Do you remember the best piece of advice you got from your dad? Are there sayings from childhood that have stuck with you? That time you were getting teased and Dad told you that it was what was on the inside that counted. That time when you were drifting toward the wrong crowd and Dad reminded you that we become like our friends.
That advice is seared in your memory. It was a pivotal moment. And now you want to have those moments with your own kids. Good for you.
But perhaps it’s worth noting how faulty our memories are and how deceptively we simplify things with the passage of time. You mean my dad didn’t really say that?, you might ask. No, he did—in fact, he probably said it a dozen times.
We’ve talked here before: It’s not about a pivotal moment. It’s about moments. It’s not about one conversation, fraught with meaning. It’s about countless conversations. It’s about saying and doing the right things—the wise things—over and over and over again until they sink it.
Lost, when we remember the one moment, are all the moments and conversations that went into making us receptive to that message. Lost are the other times they told us and we didn’t listen. Lost are all the times they lived the advice they gave us, so that we might actually understand what they meant.
Remember that! Realize you’re going to have to tell your kids things more than once. You’re going to have to keep being there, keep showing up, keep proving the ideas over and over. Just like your parents did.