Your report card as a DAD… the results are in!!
Talk long enough to any new generation dads (or moms), and this line of question seems to always come up, “Am I doing this parenting thing right? Am I doing a good job? There’s no instruction manual… I don’t want to screw up my kid’s life…”
I want to give you something simple and easy, and if you choose to follow it, you can’t fail at this parenting game! Your intention and actions will all be in line…
As a wedding professional in my other life (www.djhaymaker.com – shameless plug), I am a part of 60-65 weddings a year in role of MC and/or DJ. I love what I do and one of my favourite events of the night are the speeches and toasts. You might think that as a DJ, I would hate the speech part which can sometimes zap the energy out of my crowd, but the parenting enthusiast in me LOVES the speeches.
The wedding toast by the bride and groom is the Olympic parenting equivalent of a report card. How will you do?
Of course, I love hearing from the fathers of the bride and groom, but my favourite moment is when the bride and groom rise to address and thank their family and friends. To me, the bride and groom's wedding toast to their parents is the best barometer of how the parents did at their job in the early and teen years.
I feel sad when couples are not close to their parents and they are even not mentioned in the speech. I think it is particularly sad when a bride’s father is alive, yet isn’t bestowed the honour and privilege of walking his little girl down the aisle. I realize family dynamics and choices are what they are, but the ‘dad guy’ in me feels sad when a bride is not accompanied by her dad – such a magical moment lost.
But then there is the other extreme, like the one I wrote about in “THE GREATEST”, when a bride asked her entire room full of guests to rise and toast the “greatest man she has ever known”- we all assumed she was talking about her new husband, but instead it was her dad that she deemed to be the ‘greatest’!!
So let’s fast forward to your son or daughter’s wedding…
The candles are flickering, the champagne glasses are full, and your child is addressing their guests…
“First of all, we would really like to thank our parents… we would not be standing here today without you. Dad (Mom), you have easily been the greatest influence in my life, and you have helped shape who I am today and I am so thankful. I have learned so many things from you. I would like to thank you for your never ending ____________”
So… what will they say?
What do you hope they say? Stay positive now, no room for negativity thoughts… What are the top 4 qualities or values that you hope to be known for? This is your legacy as a PARENT…
Find a quiet place, turn off your phone, and think carefully about your Top 4.
Are they thanking you for your Honesty? Patience? Fairness? Work ethic? Playfulness? Never ending Support? Unconditional Love? WHAT?????
Honestly think about what values you want to be known for and pass along to your children. You need to be that NOW! Right here, right now… today, tonight, first thing tomorrow morning.
How different would your day-to-day family life be if you always kept those 4 qualities in mind when interacting with your children?
So if you like it, please use this future wedding toast idea to centre yourself in the eye of any storm, especially when you want to scream, punch, or strangle something…
- Am I being patient right now?
- Am I being fair now?
- Am I being fun right now?
- Am I loving unconditionally right now?
Never lose sight of the big picture… you have less than 20 years to make your mark – to be the leader and mentor your child so desperately needs!
So go be the dad you know you can be… or continue being the incredible parent you already are -- if your intention is always true, then you can’t fail!
Oh – FYI, don’t have an open/host bar at the wedding – too expensive, way too much waste, and someone will likely end up shirtless or pantless…
Until next time…