To help you remember the 4 points think of them as T I M E. Time is the most valuable commodity you have to offer your family. Without time there is no love, and without love, families become dysfunctional.
- T stands for trust. Without trust, there is no love, and without love, there is no influence. Trust is built over a period of time. It is dependant on “I said it, I did it. Predetermining a time and a date for an activity and then sticking to that time and date gives feedback that you are trustworthy. Each time you do this, you feel better about yourself.
You can liken building a life to building a home. The finest builder would never take on a project without a plan for fear of not delivering what the customer wants and losing money and credibility at the same time.
Sadly, this type of planning is not prevalent in building human lives. Therefore, self-trust is absent, and the ability of your family to trust you is minimized. If your family doesn’t trust you, they will not follow you.
Do not despair. You can start building trust today. It might take a little longer for your family to trust you, but the reward will be well worth the effort.
- I stands for integrity. Integrity simply means doing what is right rather than what is convenient. Doing what is right can be controversial. However, each person has a built-in “antenna” to decipher right from wrong. Some “antennae” are less effective because of conditioning. This is not a problem because there is a simple solution. To fix your “antenna,” make a list of everything you do that you know to be wrong. Also, include the things you don’t do that you know you should be doing. Only include those items which you are absolutely sure of. Then make a list of everything you can do to right those wrongs. As you begin to achieve the items on your list, you will be amazed how your truth antenna has grown. Naturally, your list will grow larger as you learn to discern right from wrong. Each time you do what’s right, your integrity will grow. You will become a better teacher and leader. Your influence with family and friends will grow.
- M stands for minimize me or I. Rather focus on others. Outward focus is a trait found in good leaders and popular people. When your family knows that you put them above yourself, there is an immediate respect. Take an interest in their interests. Be present whenever you are with them. Social media can wait. TV shows can be recorded. Let them know that they are the most important thing to you. When your family knows that you care for them more than anyone or anything else, they are more open to be led by you. It is rare to find people who care more for you than you care for yourself. When people care for you, they are more influential in your life. This is not only a good principle to adhere to in your family, it is a good principle to adhere to in your life.
- E stands for example. So often parents want their children to be more and do more than they are or did. The motive is noble, but the expectation is often unrealistic. Children have their own talent and capacity and will never be you.
To motivate children, support their interests. Love them. Show them that you care. Children watch your example and then decide for themselves what to do and be.
Your children need a safe haven in you. You would want them to follow you rather than all they are exposed to on social media and friends. Never in the world’s history has a parent’s example been more important and relevant. Be the person you want your children to be.