An old man was grocery shopping with his grandson. The toddler was crying, and at times, screaming at the top of his lungs.
As the old gentleman walked up and down the aisles, people could hear him speaking in a soft voice, “We are almost done, Albert…try not to cry, Albert. Life will get better, Albert.”
As he approached the checkout stand, he carefully brushed the toddler’s tears from his eyes and said again, “Try not to cry, Albert. We will be home soon, Albert.”
As he was paying the cashier, the toddler continued to cry as a young woman in line behind him said, “Sir, I think it is wonderful how sweet you are being to your little Albert.”
The old gentleman blinked his eyes a couple of times before saying, “My grandson’s name is John……I’m Albert.”
In previous blogs that I have written, I have often touched on the need for parents to get past the bland advice of “do your best”, when discussing their child’s future with them and really take time to find out what their children are thinking and how they see their future.
The importance of that advice was never more strengthened than an experience I recently had and the results that followed.
My Rotary Club was asked, by a major high school in our district, to have some of our senior members speak to their Senior Class about the journey of life. They wanted us to share our experiences and what some of life’s challenges are and what we learned from dealing with them.
I had the privilege of being one of those chosen to participate in this program. It was one of the most exciting and inspiring experiences I have ever had. Not only were the students highly interested in what I had to say, but what happened afterwards was even more surprising and exciting.
When I finished speaking I was surrounded by the students who were throwing questions at me as fast as I could answer them. That afternoon my email was filled with messages from them thanking me for providing the answers to their many questions about how to plan their education and careers. Some of them shared with me their frustration with their parents.
They felt that their parents were not able to address their concerns, nor did they want to take the time, listening to their son’s and daughter’s thoughts about their future.
Today, some 4 weeks after my presentation, and just prior to writing this blog, I received an email from one of the attendees asking me if I would spend some time with him to help him find his path to his future or find his calling in life.
What does this tell you, my readers, about the state of our educational system and the relationship between our young persons and their parents?
For me it is a red flag. Despite the fact that we are supposed to be living in an information-filled society, so much of our time is spent wasting our time on keeping up with technology, that we are failing those whose futures depend upon our guidance in planning their life.
My dear friends, we need to stop, take a deep breath, and listen to our children so that we understand their thinking and wants. We need to help them, by not only giving them good advice as to how to achieve their desires, but also, when we cannot do so, help them find the resources that can provide that roadmap.
For example, almost without exception, it is essential that our youth become efficient in mathematics if they are to become successful in almost any of today’s important careers. Yet parents are not generally proficient in the field and find it difficult to encourage their children to excel in its use.
Worst yet when their children have difficulty with the subject instead of finding tutors who know how to help the child become proficient, the parents tell them to “just do the best you can.” If we are to help our kids have success in this technological era we need to help them not by telling them to “do your best” but by encouraging them to “be their best.”
Today, as early as grade school, young students are exposed to technology which excites them, such as Robotics, which begins to point them towards careers which will affect them forever.
No matter what your profession or business involvement is, do not assume that your child wants to follow in your path. I have in my own lifetime had friends who spent the major portion of their lives in a family business, hating every minute of it.
The journey of life is exciting, challenging and rewarding, but just as we must plan for old Age, we must invest the time necessary to help our children plan the trip they wish to take (not one we want them to take) which will get them there.
Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California.
Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/
Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging
Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347