Becoming a father has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. My daughters and I grew up together.
I studied many chapters in the book of life: patience, cooperation, humility and gratitude. Now, I’m onto the next chapter — grandparenthood! It’s everything that my friends said it would be: pure pleasure.
Like many parents, I thought about what values I wanted my children to embody. I wanted them to grow up to be happy, successful adults. I hoped that they would be compassionate, kind, honest and community-minded. I wanted them to find meaning and purpose in their lives.
But how do parents accomplish these goals? Children are influenced by so many factors outside of our control: culture, peers, the times they grow up in, technology and current events. What can we do to help our children turn into adults that we would want to have as friends?
Be loving. Showering your children with love is the easiest part of parenthood. When you gaze upon your child, love bursts out of your heart, like sunshine on a summer day. This one’s easy.
Be the person you want your child to be. This is much harder. When Naomi was 8, she and I were standing at the checkout counter at the supermarket. The cashier gave me too much change. I carefully counted out the extra cash and gave it back to the cashier. Naomi’s eyes were glued on me, watching and learning. The lesson: Honesty is more important than opportunity.
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