by Bill Gourley
Becoming a father begins at a very very young age, as a son or grandson in my case.
Who were the ones teaching us about life or guiding us towards what is important and the consequences about right and wrong as I grew up?
Were our family teachers …
A) kind, caring, with fair understanding of our learning process?
B) fierce and excessively heavy handed and demanding?
C) abusive – physically, sexually, or verbally?
D) full of boundaries or open range
E) alcoholics or abusers of other substances?
F) believers in God or other higher powers?
G) hard working or slackers, frugal or extravagant?
H) understanding with allowable conversation or closed off from differences?
I) sharing and unselfish or selfish in worldly things?
J) builders of a safe environment with nourishment and clothing and all the necessities of life?
K) loving, happy, thoughtful, uplifting, with encouraging words?
So many characteristics that precede our development as individuals to become future fathers is where it all begins. What is in a father’s background that he brings to raising a child? A very important question.
What have I learned to pass along?
I have learned that you must be steadfast in your core convictions and those convictions must again be on the right side of righteousness.
I have learned that as a father our roll is the pursuit of happiness for everyone in the family.
I have learned never to dictate a child’s future but to encourage a path for future success of the child as a person and financially.
I have learned there is a difference between being a friend/peer and that of a parent and counselor.
I have learned to tell your children how much you love them and to do everything you can to demonstrate that feeling towards them.
I have learned there is a difference between supporting them with words and encouragement to pursue their dreams as compared to financially funding them. It is paramount that our children know and want to stand on their own two feet and to show their independence and to take responsibility for their decisions.
I have learned that we must not neglect to spend time with our children regardless of their endeavours and pursuit of their passions. Too little or too much time is neither beneficial in their development. Attend games, concerts, school activities, art classes what ever their interests be their for them.
I have learned that our children need to be social and to develop a lasting friendship with others. Friends for life are so important. It speaks volumes that you too are a true friend and likeable and dependable in every respect.
I have learned to never promise them something that you can’t commit to keeping.
I have learned it is never too late to rebuild burnt bridges and to forgive or to ask for forgiveness for past actions.
I have learned it is far better to be humble in life but never to the point of being a door mat.
I have learned in life that a time comes when we need to relinquish our prowess over our children and to give them the baton and to discard our flaws and to develop better characteristics within themselves for the sake of any future children.
There are so many more examples of parenting that could be expounded upon but for the purpose of brevity and to leave you the opportunity to add your own provoking thoughts I herewith end my tale of what I have learned.
As a father I am extremely proud of my children’s character and know the world sees them as outstanding and upstanding individuals and I believe my grandchildren respect and love their fathers and mothers as I do.
I am and was blessed by God for giving me my family past and present and friends, associates along the way.
I hope and pray that I have children who will remember me when I am gone and that they will know how much I love them from the bottom of my heart.
Bill can be contacted through his son, Will Gourley