Andy Andrews says parenting is the most important job on the planet and I 100% agree with him. I realize not all of you who are reading my blog are parents yet, but hopefully you will be one day soon. I gained so much wisdom and insight from All Pro Dad Live this past weekend. Hands down the most powerful speaker to me was University of Georgia head football coach, Mark Richt . I am not a UGA fan, but coach Richt
is a phenomenal leader who has his priorities straight. In the middle of college football season he left practice early on a Saturday to come invest in a group of men who desire to be better fathers. Coach Richt
shared a 3 point plan for fatherhood.
- Love God
- Love Your Wife
- Show The Way
Now I will talk more about points #1 & #2 in future posts, but I want to focus on Coach Richt’s 3rd point. Our children are constantly looking to us as an example. They will adopt ALL of our habits both good and bad. An old adage I have heard way too many times is, “Do as I say not as I do.” Let me encourage you to never buy into this mind set. Children are trying to figure out how this world works, what they are supposed to do and how they should behave. That is why they look to us for examples.
Have you or your spouse ever observed one of your children’s behaviors and commented, “they clearly got that from you” or “he is just a little mini me”? I believe we could all agree that our kids will for the most part turn out just like us.
Have you ever looked down the road and considered what this could mean for your child as he or she enters into adulthood? Do you have any habits that you do not wish for your children to adopt when they are older? Let me ask you just a sampling of questions for you to consider.
Do you want your child to:
Use foul language?
Be constantly late everywhere he or she goes?
Make hurtful jokes?
Be disrespectful towards his or her spouse?
Be over weight?
Look at pornography?
Not keep his or her word?
Hang out with “friends” who are not going anywhere in life and prevent them from achieving his or her goals?
Now those are just a few examples of some traits I believe most of us parents would agree we do not desire for children. I am sure each of you could come up with many more examples of traits you do not want for your children when they are older. The interesting thing about this list is I have personally lived out each of these traits for way too long. Some of them I have been able to more easily change while others have and continue to be a struggle. Do you do any of the actions on the list above? Do you want your children to adopt any of those habits? My guess is that if you are honest with yourself the answer would be, “NO” to just about every item on the list.
Now this is the part where I need to ask your permission to ask you a tough question. I realize this question may generate different feelings and emotions in you. You may get upset with me and try to turn this back around on me with statements, “Who are you to tell me how to raise my kids?” The answer to that is I am not trying to tell any parent how to raise his or her children. I simply want to ask you a question.
I believe just about any parent would be willing to die for their kids if they were faced with the choice. That is a pretty universally accepted among parents. My question for you is not, “Would you die for your kids?” My question is much more challenging. What I would like your permission to ask you is, “Would you change for your kids?”
We have already established the following four points:
#1 Our kids are paying attention to EVERYTHING we are doing ALL of the time
#2 Our kids will adopt almost all of our habits both good and bad
#3 We do not want our children to adopt the habitss on my list above
#4 We all are currently doing some or many of the habits on my above list and other actions not included
If we are in agreement about the above four items let me once again ask you, “Would you change for your kids?” If your answer is “YES” let me encourage you to identify the top one or two traits you want to improve now and commit to correcting those habits beginning today. If your answer is “NO” let me ask you, “Why not?”
Question: What is one habit you have that you DO NOT want your kids to adopt and you are committed to correcting? Comment below