Parents, you might want to listen to your kids

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Isn’t life interesting? Parents take care of their children when they are babies, unable to help themselves. Then, on the other end of the life cycle, those same children will nurture their parents when they are unable to take care of themselves. In between those bookends in life, a transition happens when those foolish children become wise adults.

Proper functioning families are like teams. They love each other, They support and encourage each other. They help each other. They look out for each other. Each member is important.

Parents, are you open to receiving from your children? If they gave you advice, could you be humble enough to receive their counsel?

In the book, “Buckeye Rebirth” by Bill Rabinowitz, he recounts the story of Urban Meyer, currently the coach of this year’s NCAA College Football champions, Ohio State. His story is a great example of a father willing to listen to his family.

A few years back, Meyer led the University of Florida to two national championships. He was a very driven man. At the time he was coaching at the
University of Florida, there were stretches when he would spend days at the office without sleeping. He would skip meals and even his own workouts. The taxing workload, stress, and unrealistic expectations of the media, fans, and even of himself affected his health greatly.

“When Nicki, one of his daughters, arrived home for winter break after her first semester at Georgia Tech, she was stunned by how gaunt her father looked.”

Urban Meyer eventually stepped down from his coaching job at Univ. of Florida to regain his health, to prioritize family relationships, and to gain perspective.

After a year’s absence, a new coaching opportunity opened up at Ohio State University. ” While sitting in her management science class at Georgia Tech, Nicki began writing a list of do’s and don’ts into her pink notebook…the bulk of the 10 points in the contract came to Nicki during classes… things would not be as they were at the end of Florida.

The contract stipulated the following:
1) My family will always come first
2) I will take care of myself and maintain good health
3) I will go on a trip once a year with Nicki–MINIMUM
4) I will not go more than nine hours a day at the office
5) I will sleep with my cell phone on silent
6) I will continue to communicate daily with my kids
7) I will trust God’s plan and not be over-anxious
8) I will keep the lake house
9) I will find a way to watch Nicki and Gigi play volleyball
10) I will eat three meals a day

Nicki knew that Rule NO. 4 wouldn’t fly. No Division 1 football coach can work as little as nine hours. A mere bargaining chip, she explained.,,,the night before Urban and Shelley’s (his wife) interview in Atlanta with Ohio State, the Meyer family met in Nicki’s apartment and made Urban commit to the terms of the Pink Contract.

He signed the contract. The next day, the Meyers were relieved that the Ohio State officials understood and supported the need for him to maintain balance in his life.” (content within quotations taken from “Buckeye Rebirth” by Bill Rabinowitz)

Parents, (and I’m speaking to myself) be open to heeding advice from your children (and spouse). You never know what blind spots you have that they see and lovingly want to protect you from.
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