When you have been a dad for as long as me, it’s actually 24 years this year, it’s scary to think about where the time has gone. My son is turning 20 years old in a few days time and it only seems like yesterday that he was a baby. I’m not sure if my older children see me as their Superhero like they did when they were younger, but interestingly they still come to me for advice or just to bounce ideas off about their lives.
What has come to my attention is how we are as dads when our children are born. I think this reflects how they will go on to live their lives and how they treat others around them. That’s why those early years are vitally important so that we can teach them how to approach life. After all when they are developing in those early years our children are like sponges. Everything we do, how we act, talk etc, our children will mimic and that without question will stay with them forever, so for me it was vital that I got it right. That the role model they were watching was one that was good and taught them to respect everybody and everything around them in life.
I am now applying the same set of examples as best as I can with my seven year old twin girls and hopefully they will grow up to be well rounded and considerate adults as I believe their older siblings are.
We live in this very fast moving tech world where social media has become a staple diet of all our youth. This is something that we need to embrace as parents, but also learn how it all works so our children know how to deal with all the possible pitfalls of the internet. As parents it is without question the most challenging issue parents have ever had to deal with in the history of mankind so let’s work to get it right. Let’s not fail our children and let them fall into the abyss of the internet and feel alone which believe me could happen so easily.
With all my children I had a set idea of the values I would like them to have as they grew up. Simple values that hopefully cover all aspects of life including the new world of technology.
Respect is easily one of the most important lessons you can teach your children. Respect others and more so now than ever with this ever changing world, and as people decide to live their lives in a way that could be different from what was considered normal years ago, respecting peoples decisions to live their lives their way without judgement.
The world has, in a lot ways become selfish, and people have become self obsessed, so teaching our children compassion is vital. It’s important that they can feel empathy for others and those less fortunate than themselves and not just forge ahead without a thought for others.
3. Embrace Change
The changes we are now experiencing in the world are truly phenomenal. It is changing at such a speed that to keep up can be very difficult. Children need to embrace change in the way they live their lives, but also only change if it suits them.
4. Be True To Yourself
I have lived my life with a little hashtag in my head that anything I do I would always stay true to myself. I would never do anything that I felt wasn’t right for me mainly because I knew it wouldn’t make me happy, and this is something I hope I have taught my children. If you don’t want to do it, DON’T! It will definitely make you unhappy.
5. Follow Your Dreams
Growing up when I did, it was a while ago I admit, but I was consistently told not to follow my dreams, but to just find a job and not have ideas above what was considered my station in life. Consequently many of my dreams never happened, actually all of them. So I wanted to teach all of my children to chase their dreams and never give up until they have fulfilled their ambitions. The twins are a bit young at the moment, but my older children have definitely chased their dreams and have become successful in their chosen paths in life.
So that’s how I feel is one way to get it right with your children. Allow them freedom, but also teach them simple values from the moment they are born and hopefully they will be become well rounded adults and a credit to themselves and love who they are.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.