October 12th, 2015
I was driving with my son to go see a local NBA team play the Cleveland Cavaliers, as part of his birthday celebration. As we were approaching the city (of the NBA stadium) my son, who was sitting in the back seat, began to spontaneously call out the following:
“Dad, look how big those buildings are?” (referring to the city skyline)
“How are these bridges made?”
“Look at the clouds and the sun.” (it was the beginning of a lovely sunset)
“Can you see the plane, dad?”
His comments caused me to focus in on what I have seen a thousand times, but too often take for granted. He caused me to be in the moment and appreciate the amazingness (if this is a word) of the world around us. And if this wasn’t enough, I then heard his young voice say…
“Dad, how big are God’s hands?” (referencing all that was around us)
Setting aside the theological implications of this profound question, it was a reminder of how my son’s perspective can help prepare me as a father.
Much of my speaking engagements and work with our client-families is talking about how to prepare the next generation. As important as this work is, it is also important to ask, “How are we letting our next generation prepare us?”
If we are open to it as parents, our children of all ages are able to positively prepare us to be better parents, and human beings in general. Are you open?
Here are a few ideas to help foster being prepared by our next generation:
1. Schedule time to be one-on-one with your children and experience something together (set aside your smartphones during this time). When together, listen for the magical moments.
2. During dinner, ask your children, “What is important to your friends and why?” ”Which of your friend’s parents are cool and what makes them cool?”
3. Ask your children, “What can I do to be a better mom/dad?”
P.S., To further the “amazingness” experience I had with my son, we were able to sit a few rows behind Lebron James and take this picture:
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