As Father's Day approaches I am reminded of a story about a retired dad who was rummaging through his attic and uncovered an old chest. Inside it he found a selection of his old business diaries together with some childhood diaries of his now adult son, Jack. He was flicking through the pages and came across an entry on Sunday, 24 June.
It said "Took Jack fishing - didn't catch a thing all day!"
He remembered his disappointment at not being able to show Jack what it was like to catch a fish.
A few minutes later he came across Jack's diary of the same year. He turned the pages to Sunday, 24 June.
Jack's entry said "Dad took me fishing all day. A whole day with my dad - fantastic!"
You see time is the single biggest gift parents can give their children. As a business coach and mentor, I have seen how lack of time from their parents during childhood has caused major issues in the minds and behaviours of some of the most successful CEOs. Yet with all the modern pressures of work and mobile phones, tablets and laptops allowing constant communication, the reality is that the boundaries between work and home are blurring and family time is under threat. The risk is that this pushes us farther away from our kids at weekends - not closer together as it should be.
The danger is that working parents prepare for the following work day during homework time; they check emails whilst playing games, make phone calls instead of telling a bedtime story and swap the family meal for a dinner meeting. Of course there is enormous pressure to earn money to feed and clothe your children. However, consider how much your son or daughter really needs that new toy or gadget. Perhaps they would simply prefer a game of football in the garden with you or a push on the swings at the park.
And this doesn't mean booking high intensity so called "quality time" with your kids. It means chilling out and occasionally giving big chunks of time, including down time with no pre-booked activities. That is when really meaningful discussions take place and the ever changing parent/child relationship evolves. These are the times when your grown up children, CEOs or not, will look back and remember as important.
As your child moves into adolescence and beyond, the gift of your time is still invaluable. Don't find yourself guilty of overlooking your role as a father just because your child appears stronger and more independent than before. Your full attention and advice is still bound to be appreciated; maybe even more so as many teenagers feel lost and confused at this age.
So whatever you might receive this Father's Day, don't forget to always give your child the gift of your time. Switch off your phone, computer and television and let the people you love know just how much you care. Make it a special Father's Day - not a farther away day.
To see a very moving and insightful e-report and two videos on exactly this topic go to www.DOITSuccessSystem.com and click on "The POWER to SUCCEED" newsletter button.Suggest a correction