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Month: May 2017

Small Things to do Consistently as a Parent

Small Things to do Consistently as a Parent

The power of small things done consistently is real and needs to be applied to all areas of our lives, especially as a parent.

Parenting is a long game. It’s very easy to get distracted by the dramatic ups and downs of daily behavior and moods when the longer term trends are what really matter. We aim to instill character traits we hope our children have when they’re adults. Our actions today should reflect what we hope those traits are in the future.

Therefore as parents, we should focus on what we can control now, which are our actions.

These actions are organized into three categories: actions we do that we hope they emulate, activities we do with our children, and feedback we give them to encourage and discourage certain behavior.

As a parent, teaching the power of small things done consistently starts by leading by example.

Leading by example as a parent should include:

  • Reading
  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising
  • Minimizing screen time
  • Using manners
  • Saving money
  • Delaying gratification
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Getting enough sleep

For example, if my children see me regularly eating lots of fruits and vegetables, getting exercise, and minimizing the amount of junk food then they’ll probably see my body composition improve as a result. The practice of modeling good behavior to our children is arguably the most important long-term commitment to being a parent. The phrase “Do I say, not as I do” has significant limitations as a parent and should be used only as needed.

Also, there are activities that we can do with our children that are good for all who are involved:

  • Showing up and being present
  • Read to them
  • Cook healthy food with and for them
  • Play with them
  • Explore something new with them

For example, learning to read doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a lifelong process. I still find tips and tricks to improve my reading speed and comprehension.

Lastly, giving them regular, consistent feedback is also a huge responsibility we have as parents. This feedback should include:

Consistent feedback to our children will reinforce our other parental actions. The impact of these regular actions will have tremendous positive influence in our children’s lives for years to come.
Time to Celebrate: My Parents 50th Wedding Anniversary

Time to Celebrate: My Parents 50th Wedding Anniversary

Some things need to be celebrated. Celebration is founded on gratitude and joy. Today my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. There aren’t many things I can think of worth celebrating more than a successful, healthy marriage of people you know and love dearly.

Today is a day we’re going to celebrate my mother, my father, and more importantly their marriage. While my parents themselves are important, what they’ve committed to — and accomplished together — is way beyond the sum of what each of them could have accomplished individually. Today we are celebrating just that: their faithful commitment and work to selflessly create and contribute to something greater than just themselves. Today we celebrate love in action over a long period of time.

They have seen and done a lot over that time. They lived overseas for two years while my dad served our country in the military during Vietnam. They have started and mostly ended two incredibly successful careers. They have raised three children who all cherish and appreciate their family. They have worked tremendously hard to build their life, their careers, their family, and their marriage.

50 years does not come easy or by chance. Behind this joyful celebration are moments of pain, loss, and heartache. There were challenges, frustrations, and tremendous work. In life, we often try to ignore and forget these moments. We seek comfort and try to craft our life to avoid discomfort. But this is where the real magic happens. This is when your commitments get tested, your faith confirmed, and your love solidified. The greatest acts of love come from sacrifice, not abundance.

When you have three young children and all of them are sick at the same time, is when you learn you need to lean on your partner to get by.

When you lose a loved one, and life around you continues to move on, but you need to grieve, is when you learn to truly rely on your spouse for support.

When you are faced with uncertainty and fear of what curve-ball your health, career, or family has thrown your way, you turn to your spouse to help figure it out together.

These are the moments when the bond of marriage gets built. This is love in action.

When we marry, there is a joyful new energy and excitement that eventually fades. To endure in marriage you must have the fortitude to build a foundation worthy of a grand palace to house your hopes and dreams. No one has ever said that building a foundation is wonderful and beautiful. It’s the palace for our marriage we seek, but it’s the foundation that we really need.

My mother and father have slowly built a tremendous foundation for their marriage. Their bricks are selflessness, communication, commitment, work, respect, courtesy, kindness, loyalty, faith, and sacrifice.

My father cherishes my mother.  My mother respects my father. My parents love each other. They are fully committed to one another. They sacrifice, communicate, and compromise continually for one another.  They are patient, selfless, and kind. They are true partners in life. They are best friends.

May my wife and I be fortunate to see 50 years of marriage ourselves. For 39 years I have had a front row seat to this marriage we celebrate , and I am in awe of the unwavering strength and beauty. It has forever left its mark on my life and soul. It has undoubtedly has given me a tremendous head start in my life and marriage.

So, today is a day we celebrate, with hearts full of gratitude and joy, my parents’ tremendous journey, their commitment, and their love.