How Will Your Kids Define Your Legacy
Your legacy has nothing to do with you currently, no, your legacy is WAY after you have gone. Your kids are the ones who write it.
My friend Jeff and I had a recent conversation about our legacy. We both spoke about leaving more than just money to our kids. The ability to set the example of being a good person in front of your kid and then mirroring that to others is an example of leaving a legacy.
Then lately the word legacy kept entering my mind about what am I showing or leaving not just for my son Connor but my two bonus daughters.
Let me first take mention that if you have never read anything from me or listened to the podcast, the word bonus is what we use instead of ‘step.’ We have read fairy tales of wicked stepmoms and the word ‘step’ was such a confusing word because I was not sure if it was a step in the right or wrong direction. When I first heard someone (still have no idea where I first heard of this concept) say ‘bonus’ instead of step, I was totally on board.
My personal legacy of what I want the kids to say about me when I have gone to my resting place is, that they knew I loved them.
When Betsy (currently age 20) was 16 and first learning how to drive a stick shift car, she asked if I would help her learn to drive. She might not have ever asked me to do this if we had not built any kind of relationship. When it was time to propose to Ann (Betsy’s mom) I asked to have a coffee date with Betsy to get her permission to ask to marry her mom. Oh, and yes, I made the call to Ann’s parents to get their permission too.
The biggest lessons I want to share with you right now have helped not just our family, but others that have asked for help creating their happy blended family. This might be a way of building the legacy you want with your kids:
Men, it is not ‘your way or the highway mentality. You do not like it when that attitude is used on you so why would you do that to your family? Create commandments, not rules.
Date night is not about you and your spouse. Have one on one time with the kids too. Go ice skating, dinner, or even a movie that they wanted to see (don’t get me started on ‘Frozen’).
Participate in their lives. If they are in sports or school activities show your support (I can talk to you about gymnastics).
Recently I was once again asked to teach one of the girls how to drive. Becca is 15 and has honored me by asking for help to get the time behind the wheel she needs. Once again I think back to how she and I have built our relationship in a positive way. Never did I impose my way or the highway because that is not creating a solid relationship?
What do you want your kids to say to others about you? Connor has seen many of my mistakes firsthand. Both Betsy and Becca have seen in the front row of life of my mess-ups. That is perfectly fine. Oh, and yes all three kids like to remind me of some of those times.
Your legacy has nothing to do with you currently, no, your legacy is WAY after you have gone. Sorry to sound morbid, but this is truly a lesson you and I need a reminder from time to time.
What legacy are you creating that your kids are going to say about you? Will they shrug their shoulders and not know the answer or will they say ‘I was loved.’