The last in this series of 'What I Learned', here is what I learned from my father. He was a man of few words and raised us how he thought would give us the greatest opportunity in life;
· "Finish your homework before going out to play" - It is important to get your priorities right. Do the things that you have to do before relaxing, that way you are prepared for the next day and you will be more relaxed.
· “I told you to help your mother” – Helping others should always be a high priority. Altruism is a reward in itself.
· “Stop mucking about and get it done” – Procrastination plays on your mind, if you start something make sure that you finish it, and importantly don’t waste your energy on worry or other frivolous things.
· “Be home by dark” – Timeframes help us set boundaries but timeframes should also be flexible so that you don’t place yourself under pressure.
· “I told you not to do that and you ignored me” – Often we ignore advice from others because we think that we know best. If you did what you did for the right reasons, then no one has the right to judge you for doing it your own way.
· “I have to punish you for this” – Every action in life has a consequence, if you get it wrong then there will always be repercussions.
· “This is going to hurt me more than it is you” – We sometimes have to hurt the ones that we love for their benefit. If you do have to hurt someone, explaining why will help them to understand and will lessen your pain. Communication is one of life’s most important needs.
· “Why do you keep doing dumb things?” – Mistakes are made so that we can learn. Sometimes we keep making the same mistakes, that’s because we haven’t learned the lesson, yet.
· “If you don’t know what you want to do in life, always get a trade first” – When making a plan always have a fall-back strategy, an exit strategy, a way to modify your original plan. Life is built on a solid foundation.
· “As long as you did your best I will always be proud of you” – No one can ask anything more of you than giving it your best, ensure that you always do so and you will be rewarded accordingly.
One thing my father never told me was that he loved me. I know that he did, but because he was never told that himself when he was a child then he didn’t know that it had to be said.
Tell your children that you love them, sometimes things do need to be said.