We-cant-give-away-whatKaren and I have three wonderful kids who are growing older before our very eyes.

Hayden is 11 early next year and Madison and Logan turn 8 on Monday, yet it still seems as though it was yesterday when we were holding their tiny frames in our arms.

As we look ahead, there are certain things that I want our kids to inherit from us and they don’t include large houses, fancy cars or fat bank accounts.

So here are 10 things that I would like them to inherit from Karen and I:

  1. Resilience – I hope that they each can learn how to overcome disappointment and stay focused on their goals.
  2. A strong work ethic – One of the sayings that I use a lot with my kids is Kevin Durant’s ethos, “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”  If they can remember that throughout their lives, they’re going to be OK.
  3. A sense of humour – If they can laugh at themselves, laugh with each other, find others to laugh with and laugh even during the most challenging of situations, life will be a lot more fun.
  4. The value of continuous learning – I often use the kids’ evening reading time to grab my kindle and read alongside them.  I hope that my love of reading and learning rubs off on them, equipping them for whatever they choose to do with their lives.
  5. Discipline – To be able to say no to negative influences and temptations when required, and even say no to good things so that they can yes to great things is an important component of life that has significant implications with their future relationships, health, careers and financial security.
  6. Compassion for the underprivileged – As a family, we sponsor a girl from Indonesia and every day when I drop the kids off at school, we each pray in the car.  Logan’s prayer is usually a version of, “I pray that the poor people get money and the countries that need equipment, get equipment.”  It’s a beautiful heartfelt prayer and I hope that Logan and the others always consider those less fortunate than themselves, in their actions as well as their prayers.
  7. Appreciation of diversity – Melbourne is a wonderful melting pot of diverse cultures and whilst our country still wrestles with our multi-cultural reality and a fear of those who look and think differently, I want our kids to grow up, not only with respect and appreciation for other cultures, languages and religions, but with the ability to build strong friendships with people from all corners of the world.
  8. A love of Richmond – Those familiar with the AFL would suggest that I am being cruel to my kids considering the Tigers lack of on-field success for much of the past 30 years, but I would counter that it’s character building.  If they also support Manchester United and the Boston Celtics, that’s a bonus.
  9. A knowledge of the love of God – Whatever happens in the future for them, I pray that they would always know how much God loves them and wants the best for them.
  10. A life of purpose – We only get one shot at life, and I hope that they don’t squander their wonderful opportunity to make a positive difference in the world.

It’s a long list, but it comes with an important caveat for us.

We can’t give away what we don’t have, so if we want our kids to inherit each of these elements, we need to consistently display them ourselves.

What do you want your kids to inherit from you?

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