The older our children get, the less one on one time we seem to find with them. Between schools, sports, tutors, work…the minutes, hours, days speed past us. We don’t even realize it, until we happen to glace at a precious photo sitting on the mantel, wall or refrigerator door. You know the one…last year’s photo that now looks like it was years past because today’s face has the evidence that they are growing too fast for your comfort or heart.
Today while driving my youngest son and my new international student son to the high school of choice, I began …, “Nick, your sister Casey has made a case for a promotion at work…” I continue to tell him how she proactively crafted a solution to a problem and presented it to the new owner of the company where she works, “Don’t wait to be chosen as opportunities are usually too little and too late. Build your own opportunities. You have to act like a leader, before you will become a leader.” In the silence, I could see his now 14 year old mind considering my words.
Moments later glancing in the rear view mirror, I address my 18 year old international student son who’s in a Business program, and asked him what he thought about Apple’s new iPhone 5s product strategy. A fun discussion about the successful technology company ensued.
In these moments, there was more than teaching, there was bonding. The process of teaching and learning is just as powerful as gift giving and receiving. Some days we talk about girls and relationship concepts, football, basketball, difficulties at school, driving tips for new drivers…etc. In moments like these we can show we care and that we want to help our children achieve their goals. It’s the tone of your voice, the twinkle in your eyes, perhaps a squeeze of a knee…the language of love.
I thought to myself on the way home…why do I always do this–fill the quiet with learning? I’m a mom, I’m a teacher…but that’s not why. You see, my father did the same with me and now I share similar moments with my children that will last a lifetime…and more as they pass on the same to their children.
To become your child’s mentor, start with the little things they find important. It doesn’t take much time…just a car ride.
I dedicate this post to my 85 year old father. Thanks Dad for our many car rides together.