As I travel and work with families I try my best to always remind parents to consider the legacy they are leaving behind for their child. One of the niche areas I am called upon by other colleagues to teach about is character building. I believe if you build healthy, confident self-esteem in your child it is the greatest gift you can give them. I know it's not easy. It's takes consistency and discipline. It requires accountability at each level of maturity. It may seem at times like you're climbing the biggest mountain of your lifetime, but when you reach the top and you see the horizon, oh it is wonderful! Imagine the character of honesty, integrity, compassion, and self-discipline your daughter carries with her as she moves forward into adulthood?
My Dad was tough on me at times as a child. He pushed me to the next level. Always challenged me to go the extra mile. Today, I can appreciate those principles he instilled in me probably more than he realizes. As an example my Dad requires the same of himself as he did of me. He takes great pride in his work and isn't satisfied until he feels it's done "just right".
As I opened my Christmas card this year from my Dad it truly was a Hallmark moment. I cried tears of gratitude. The card read...
There are many gifts
that I wish for you at Christmas.
I'd like to give you the gift of happiness,
but the path that leads you there is one
you have to find on your own.
I'd like to give you the gift of wisdom,
but that's something only years of
experience can bring.
I'd like to give you the gift of success,
but that's something
that only has true value
if it's earned.
But there's one gift
I can give you this Christmas
that will always be with you --
and that's the love
of a proud parents heart.
I might not have understood everything he was teaching me way back when. There were times when I walked away crying like any daughter does with her Dad. There were times when I screamed at him, "you just don't get it." But now because of who he is and the relationship we have I can appreciate all those vital principles he's taught me that's played a big part of who I am today. Thank you Papa for your constant love and support and especially for instilling good character.
As a parent you might be feeling overwhelmed or frustrated during this time when dealing with a specific up hill battle. I urge you to keep persevering. Take that next step to keep consistency. Keep setting the example of integrity. Stand firm on what's right even when experiencing rebellion, but do it with LOVE. Wrap your arms around your child, tell them you love them, and remain steadfast in accountability. In doing so your legacy will be tremendous!
No matter how hard it seemed to me as a child as I was growing and maturing I always knew my Dad loved me and was dedicated to his children. He had my best interest at heart and showed it by his investment of time with me as I grew. As we celebrate Christmas and start a new year I hope you gain a stronger more loving, connection with your child that leaves a lasting legacy.