Imagine having a dream where you are told of a great responsibility. You are told you will have a child who change the world, but you wake up before you know exactly how they will do this. You are left wondering, how will they change the world? What will they be great at? Will they be a great musician, actor, athlete, artist, teacher, spouse, or parent? You don’t know but you do know what you do matters. Your influence will determine the trajectory of this child’s life.
You begin to wonder just how exactly you will help this child change the world.
The truth of the matter is we all are responsible for this. We are responsible for leading our children and their peers. Our role is to be the best parent possible, and if a child doesn’t have quality parents, be the best influence in their lives.
A few weeks ago I heard a great message from Aaron Grijalva at Element Church here in Wentzville, MO. His message on parenting helped inspire the message in this post.
How do you want to be remembered as a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or friend? This week we’ll discuss nine ways for you to lead the children in your life and leave a lasting legacy.
“Children are living messages we send to a time and place we will never see.”
- Remove Dependency. As parents we love taking care of and providing for our children. There’s something innately fulfilling about meeting their needs. However, this dependency should not continue into the adult years. The goal as parents is to get your child away from dependency on you. The job of a leader is create more leaders. We are not doing that as parents if we allow our children to remain dependant on us into their adult years.
- Don’t be permissive. Permissive parents raise entitled children. Entitled children turn into unemployable and unproductive adults. Parents should not be friends with their children, at least not until they reach adulthood. I tell my son he’s my buddy every day, and he tells me the same. We may be buddies, but there is a line. As a father I have to instill discipline in him so he can reach his potential as an adult. Children need parents who set boundaries..
- Let Your Kids See You Fail. One of the most important things to teach your child is to have a growth mindset. Kids remember what they see more than what they hear. It’s important for them to see you fail at something and not get upset and quit. Parents must model the ability to persevere. I tell my son every day to never give up and always try hard. If you ask him do you ever give up? He’ll say, “Never. Get up and try again daddy.”
- Have a family vision. If you don’t have a vision for your family, someone or some other source will influence it. Create a vision of what happiness is for your family. What goals do you have for yourself, your marriage, your children, and your family’s future? If something does not align with your vision, don’t do it. One of the biggest wins you can have as a parent is when your child chooses to spend time with you over doing something else. This comes from having a vision and acting accordingly to it.
- Read. As pastor Aaron said, “Leaders are readers and the majority of people don’t read.” Not only is it important for you to read to your children, but it’s more important for them to catch you reading. Parents must model what they want in their children. Instead of watching tv or surfing this thing called the web, sit down and read a book where your kids can see you. Then, invite them pick their favorite book and join you. If you want your child to be a leader, develop the desire to read within them.
- Be their coach. A parent is a coach. We are guiding our children through life. One of the most important principles we can teach our kids is this: “No for now, but not for forever.” Teaching the value of this principle to your children is paramount. They are growing up in a society where everyone wants everything now. By teaching our children to value time, money, and possessions we are setting them up for a lifetime of success and true happiness.
- Be the role model. As I stated earlier be the example you wish your children to be. If they don’t learn from you, who are they going to learn from? Don’t leave it to chance. Take from the role models you look up and put their principles into practice. Some of the role models I look to are Jesus, John Wooden, Tony Dungy, and Abraham Lincoln.
- Provide discipline. Discipline is not a dirty word. Discipline is not physical punishment. It is providing a framework for success. As a father I have to instill discipline in my sons so they can reach their potential as adults. The ability to be self-disciplined is one of the greatest traits an adult can have. This does not develop without discipline being taught and modeled at home. Children need parents who provide discipline.
- Build Esteem. You cannot be a leader if you do not love yourself. One of the most important things we can teach our children is to be comfortable within their own skin. This means teaching them to value and appreciate their emotions. It’s especially important to teach young boys that showing emotion is good. It’s important to teach them to treat women well. It’s important to teach them they don’t have to conform to society and fit the stereotypical definition of what masculinity is. By building and modeling positive self-esteem we will help our children achieve a positive self-fulfilling prophecy.
Parents must lead within their home. If we don’t lead our children, who will? Don’t leave it to chance.
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be and RGP today!
Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.