Sunday, June 14, 2020

Teach your children well

This past week, I recorded one of our Coffee in the Clouds video podcasts with the father and son team of Lee Cockerell and Dan Cockerell. 

I met Lee a few years ago, because I listened to one of Lee's audio podcasts. That podcast led to a connection on LinkedIn, which led to phone conversation on a Sunday afternoon, which led to me buying a plane ticket to Orlando. Which then led to MANY trips to Orlando. And all of this led to the concept of which is about to be rebooted and relaunched by Lee and his team with all new amazing content. 

The "NYDLAcast" that we recorded this past week was for next Sunday: Father's Day. I don't know what compelled me, but I Googled the word: Father. 

Fathers (and mothers) are key in the development of a child’s emotional well-being. Many times children look to their fathers to lay down the rules and enforce them. Fathers provide a feeling of security, both physical and emotional. Children want to make their fathers proud, and an involved father promotes inner growth and strength. When fathers are affectionate and supportive, it greatly affects a child’s cognitive and social development. It also instills an overall sense of well-being and self confidence.

Fathers influence who we are inside, but also guide how we have relationships with people as we grow. The way a father treats his child will influence what he or she looks for in other people. Friends, lovers, and spouses will all be chosen based on how the child perceived the meaning of the relationship with his or her father. The patterns a father sets in the relationships with his children will dictate how his children relate with other people.

Young women depend on their fathers for security and emotional support. A father can show his daughter what a healthy relationship with a man should be. If a father is loving and gentle, his daughter will look for those qualities in men. If a father is strong and caring, she will relate closely to men of the same character.

Unlike girls, who model their relationships with others based on their father’s character, boys model themselves after their father’s character. Young men will seek approval from their fathers from a very young age. We grow up by imitating the behavior of others. This is how we learn to function in the world. If a father is caring and treats people with respect, young men will grow up much the same. When a father is absent, young boys look to other male figures to set the “rules” for how to behave and survive in the world. And this can be a problem.

We live in turbulent times. Today, the world is lacking in proper leadership. Across our entire world (especially here in the USA) we seem to be living without - and our youth is growing up without proper guidance, without protection, without love. Our world needs leadership - our world needs a good father.

Father. Godfather. Father Figure. The Father of our Country.
There is a reason why the word “Father” carries with it such power, such importance. Mothers and Fathers are supposed to be a team. Indeed, combined they both serve their unique purpose. “Good Parenting” is rooted in our biology, it has been studied for centuries in behavioral science. Nature vs. Nurture is another good topic to Google when you have the time.

I’ll be thinking a lot this week about my father, and my grandfather. I will reflect on how everything that I am, and everything that I will ever be, can be traced back to the body of work of these two men. Mothers and Fathers, Fathers and Mothers. Grandparents. We are what they taught us to be.

A few years ago, we had the pleasure of meeting Lee’s grandson (Dan’s son) over the course of his summer internship in New Jersey. Brevity is bliss: this is the finest young man I have met in years. Maybe, ever. Coincidence? I don’t think so. 

Yes, our world is feeling like one big mess right now. But every generation has probably said the same thing. Just like every generation has said: “Kids today!” 

In today’s world, you can learn anything you want, anytime you want. You can Google it, you can find a YouTube video, you can find a podcast or watch a TED Talk. You can take courses, get certified, you can find a mentor, a coach, a teacher. The “How To” section of our entire world is now at your fingertips. In today's world, ignorance is a choice.

I picked up many "Lee Cockerell Sayings" over the years. One of my favorites is simply this: Teach Everything You Know

Everyone: have a safe and happy Father’s Day next Sunday. And to all the Fathers and Step Fathers out there (and the amazing Mothers and Step Mothers who are doing double-duty) we got work to do. So, let’s get to work.

Fathers and Mothers have the best jobs in the world.
After all, we get to create the world we live in, right? 

Teach Your Children Well

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