I’ve had coaching clients say to me: “Robin, I have all the money I’ll ever need, a private jet and a bunch of homes scattered around the world. But I’m desperately unhappy.” I ask why. “Because I lost my family while I built my business. My kids don’t even know me…and that breaks my heart.”

Put your family first (along with your health). I’ve yet to read an obituary that said: “He died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his accountant, stockbroker and his golf partner.” And few things are more important than being an extraordinary parent. Here are some ideas for you to shine in that incredibly important role:

Lead by Example. The best way to influence your kids is to walk the talk. Align your video with your audio. Don’t preach the beauty of books and learning and then head into your family room to watch 3 hours of TV. Those little eyes watch everything you do. I talk about this in “Family Wisdom From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” which is a book that will be very helpful to you as you grow little leaders at home.

See yourself not just as a parent to your children but as a developer of them. You need to actively develop their minds, hearts and souls. That’s your job. Expose them to great art. Take them to interesting restaurants. Introduce them to cool people who produce unique ideas. JFK’s father would invite fabulously interesting people to dinner often. During the meal, the Kennedy kids would learn from the guest – and then quiz the visitor to deepen their learning. Smart practice.

Inspire your kids. Big idea: parents teach their children how to view the world. Parents show kids the way the world works. And if you see the world as a place of limitation, so will those little people you are raising. Introduce your children to what’s possible. Inspire them to be great human beings who will elevate the world – in their own special way.
Here’s a tool for you that comes from my home: each night before my kids sleep, I make 4 statements to them. “You can do whatever you want to do when you grow up.” “Never give up.” “Whatever you do, do it well.” And “Remember how much your Daddy loves you.” Been doing that every night for years.

Sure they often say “Dad, we know all this stuff now. We know we should never give up and how much you love us. It’s getting boring.” But I have a sense that one day, perhaps when I’m old and wrinkled, a letter will come in the mail from Colby or Bianca. And on that piece of paper will be simple words saying “Dad, I’m living a great life. Thank you for being the father you were. And thank you for those 4 statements each night. They made a difference in my life.”

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