The only silver lining in this is that the retired Kobe breathed his last breath doing what most of us strive to do..spend quality time with family. Towards the end of his life "Mamba" used his platform to challenge everyone around him to go out everyday to do their absolute best. There's no telling what else he, his daughter, and their friends would've accomplished had they lived on. At the heart of this tragedy is why I'm so big on legacy and encouraging you fathers to spend your "dad days" developing that legacy with your family. I wish more fathers would do what Kobe did and get creatively involved with their child's career/aspirations early on. Their goals don't have to align with what YOU want them to do, but you will be able to create strong bond when they know that you're by their side as they pursue their interests. Children learn work ethic by watching their parents. So what are you showing them? In honor of Kobe's first Laker's jersey number here are 8 ways you as a dad can build strong bonds with your children.
1. Work Diligently-Everyday as a dad you should model a strong unwavering work ethic to your children. That's different that being a workaholic. A healthy work life balance is something all dads need to find. When we are working though, we should give 100 percent effort. Trust me, at some point your work reputation will find its way into your child's ears. What will they hear being said?
2. Follow Through-Building trust with your children has a lot to do with whether or not you follow-through on what you say you're going to do. To put it simply: Say it. Mean it. Do it.
3. Practice-This kind of goes along with #1 and # 2, but your children should see you practicing and . Whether you're working on improving your running, weightlifting or restoring furniture, getting better at something will hopefully help them take their skill to the next level.
4. Lift Their Thinking-At any given time you should be looking for ways to help your son or daughter think on a higher level. For example: Instead of letting them be satisfied with being a chef, take them to your favorite restaurant and introduce them to owner.
5. Set Stretch Goals- Helping your child set stretch goals that challenge them is a good way to help their development.
6. Talk To Them-I can't stress enough that we fathers have to keep an open line of communication going with our kids. We have to put some boundaries on screen time at all ages and have face-to-face dialogue where we exchange information with one another.
7. Be Honest-As a father you owe it to your children to to tell them the truth...even if they don't want to hear it at times. Positive reinforcement is always good and vital, but it has to be balanced with constructive feedback as they grow older. Telling a toddler learning to walk how great they're doing constantly is understandable. When that son is 15 and not focused on the soccer field, there needs to be some honest feedback given to him by dad. This feedback helps them improve shows them practically HOW to get to the next level.