Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Winning Admiration of Our Children

Winning Admiration of Our Children

Happy is the man that wins the admiration of his own children.

As parents we strive to do our best to help our children to grow up and become responsible adults. In that process we make many mistakes and watch our children make their own mistakes as well. The key is to learn from the mistakes so we can prevent repeating the same ones. Today I will dwell on a few things that I believe had a positive impact in raising my own kids. I often felt and saw myself as a kid as they were growing up; the difference was they were way cooler than me!

1.      Teach them to have faith. Read to and with them stories that help them to believe and to build trust in themselves and in others. Invest heavily in their education. Help them fall in love with reading and learning. 

2.      Build their self-esteem. Tell them stories that help them grow in their own uniqueness. Help them with their school projects. Go to their classes and do presentations with them. You can become and remain your kids hero and friend.

3.      Have fun. Sing and play and be a kid with them. Support them to develop their own plays displaying the sorrows and joys of life.  Adopt their friends and open your house and your heart for their friends. I confess my singing career came to an abrupt end when my 2.5 year old daughter said - "Dad stop singing, I will fall asleep." No wonder I am not called Carlos Santana. My musical talent remains undeveloped!!!

4.      Help them visualize their own potential. Help them find their passions and potentials. Help them connect with nature and our creator. Above all, help them detect their God-given purpose. Hint - If you don't know your purpose and mission in life it will be harder for them to have their.

5.      Encourage them to develop their own interests. Travel with them and expose them to different languages and cultures. Talk about their interests. Ask questions to help them think about their futures.

6.      Be there for them. Provide support when they need the most. Be there for the school plays and their team sports. Care for them in sickness. Celebrate their successes.

7.      Set an example of excellence. Teach them to manage their frustrations and savor the joys that can come out of difficulties. Be there during the teen years. Help them to realize that being different is OK; it is the only way they will be able to make a difference in this world.

I felt compelled to write and share with the world the above nuggets after my daughter Andrea posted the following:  

"If you know me well, you know I'm a big dreamer and risk taker. I get it all from Carlos Fontana. I know your birthday isn't until next week but as far as I'm concerned you should always be celebrated. Thank you for always knowing when to support Marina and I in making our own decisions and when to be there and teach us important life lessons. Just a one hour talk with you can turn a bad day into a positive and productive one. You're nothing short of an extraordinary person. So many people around the world look up to you but we are so lucky to be the only ones to call you dad. I love you!" 

And I love you too. This is one of those moments in life that takes our breath away and tears running down our faces. Now you know why I feel so blessed. By the way, I can only, at most, take a quarter of the credit for the responsible adults they became. The other three quarters, at least,  belongs to them and their dedicated mother.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets. Share them with others.   
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)

Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy

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