Here's my list:
- Be respectful and considerate of family. Treat them as they would like to be treated, as I would have like to been treated as a child, or as I want to be treated as an elderly parent. Attitudes towards others are often learned from parents.
- Be available. One reason I retired in my forties was to make sure I didn't miss time with my daughter. With 60 hour minimum work weeks and travel, I knew that I would be missing a lot, and I wouldn't get that time back later. I now have time to do just about anything my daughter would like.
- Be a role model. Kids learn through imitation. As I have learned, they will imitate good and bad behaviors, indiscriminately.
- Be a teacher. I must admit this is an opportunity area for me. I have always been quick to learn but not as good in teaching others. My wife, who comes from a family of teachers, has been excellent in this area. I'm still learning on how to make teaching fun. Teaching may also include occasional discipline, when needed.
- Be a listener. I will never forget a short conversation I had with our CEO when I was a relatively new employee. He gave his entire attention and discussed my topic, as if it were the most important thing at the moment. I try to give my daughter similar attention when she has something to say.
For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.
This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.
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