Attitude – What is your behavior in the morning? Everyday when you wake up are you happy and ready to make a new contribution to the world, or are you cranky, tired, and blandly going through the motions of life? If the second behavior is more common, you may want to make a change. When you get out of bed in the morning, you should have a smile on your face. First off, its another day you’re alive and another opportunity to contribute something positive to the world and those around you in it. Your attitude affects your children both directly and indirectly. When they see mom or dad happy and looking at life as an opportunity to do something amazing, they are much more likely to be motivated to do something amazing in their life with their time. Our behaviors are learned from those whom are the most influential in our lives; with children, it most commonly is their parents. Life is a gift God gave to you… why wouldn’t you want to use it to give back? Our world will change by the hands of our children. What those changes will be are determined greatly by the hands of us teaching and modeling for them, especially through their adolescence.
Servant Minded – How do you spend more of your time… giving or taking? When you live to serve others, there is great reward, especially when the “others” are your children. I don’t know anyone with a servant’s heart who leads a servant’s life that has ever had any remorse or regrets for doing so. They are greatly fulfilled with treasures far greater than money. When you give fully, be ready, it will change your life and the lives of your children.
Listening – When children come to you with a problem or with an accomplishment to share, more than anything they desire for you to listen. When you really listen to your children, there should be no distractions. Put away your cell phones, turn off the TV, get down on their level face to face, look at them and just listen. Don’t interrupt with an answer to a question or a solution to solve their problem, just listen. Respond only after they have truly been heard.
Structure– We should all model structure within our lives and daily routines for our children. Teach them that they should get up around the same time every morning with a great attitude. They should take the time to eat breakfast to start their day. They should go to school or work ready to learn and contribute. When they come home after school or work they should prioritize responsibly meaning that they might have to delay their gratification to watch TV or get on their social media. They should get their homework and chores done before engaging in any form of entertainment. Your children understanding the importance of structure can drastically change their life and prepare them for success as an adult.
Time – This one can be the most difficult unless we are intentional. The bottom line is that we need to make time in life for what matters most. As parents, this is our children and our families. It is all too easy to say, “I’ll make time later, I’m just too busy with work, or putting food on the table.” The significance of your life lies not in how you came into this world or where you’ll be when you leave it; it lies in how you spend every day in between. Your children are your legacy; make the time, it’s all you got!