Over the next few weeks many moms (and a fair share of dads too) will wrestle with the pride, the heartache, and the gamut of other emotions that comes with their babies leaving the nest for college or any number of other paths they’ve chosen as their first stop on their journey into adulthood.
Although our parental influence with our kids will continue on, our role as the Chief Influencers in their lives will change. This reality – and the fact that I always tend to view every season of life through a leadership lens – causes me to pause and once again remember that we aren’t just raising kids. We’re raising leaders.
So, what are your children learning from you, their parents?
- Will they learn compassion or apathy?
- Will they learn forgiveness or resentment?
- Will they learn generosity or selfishness?
- Will they learn kindness or harshness?
- Will they learn humility or pride?
- Will they learn confidence or low self-esteem?
- Will they learn patience or irritability?
- Will they learn joy or sorrow?
- Will they learn optimism or cynicism?
- Will they learn perseverance or to simply giving up?
What are your children learning from you in the everyday mundane? What are they learning from you when life is hectic? What are they learning in the difficult times?
As the saying goes, “the days are long, but the years are short.” Our children will nearly always live and lead others the same way we have lived and led, and our opportunity to influence them is, in the big picture of it all, all too brief.
Don’t pass up the opportunity today to show your children how they can impact and influence the lives of others – when you’re stuck in traffic, when you’re standing in line at the grocery store, when you’re faced with teenage drama. Regardless of whatever professional accolades or successes you experience in your own impressive career, raising up a few compassionate and competent leaders will probably be your most fulfilling accomplishment of all.