Dads – if you want to do something really special for your daughter, take her on a date! It will be a great way to show her you love her and give her an idea of how she should be treated once those dreaded teenage boys start showing up at your door. Dates do not have to be expensive – it is actually better if they aren’t, but they should allow you to spend time with your daughter and express to her how much you value and love her.
One of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life, highlights the life of an ordinary man, George Bailey, and paints of picture of what things would be like if he had never existed. It completely changed his perspective. If you’re a little down during this Christmas season, realize how much you mean to your wife, your children, your other family and friends and how much worse off they would be if you were not in the picture. Your presence is truly their best present this Christmas.
Henry David Thoreau wrote: “Many men go fishing their entire lives without knowing it is not the fish they are after.” As an parent, you’re not really after the fish either, but uninterrupted tranquility to really hang with and enjoy your kids. Make fishing with your children a regular habit.
Think your life does not have much meaning? Think again. You are a walking, talking miracle. You and your children are fantastic, wonderful, miraculous creations. Remember that every time you interact. It will exponentially elevate your opinion on what it means to be their father or their mother.
When we think about what’s valuable to us, we often think about material things… our home, car, investment portfolio. We think about business success. We think about getting praise… getting the credit… all temporary things. But we should value relationships above results; the process above the product; what’s “God-made” above what’s “man-made”; serving others above being served; giving others credit above receiving the credit; investing in people above investing in things. Why? Because these are what will last. And if we value them, then we’ll receive the kind of satisfaction that no amount of money will ever buy.
We have been encouraging my father to collect old pictures and put captions on them to preserve our family memories. We want to share them with our kids and grandkids. What about you?
Well before you dig out your old yearbook and start telling “in the good old days” stories about yourself, change your course. Get out videos and photos of your children when they were little. Make it an event. Pop some popcorn, gather everyone together and go back in time. Pass around photos, watch those videos, and talk about the cute and special things your kids did when they were small. If you can, focus on one child at a time and have a special viewing night for each.
You make lunch appointments with your most important clients to spend time with them and get to know their needs, so how about doing the same with your kids? Schedule a day where you can pick them up at school and take them out to lunch. Make it a restaurant of their choice and let them choose the topics of conversation. Your client that day might be a little younger than you’re used to, and may prefer a milkshake to a cappuccino, but the return on your investment will far outweigh any business deal.
Can’t do a lunch with your kids this month? Another great option is putting a note in their lunch box.