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My children have been great teachers.  It’s easy for me to learn lessons from elders.  Those in my generation have taught me great lessons as well.  It’s been a little more difficult to accept the lessons that my children have taught.

Many of the lessons that I’ve learned started as annoyances.  From annoyances they became things to think about.  Finally lessons started to form.

Here are some of the things my children taught me:

Follow what you want to do without regard of what others think.  Many of us are concerned with what others think about us.  We let our elders influence what we want to do with our life.  When an elder tells asks us to change direction we often do so.

Not my son.  He went in a direction that both my wife and I would have preferred he not take.  Not because the direction was wrong, but because the direction was dangerous.  He ignored our feelings and followed his own path by joining the Army.  It’s a path that seems to have worked out for him.

Don’t wait for love to come, when you see it take advantage.  My daughter found the love of her life at a young age.  Both my wife and I took our time finding ours.  We had a belief that mature love comes with some life experience.  Our daughter correctly ignored our belief and grabbed the love that she found at a young age.

Age doesn’t necessarily make you wise.  When you find something you want and that something is important, go for it.

Care about others as well as yourself.  Both my children live by this credo in their own way

For my son, it was about a family friend who was killed in Iraq very early in the war.  He decided the best way to avenge or respect his death was by joining the military and continuing our family friend’s quest.

My daughter teaches this lesson in a variety of ways.  She is always concerned about the problems of others.  Sometimes this concern looks like it is over the top.  The concern is important because life is about more than us.  We need to know the world doesn’t revolve around us.

What I’ve learned in this process is understanding that it’s not just my job to teach my children.  It’s also my job to observe what my children do and learn from them.  Learning is a two way street.

What lessons have you learned from your children?  Are the lessons what you expected?  I would love hear your stories.  Please email me at Jpatrick@stage2planning.com or click here to set a time to speak with me.

Josh Patrick

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Topics: wealth management, Elders, Children

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