How to Use Your Drive to Have a Close Relationship with Your Children
Based on pp 20–21 of Dads Love Lasts.
What is drive? It’s one of those things that when you see it, you know it, isn’t it? The person who perseveres and wins the marathon. Someone who got injured but did not give up, even when they had to hobble across the finishing line. The businessman who is driven to close the next deal. And you. You have drive, don’t you?
Here is the question for you: How are you using your drive to have a close relationship with your children?
It is true. You often forget that drive is just as important in your relationships as in your business and the other areas in which you are a leader.
How then can drive help you have a close relationship with your children? Here are four elements of drive that are present in your business work. These are the ones that will make this close relationship possible.
Focus is a critical element of drive. When you’re busy, it’s easy to get sidetracked from your intentions. You were planning to go home and have dinner with your children, but you got decided that you needed to finish the report before going home. It was an important report. You going to your daughter’s recital, but you had the opportunity to meet with an important contact. You missed the recital.
Before you know it, you are out of alignment with your vision and predetermined strategy for having a close relationship with your children. It’s time to have focus.
Add determination to focus. Be unwavering. Determine in your heart that nothing is going to stop you from maintaining your commitment to your children. When you are tempted to prioritize what seems like the best business opportunity over your children, go within. Draw on your inner strength. Remember that your children are growing. While they need you now, the time will come when it is too late.
Be determined to stay focused on your vision and strategy for engaging your children.
Show up in your children’s life. This is critical. Show up often and show up regularly. This is so whether you live in the same house, different houses, full-time, or part-time. Your children must know that they can count on you. Be present at the critical times such as their special events. Be present at the ordinary times like dinner and activities together. And, be consistent in how you present yourself. Drop the masks and leave your business leader personal. Come to your children as you — knowing you, full of love and engaged.
Consistency is important. Your children need to know that they can count on their dad. You provide much needed stability.
There is no drive without follow through. It is closely related to consistency. However, it needs to stand on it’s own. Ensure that you keep doing what you need to for yourself so that you can maintain your focus, determination, and commitment. This involves following through on good daily habits that allow you to have time for your children. Know your schedule. Only make promises that you can keep; then keep them. Keep in touch with you.
Follow through wraps up the other aspects of drive. It will allow you to enjoy a close relationship with your children.
Drive requires a lot, but you get a lot in return. On the surface, it can seem sterile. However, you must undergird it with love and compassion. Always consider others and your impact on them. In this context, be in tune with your children and how your actions affect them.
Drive. You have it. Use it to cultivate a close relationship with your children.