“Joy is the key to being a good parent and specifically the secret to being a great parent to your children is a lifelong commitment to enjoying your children, not enduring them”.
These are the words of Glen A. Gerreyn, noted author and speaker. Glen is father of four children and author of four books: ‘Gifted for Greatness’, ‘Men of Honour’, ‘Oxygen 102’ and ‘Get Your Hopes Up’. He has spoken to 500,000 people around the world and on TEDX. So, he definitely has something to share with us all.
Motivational TEDX Speech by Glen Gerreyn
I have read a lot of books and listened to a lot of talks about parenting, fatherhood and family and I have never heard anyone in all my years say that “enjoying your children is the key to being a great parent”.
I believe Glen Gerreyn is right. To be a great parent, you must enjoy your children. If you had asked me the key to being a great parent I would have said “loving your children”. But you can’t love what you don’t enjoy. Enjoying your children is the flipside of loving them. Early Nightingale put it well when he said, “Learn to enjoy every minute of your life . . . Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savoured”.
At the presentation where I heard Glen speak he also said, “Your children will know if you enjoy them or not”. We can fool other people but we can’t fool our children. When we enjoy our children they know that they are loved, and that is everything.
Glen also shared his top five parenting tips.
- Have a vision for your children to help develop their vision. It is up to you to help them discover their vision and nurture their dreams. Write down your vision for your children and encourage them to write theirs down as they discover it.
- We must believe in our children and encourage them. If you don’t, who will. One word of encouragement from Dad can make all the difference. The world is full of discouragement and that is another reason we must provide a positive view of things.
- Be there in the moment. Be where your children are. Put down your phone, stop playing your video game and turn the TV off. Be there for them. As Earl Nightingale said, “Every minute should be enjoyed and savoured”.
- Teach your children how to fail. Failure should not be permitted but encouraged. The only way for children not to fail is not to do anything and take no risks. The Silicone Valley saying is a good one: “Fail early, fail often and then fail forward”. Edison is said to have failed 10,000 times before he succeeded building the world’s first long lasting electric light bulb. When a fellow scientist complained about the 7,000 experiments that failed to get a result trying to construct an electric battery, Edison replied. “Results! Why man, I have gotten lots of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work”. Help your children learn to fail so that they can then succeed.
- Make your home a haven. When children go through tough times they look to Mum and Dad. Keep your home safe and secure in the sense that it is a refuge for both you and your children.
Glen’s Three Keys for Success are as follows:
- Talent: build your skills and your ability and grow.
- Opportunity: make your own opportunities but also be ready for them when they come.
- Drive: is summed up in three words: Persistence, Patience and Passion.
One final important point that Glen Gerreyn raised was that no victim mentality is allowed in his home. He teaches his children that they are not ‘bullied’. Instead they had an altercation or a confrontation and I found this point very interesting.
I remember defending some of the weak kids at school against the bully ‘Locke’. He and I had a rumble in the heat of the moment in the gym change room at high school. We were both about 14 years old and we decided to have a fight after school to sort it out.
All our peers gathered around in a circle. I took on Locke and did my best, but I went home with a bleeding nose, crying and in one sense defeated. Theodore Roosevelt’s words come to mind, “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles . . . the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust, sweat and blood . . . who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls, who neither know victory no defeat”.
Even though I lost the fight it is interesting to note that the bully never bothered me again. We have to teach our children not to be ‘snowflakes’ but make a stand against the bullies of this world. Yes, sometimes they will fail but the failure can often make them stronger.
Glen has some great resources. Check them out at the Hopefull Institute web page.
Glen Gerreyn makes a lot of good points. Pick the ones that matter to you as a father and apply them this week with your children. Accept that some level of failure is part of the road to success.
Yours for our children
PS. Good News: Thanks to you Dads4Kids has reached the target of $39,585 matching challenge with 117 individual donations and several ongoing monthly donations. This is truly massive effort and a miracle as well. Many gave sacrificially including a single mother who gave a thousand dollars to Dads4Kids to help the children of Australia. Such donations are truly humbling!
Big Thank You from Dads4Kids
All we can say is a huge thank you to all those who gave to the ongoing work of Dads4Kids mission of encouraging dads to be the best they can be for their children. The big picture goal is to turn the tide of fatherlessness and help the children of Australia. Your donations will help us do that. Of course, you can still give a donation to the Building a Better Future for our Children campaign. DONATE HERE.