Daddy Knows Best: 8 Life Lessons For My Unborn Child
Let’s say you’ve got a kid on the way. What life lessons would you want to share with your son or daughter? Soon-to-be-father Vince DelMonte has 8 ideas.
My wife is pregnant. and we’re gonna have the baby any day Now.
Like, literally any day. In fact, my wife was due yesterday. But in true DelMonte fashion, my kid is arriving fashionably late.
Anyway, over the past 9 months, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to teach my son/daughter. (My wife and I decided to not learn the gender ahead of time; we like surprises.)
Here’s what I’ve come up with.
1. “Character” is who you are when no one is looking.
My father shared this truth with me and my brothers at an early age. We all know it’s easy to do the right thing when someone’s watching, but what happens when your audience disappears?
I want my child to understand that the decisions you make in private are more important than the decisions you make in front of a crowd. Why? Because what we do in private defines who we are.
When that small voice whispers to my child, “Don’t worry, no one is looking… no one is going to get hurt,” I want him/her to realize it’s those “small choices” made in hiding that truly define the kind of person that we are.
2. Choose your friends wisely.
My parents used to say, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
In my experience, this is about as close as you can get to peering into a crystal ball.
I’m a firm believer in the fact that you are who your friends are. Every time I hear parents complaining about the “wrong path” their kids are going down, it doesn’t take long to figure out it’s because they’re hanging with the wrong crowd.
I’ve run in a number of different circles over the past 15 years — I’ve had my Christian circle, my runners’ circle, my fitness model circle, my clubbing circle, and my Internet business circle.
And my experiences — positive and negative — were always reflective of the circle I was running with.
I will teach my child this timeless truth: “Do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character.”
3. recognize that temptation is an opportunity to do good.
During the course of my child’s spiritual journey, I hope he or she recognizes temptation as a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block, and that tempting situations are just as much an occasion to do the right thing as they are to do the wrong thing.
Temptation simply provides the choice.
4. Listen, love, and respect your mommy.
Ultimately, the only way my child will learn this is if I, as a husband and father, listen, love and respect mommy, too.
The best thing my father did for me and my brothers was to love my mom. Through God’s grace and power, we were very blessed to see him love her, swallow his pride (many times), humble himself and treat her like a goddess.
This is not something you teach with words; this is something you teach through actions.
5. Make as much money as you can. Save as much money as you can. Give as much money as you can.
This was my mom’s advice at an early age and I will encourage my child to chase after their dreams.
Growing up in a slightly traditional Italian family, we were encouraged to go after “security” – to get a good job and don’t take too much risk. I did the opposite.
I pursued the fitness industry which has zero security and a very high turnover.
However, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to create something of my own.
I wanted to build a business that allowed me to make as much as I want, save as much as I want, and give as much as I want.
So if my child every says, “Daddy, I want to start my own business,” it’ll be something I will fully support and encourage.
6. Read every single day.
I grew up reading.
I started off with comic books although my mom didn’t like many of them. I read everything from The Punisher War Journal to the Incredible Hulk, Ghost Rider, X-Men, Spiderman and Wolverine. I still have boxes hidden away.
Then I got into fantasy novels — Terry Brooks, Stephen R. Lawhead, and J.R.R. Tolkein were my favorite.
Then I got into lots of Christian books in my teens to learn how to handle temptation and peer pressure. In university I was surrounded by massive science books on anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, psychology and more.
After university, I started reading sales books and wealth creation books from guys like Jim Rohn, and Robert Kiyosaki.
I grew up seeing my mother and father read books.
My child will grow up seeing me read books, too.
I will teach them the saying, “Every time you watch a reality TV show, a book commits suicide.”
Though probably not till they’re older.
7. Be a doer, not a talker (or debater).
I want my child to understand that you learn from doing, not talking or debating (which I personally think is the biggest waste of time).
At the end of the day I want my child’s actions to speak louder than their words.
I want my child to be an ACTION TAKER and value SPEED OF IMPLEMENTATION — the time it takes to hear something and then go do something about it.
Talk is cheap and I want my child to understand that life is the best teacher and there is nothing more important than experiences you gain from taking action.
8. Swim, Bike, Run…and save the bodybuilding for later.
I used to be a national-level tri-athlete, and swimming, biking and running laid the foundation for the rest of my life.
In my opinion, those are the three most pure sports in the world.
Thankfully, my father introduced the sport of long-distance running to me and my brothers at a very early age.
Although we were encouraged to do team sports, I sucked at them. I excelled in distance sports where I learned the character traits that forged me into the man I am today: hard work, discipline, endurance, getting outside of your comfort zone, and learning how to deal with disappointment.
So many lessons occurred from these sports that can’t be taught with words.
Plus, being a competitive tri-athlete and endurance runner gave me the opportunity to travel the world. It kept me out of trouble, and made me comfortable with being uncomfortable.
All valuable stuff.
If my kid wants to lift weights, I’ll encourage it. But I’ll push them toward team and endurance sports first.
That’s my list. What’s yours?
If you’re already a parent, I would love to hear one or two lessons you’ve shared (or plan on sharing) with your child. And if you want to eventually be a parent, what one or two things would you want to pass on to your kids?
Let me know below in the comments. And thanks for allowing me the opportunity to post and share.