- Know your family history. Involve both sets of grandparents. Visit the old country.
- Why and how should we save money?
- How to set and reach goals.
- Why and how do you write a thank you note?
- Importance of looking back and remembering
- What can I do to make this the best year of my life?
- Preparing and living on a budget
- What does a true friend look like?
- What does courageous leadership look like? (Look for local/current examples)
- Voting. Why is voting a privilege and how do I decide who I will vote for?
- What does generosity with time and money look like?
- What does it look like to apologize and ask for forgiveness?
- How do I go food shopping?
- How to create a resume.
- How to interview for a job.
- How do I understand and use my gifts and passions?
- How to choose a good book to read.
- How to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Believe in yourself because no one is going to believe in you for you.
- Reflect on how to bring value to yourself and others each day.
- Don’t be afraid to just be silly and make funny faces, fart sounds, and tickle each other
Above is a list that I borrowed from an All Pro Dads Blog in which the author noted 72 things he wanted his sons to learn and reflect upon as they matured into young adults. I pared it down to 21 of which I believe have more salience in my experiences. Some listed appear to be so simplistic (how to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner) but as I recalled my own father to this day probably does not know how to cook eggs. I believe helping your child understand how to make goals and then realizing those goals is one of the most critical aspects on the list. One way to make this happen is to begin having your child make daily lists on paper, calendar, or on their smart phones to and start with one or two for each day. One example could be do minimum of one hour of study time each school day. Another one that I think is key is what a true friend looks like. It is important for us as fathers to convey the importance of genuine friendships and ask our children often what do they like/dislike about their friends. With my daughters I tell them it is important not to waste your time and energy with a “friend” who does not appreciate them or acts one way to their face and another way in front of others. If we as fathers can dedicate ourselves to being genuine and believing in ourselves and building up others then our kids will follow suit.
Many of these I will be concentrating on for this year as I continue to work on my one on one time with my daughters. Feel free to incorporate these suggestions with yourself and your child(ren). I hope this year brings each of you prosperity and happiness and a concentrated sense of life…
Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 14 and 5.