Father’s Day is coming up, a holiday which, having three children, I feel I have earned the right to celebrate.
I decided when I first started having children that I needed to invest my time and energy in them, which I have tried to do over the years. This has led to working on projects during swim meets and soccer games and to numerous late night and weekend sessions to make up for the time spent picking up, driving, watching and waiting for my little, medium and then big ones.
It probably didn’t help my career to be running around playing chauffer, fan and confidante. But one day, my teenage daughter said she wanted to be like me when she becomes a parent (yes, I said teenage daughter). At that point, my career didn’t seem so important.
As I was reading her hand-made Father’s Day card celebrating our relationship and how much it means to her, I started to tear up – and considering I only do that once every 5 years or so, that’s pretty impressive.
But this isn’t really about my children, although they are pretty special, it’s about the power of investing your time an energy in someone, and the impact that has on their willingness to commit to you.
Knowing that you are there for them is the ultimate recognition and creates a willingness in them to get involved with you and go beyond what is expected. You can buy someone’s time, but you have to earn their loyalty.
In the same way that you need to trust someone if you want them to trust you, you have to invest in someone if you want them to invest in you.
And this Father’s Day, you can start with your children.