As I learn more and more about what it means to be a dad, I can only imagine what was going through my mom’s head as she laid there slowly slipping away.
I’ve always wondered if my mom was able to say everything she wanted, to my siblings and me. If not, I’m curious what else she would tell us. What would she want to make sure we knew? What would she want us to experience?
The last thing my mom said to me was, “I love you.” I’m sure she would have said more or maybe she was trying but couldn’t because of all the drugs coursing through her body.
Sadly, it would be our last talk.
No more pearls of wisdom. No more, “I love you.” No more shared experiences.
We live in a chaotic world where change happens not over the years but by the day and sometimes by the hour. We wake-up in the morning with a to-do list already full, along with a full bucket of stress. We are so consumed with getting out the door, getting to work on time, and checking everything off of our to-do list we forget about everything else. We forget to tell our kids we love them. We forget to tell them that we are proud of them. We forget to share our experiences, life lessons, and wisdom.
Why do wait until the end to share everything?
Don’t we want the best for our kids? Don’t we want them to go out into the world with all the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to conquer and add value to society?
The way we go about it has always felt backward to me. I have heard about individuals leaving letters for the loved ones. A one last talk to share their thoughts, experiences, wisdom, and heart to their loved ones. I guess we do this because we have nothing left to fear. So, we minus well get everything off our chest.
So, why do we allow fear to control us and keep us from sharing our thoughts, experiences, wisdom, and heart? Are we actually protecting ourselves and our loved ones? Or are we hurting ourselves and our loved ones?
I know we can’t share everything and there will always be things left unsaid and only said when we lay there slipping away into darkness.
The thing is…What are you and your child missing out on by you not speaking up? How could your relationship with your child be different if you spoke up and shared with them what you have learned?
I have always been one who believes you have to put yourself out there and experience life. You have to stretch yourself whether it is a comfortable or uncomfortable stretch because this is where we grow and learn. I don’t want to take any experience away from my boys by scaring them with what I have to share. What I do want to show them is the importance of putting yourself out there as life can be a fantastic adventure when you put yourself out there and experience everything it has to offer.
So here are the things I will not wait to share with my boys right now…
- Tell your parents you love them even when they are driving you nuts, embarrassing you, or not allowing you to do what you want.
- Cherish your brothers and have each other’s back. These are guys who will go to war with you. Who will pick you up when you’re down.
- Put your heart into everything that you do. If it doesn’t work out, then it wasn’t meant to be.
- Be yourself! Throughout your life, people will tell what to do, what you can do, or who you are. Only you know who you are inside. Be that person. Hold true to your values and beliefs.
- Create your own life. If you don’t, someone else will.
- Take action. Without action, you will never get where you want to go.
- Love with all your heart. Put yourself out there and open up your heart. You may get hurt or you may find the love of your life.
- Make mistakes. Then learn from them.
- Experience the world through travel. Learn about other cultures. Make friends with individuals who are different from you.
- Never stop learning. Be curious. Ask questions.
- Find your tribe. Individuals who share similar values and beliefs. These will be the individuals who are there for you when you’re down and cheer for you when you succeed.
- Talent will only take you so far. It will be the dedication, and hard work that you put in that will take you to the top.
- Hold doors open for others (male or female).
- When walking on a sidewalk, have the other person walk on the inside, away from the curb. Especially, when walking with a female.
- Pick up the tab every once in a while when with friends. Out on a date…pick up the tab!
- While out on a date, let your date walk into the room first. As it shows that you’re proud to be with them and that they are important to you.
- Say, “Please” and “Thank You”
- Be a student and a teacher.
- Take care of your mind and body.
- Tell your spouse, “I love you” every day
- Be on time!
- Stick to your word.
- Learn how to say “no”
- Be a leader and a follower.
I could keep going on with this list and the things I want to be sure I share with my boys.
The point is I don’t want to wait until I am lying there and out of breath. I don’t want to wait until the last talk.
How can you start sharing your thoughts, experiences, wisdom, and heart with your kid today?
What would be different about your relationship with your child once you start sharing your thoughts, experiences, wisdom, and heart?
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Donnie Boroff, M.A., CPC, ELI-MP, C-IQ is a father of four boys and husband with a passion for dads. A Dad Coach and founder of Everdad. With a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology along with being a Certified Professional Coach, Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, and Certified in Conversational Intelligence, he assists dads in exploring and discovering how they are showing up in their children’s lives.