PROUD TO BE A FATHER
Recently at a party of my son’s friend, I was asked this question, how is it that I have such a great relationship with my siblings, children, as well as grandchildren?
This is what I told her, “Go read one of my books;” she responded, “No I really want to know, because I have never seen this in my family or my husband’s family ever, that anyone has had this kind of relationship.” And so, here is what I told her next.
“YOU HAVE TO HAVE A DESIRE FIRST!”
And I continued:
“I became a father in 1969, but way before I became a father or even got married I had always wanted a very close family. Why, because even as a teenager, I observed among my family and relatives, that this is one of the basic corner stones of the foundation of true happiness. Thus, once you know that, then if you choose to be happy, yes wanting to be happy is a choice, then with this kind of mindset and attitude the rest comes easy.”
So, you have to have a certain attitude to raise great kids and have a great relationship with them.
Let me explain:
In 2004 when I was on a world tour lecturing on my first book, “Dad, You Are Always On Cloud 9”. A school’s principal got my book, and his wife after reading the book told her husband that she wanted to meet and ask me some questions. I agreed to meet them both for tea.
The first question she asked was, “Paul, I am very impressed with how great a relationship you have with your children and how well they have all turned out.” I said thanks, but then she asked me next “why is that I end up yelling so much at my children?” and then she assured me that she really hates yelling and questioned, “What can I do?” I simply said, “It is all about your attitude towards your children.” She quickly added “In what way?”
First, she needs to realize that children are blessings from God. Secondly, they are like arrows in the hands of skilled parents to direct them in a certain direction to achieve their objectives. Furthermore, this opportunity is very limited in that it only lasts from when a child is between 3 and 13 year old, just a very short ten years.
Next, I further explained that a parent’s job is to love their children, make sure that their self-esteem is built on realty and not fake praise. Teach them that mistakes are a part of living; they must not give up but learn to restart all over again until they have succeeded. Just like, they did when learning to walk. Help them early on to stay focused on what is really important to them, and not worry about money, as that will follow them if they are the best in what they do. She said, “Now I fully get it, now that you have explained to me, how short a time window I have to love them and direct their steps.” What is the result of this kind of upbringing? I will just share some of the remarks made to me by my children and grandson as to what makes me so proud to be their father and grandfather.
- In one of the father’s day card, this is what Vic, my elder son wrote, “If I could be half as good a father as you are, I will be very happy.”
- “There is no word like impossible in your vocabulary. If you put your mind to it, it is almost as good as done, even if it takes you a lifetime to achieve it”
- “You are richer than the richest man, because, you do what you want, when you want, how you want, and have no worries except what you are going to have for a snack with your tea after your noon nap.”
- “You’re too trusting of everyone, like they are your best friends, one of these days someone is going to stab you in the back.”
- “You are too practical and focused; you won’t spend even a dime or a minute unless it has something to do with your dreams.”
- “I’m glad you taught me how to run a business and a household. I love that you kept our TV watching to a minimum while growing up. And I knew I could count on you to spend quality time with me and help me find solutions to things that were concerning to me. I love that you taught me to make health a priority.”
- “I think your life is so inspiring; you ought to write a book about it.”
- Someone in the family once told Jay “You should not spend much time with your father; he is not a good influence on you.” He responded, “I wish I were more like Dad”
- Once Jay said, “Dad, you are always on cloud 9.” (In fact, this is the title of my first book, “Dad, You Are Always On Cloud 9”, available here.
One day, Jay said, “I should pay him for staying home.” This is how those words came about. My older son, when he started his first job at Microsoft, while staying at home was contributing $250/ month, not that we needed the money. So, when Jay started working I told him that since he was making more money than his brother had been, he should also contribute more than him for the privilege of staying home. It is then he told me “No, I should pay him for staying at home.” I asked him why, and he quickly added, “If I leave; guess who is going to miss who more.” I retorted, “Ok if that is how you feel then I will pack your bags right away and you can leave.” He quickly responded, “No I will contribute my share.” We put aside that money and used it all for his wedding.
My first book, as mentioned above deals with my inspiring life story and in essence tells of how I achieved both, happiness and success. When the book was published, my younger son Jay told me, “I want royalties, since you are using my words for your book title.” I replied to him, “You should be glad that I raised you to grow up to be so successful, that is a payment in itself.” Rightly so, as today he is CEO and founder of ENow Software, B2B company doing business in over 60 countries, with customers like NYSE, Facebook, NBA and Wendy’s.
My older son on the other hand, after working for Microsoft for some 15 years, left as a VP, after which he joined Google, and after 8 years of service, he recently left Google as a SVP, the father of Google+, to pursue his new ventures of life.
What else make me a proud father, my older son Vic recently bought me a gift, a brand new TESLA 85S for my birthday. When I told him that was very generous of him and his wife, he responded by saying, “No dad this is payback time. You bought me a luxury car for my high school graduation, the same kind of car you were driving. So now, you get to drive the same car, as I do TESLA 85.” I replied, “Still it is very generous of you both.” Recently he told his two children in front of me, “I may not always agree with dad on everything but, even when dad was running three businesses, he would drop whatever he was doing when any of us kids needed his attention. That is the kind of dad I want to be!”
My 9-year-old grandson was asked to do a front-page article for the classroom newspaper. One of the columns was who is your hero? My grandson wrote, “My grandpa Paul is my hero because he inspires me. He has been near death 5 times, including a massive heart attack; he works out every day and looks so strong and good, better than ever.”
This is just a glimpse of the returns when you know how to raise great kids.
I hope I have inspired you to reflect on how to raise your children if they are still young. If you are a grandfather like me, then take an opportunity to impart wisdom of your years of experience to your grandchildren by having a close and open relationship. If you are not yet married or do not yet have children, then give them the priority they deserve when they do arrive, and with the right attitude.
In the end, if for some reason your children have not turned out as well as mine, or not well at all, do not despair. Why, because our heavenly father did everything right, yet his first creation Adam rebelled against him by disobeying. On the other hand, if that happens to you, be like the rich man and prodigal son in the bible parable and give your children another chance.
Now I must ask you a favor, if you are impressed with what you have learned about me thus far. Please save a life with just 99 cents, sign up for my 99 cents eBook offer, you may save your own life or even a life of someone you love.