I had never sat down and formally discussed these thoughts with them but, hopefully, their mother and I had demonstrated them as best we could. Nevertheless, I wanted a tangible reminder for them to refer to occasionally. I’m sure they thought I was a nerdy dad. But they knew I cared for their future.
Knowing you also care for your children’s future, or you wouldn’t be reading this, I would like to share the advice I gave to my children as they were approaching adulthood. Things they must do to get what all of us want.
Following this advice can help your children progress in each of these five aspects of success (Financial, Intellectual, Physical, Relational, and Spiritual)
If You Want ‘X’, You Must ‘Y’
- If you want to Learn, you must listen.
- If you want Growth, you must take risks.
- If you want Responsibility, you must be responsible.
- If you want Commitment, you must be involved.
- If you want Achievement, you must have goals.
- If you want Success, you must have persistence.
- If you want Control, you must plan.
- If you want Rewards, you must provide effort.
- If you want to Be Liked, you must like yourself.
- If you want Love, you must be patient.
- If you want a Challenge, you must dare to improve.
Simply being told these lessons will not anchor them into your child’s state of being. These lessons must be taught through example—concrete evidence of their efficacy, repeated multiple times.
Being a Dad is not checking things off a list to be sure you’ve covered it all. Being a Dad is being a teacher, a mentor, and an auditor, always evaluating your children’s progress and life status. If you play these roles, the rewards will make it all more than worthwhile.
The Power of Dadhood