Grand Canyon

Pictured from left, are Colleen, Brigham, Bridgette, Camilla, Luke, Aared, Spencer, Barbara, Alisyn. (Courtesy Photo)

Aared Sampson said a father should be a family leader, a spiritual leader, and a teacher.

“A father provides the necessities of life for them and sets an example,” he said.

“I have always wanted to be a dad,” Sampson, 41, said.

He and his wife Barbara have seven children who are Camilla, 12, Colleen, 11, Brigham, 9, Bridgette, 8, Alisyn, 6, Luke, 4 and Spencer, 2. 

His parents had seven children and her parents had nine children.

Sampson is the  assistant Track & Field and Cross-Country Coach at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.  Previously, he was a coach at Utah Valley University. The family moved here in September 2015.

Sampson said he learned to be good parent from his family while growing up in American Fork, Utah.  He said his father was very involved with his children’s church, school, and sports activities.

Like his father, Sampson is involved with his children in all aspects of their lives.

Sampson said his father attended his basketball and soccer games, track meets and went on camp outs with him. His father, a carpet installer, taught him to work hard. 

“I started working with him when I was 12,” Sampson said.  

He said he also became aware of family life in Brazil. When he was 19, he went on a two-year mission in Brazil. 

“I observed what works for families and what did not work,” he said. He found out later his wife had also been on a mission in Brazil.

Barbara Sampson, 41, met her husband at Brigham Young University. The couple has been married 14 years. 

“He is an amazing father, and the most selfless people she knows,” she said. “His most important role is to be a good husband and father. “He is very helpful and always willing 100 percent to do anything to make his family happy.” Her husband also helps with the housework.

Sampson related that it was great staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic because the family could spend more time together. He was able to assist the children with their schoolwork and had time to play sports such as volleyball.  

The Sampson family always have supper together. He reads a scripture followed by a discussion.  Then they participate in conversations from questions from Family Talk Cards. 

“The questions could be: ‘what do you say when someone compliments you?’ or ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’” Sampson explained. 

He said his own family always ate meals together.

Father’s Day is a special family day when their dad receives plenty of attention. First, he is served breakfast in bed which consists of eggs, sausage links and biscuits with gravy. Then the family gets ready to go to church at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The dad also gets to pick the meal of the day. “I usually get a lot of hand drawn cards from the children,” he said.

Colleen said her dad is special because he knows how to help people. “He can do anything he is determined to do,” she said. 

“He always makes time to spend with his children,” Camilla said.

“I like the celebration because we surprise him with stuff,” Colleen said referring to Father’s Day.

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