The Most Important Gift

Most of you know that I feel strongly about setting a positive, independent example for our children.  This month, in an attempt to get our mind off the Corona Virus, I would like to discuss why.

A little history.  Growing up I had a father who owned his own business.  At the dinner table we discussed staffing issues. Monday evenings dad was in his office doing payroll.  On Saturdays I helped at the business cleaning floors, folding towels and making coffee.  This was all I knew growing up.  It was my reality.  My father never came home and said, ‘I may be downsized’ or ‘We may have to relocate to a new city’.  He never worried about what his ‘boss’ was thinking.  He never had to deal with office politics or angle for a promotion.  Of course, some years were better than others but I always knew the buck stopped with my dad.  This is my image of a ‘Dad’.  Even though my father did not do this by design, his choice regarding lifestyle and actions created a very independent, confident young man.  I always knew that one day the buck would stop with me – just as it did with my dad.

A number of years ago my wife and I decided that we wanted to set the same example for our children.  We want them to grow up independent and confident.  As a result, my wife and I both have our own businesses.  Both of our high school age children understand the importance of self determination and strength regardless of what the world trows at us.   Of course, nobody really knows what the future holds for our children.  The most we can hope for is that by setting the right example, we will be able to provide a reservoir of strength that our children can tap into as adults.

I find the children don’t always listen to what you say, however, they closely watch what you do.  As you set your own path, remember that your children, and possibly grandchildren, are watching.  The positive, independent example you set for your children is the single most important gift you can give.