explain and never complain.”

“When he needed a new suit but we needed shoes or a blazer for that first Holy Communion, or my sister needed a dress for the prom, it was always her’s first. Always us first.”

2. Don’t rationalize.
Rationalization is the enemy of happy families, according to Biden.

“We all tend to rationalize,” Biden explained. “Never underestimate the ability of the human mind to rationalize. Particularly as a parent or as a husband or wife.”

But Biden said people must resist that tendency, because every moment – every baseball game, every birthday party – is important.

3. Half of life is just being there.
“There’s no such thing as quality time,” Biden charged, explaining, “Every important thing – if you think about it – every important interaction from your child, occurred, because you’re there.”

Biden said his father followed a simple proposition: “Half of life is just being there.”

“Just showing up for your children,” Biden said, will eventually become a necessity for more than just the children – but also the parent.

Related Video: Watch This Touching Father-Son Reunion Just in Time for Father’s Day

4. Fit in family.
Biden said that he understands the difficulty of obtaining a work-life balance, but believes that the secret to overall happiness and success is doing just that.

“I kind of found that the people I found most successful were also happy,” Biden said, adding, “Those that figured out that sweet spot: how to make sure you’re able to fit in family.”

Go home, he charged, because, “a child can’t hold that thought for more than 12 hours. And when you miss it, you miss it – it’s gone. And it matters that it’s gone.”

5. Match your expectations to your time.
Biden’s mother, Jean Biden, also delivered some words to live by: “Children tend to become that which you expect of them, but you can’t expect much if you’re not there.” It’s as simple as that, Biden said.