COMMENTARY 899.2: Are You the Father Your Child Deserves?

Listening to 9/11 survivors re-live the horrendous event that shattered their lives should remind us all to treat every day as a gift, and to treasure every opportunity to give or receive love.

This is especially true for parents. A favorite story is about a 10-year-old boy who was told by his father not to expect him to go to his soccer games. The dad explained to his son that he was a very busy lawyer and that if he wanted to become a partner, he had to work most nights and weekends.

One evening the boy asked his dad, “How much do you make an hour?”

The dad answered, “My clients pay me $300 an hour.”

The boy gulped. “Wow, that’s a lot. Could you lend me $100?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

The boy ran to his room sobbing and his father followed. “Son, I’m sorry. I’ll lend you the money, but can you tell me what it’s for?”

The son replied, “Well, I’ve saved $200, and with your hundred, I’ll have enough. I won the most valuable player award and I’d like to buy an hour of your time so you can come to our banquet.”

The father felt like he’d been stabbed in the heart as he realized the cost he’d paid for his priorities. None of his clients needed him as much as his son, and nothing he could do as a lawyer was more important than what he could do as a father. How had he missed that insight?

It’s always difficult to balance job demands and family needs, but the test of whether you work too much is simple: Are you able to be the kind of parent your child deserves?

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

Comments 6

  1. In order to make this story relevant to the parents I teach I had to change the amount to $20.00 per hour. In Tucson, AZ $300.00 is so unbelievable that the parents would stop listening to the content of the story and only focus on the amount of money. This way when I read the story the dads really get their value to their children.

  2. it is a sign of te times. people get too wrapped up in personal endeavors and self fulfillment that sometimes we forget about go an family.

  3. Love this quote: This goes to all the parents, that sometimes we don’t pay attention to our children when they need us the most. And we only think about our job and people who we work with or what to do with what’s in stock for you each morning at a job. That can be very stressful for us and for our children.
    My point is lets give our children more love and live what life have to offer each day with our children.

    PS. P.Gaspar

  4. What a remarkable and beautiful insight Michael Josephson gained from his son’s actions.
    I loved reading this and it’s not just for fathers.

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