Nourish This Wonderful Trait

Sometimes, when parents fall down on the job, it falls to someone else to do the job. The primary and most important influence on Queen Victoria, for instance, was not her mother but her beloved governess Baroness Lehzen, who later became her adviser and friend.

It was from Louise Lehzen that Victoria got the backbone that made her one of England’s great queens—one who ruled for some 63 years, more than 40 of them by herself. As Lehzen said with trademark modesty, “I have, to be sure, not created, but nourished in the Princess, one quality which is to test, consider, and to stand firmly by that which the Princess finds right and good.”

Is that not your job as well? To teach them how to find what’s right and how to stand for it? How to stand firmly for it, no matter how much resistance or flak they take? Victoria was lucky in the sense that this sense of resolve was not a trait most girls were imbued with in the 1800s. Sadly, it remains rare for all genders, even today. To carefully examine one’s impressions? To discern the right thing from the expedient or the easy or the most beneficial thing? To stick with it despite opposition or criticism or difficulty?

You have a lot of responsibilities as a parent, but none of them trump this one. Yes, you want them to be smart. You want them to be helpful and healthy. You want them to do good in school. But none of that will be possible without having nourished the ability that Lehzen helped Victoria cultivate. 

So do it. Every day.

P.S. This was originally sent on September 28, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

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