It was a great Father’s Day. Each of my five children wrote me a personal note and said nice things about my dadship. They were sweet and affectionate, and I loved it.
My craving for praise and affection from my children is a bit pathetic, but as a much-older-than-average father of four teenage girls and a young unmarried adult son, I think about my legacy in terms of how I will be remembered by my children and described to grandchildren I’m not likely to meet.
Of course I hope I’ve helped them develop attributes and wisdom that will improve every aspect of their lives, but it’s especially important to me that I provided them with a sense of security, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
First and foremost, I hope my children feel secure in my love, devotion, and admiration. I hope they have no doubt that I will continue to love them even if they make mistakes or do things I disapprove of. I hope they have confidence that I will support their life goals and do all within my power to protect them.
Second, I hope I’ve helped my children develop self-esteem, a belief that they are essentially good and worthy despite their faults and imperfections. I hope I’ve taught them to always pursue growth and self-improvement but to not judge themselves too harshly.
Finally, I hope I’ve helped instill a steadfast self-confidence in their intellectual abilities and emotional strengths. I want them to believe in themselves and their capacity to do whatever they want to do, be whatever they want to be, and survive every manner of setback or tragedy.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.