The time you spend with your children is critical to their development. Their confidence, their emotional connection, their self-awareness is all dependent on the time you spend with them and how you parent them. All too often I see parents take this responsibility lightly and put so many other things in front of what’s important for their children. They prioritize their career, themselves, their sport, their hobbies, and the children come in a distant third, fourth, or fifth in their life.

When you take on the responsibility to be a parent, you give up the right to make your life about you. You certainly need to have time for yourself to relax and focus in on yourself, but your number one priority needs to be the development of your children spiritually and emotionally. The rest of your children’s lives depends on those first critical 10 to 15 years where their personalities are formed, their confidence is formed and the foundation for who they will be for the rest of their life is formed. If you do not spend the time that’s necessary to make sure that your children come out with great confidence and great self esteem, then you are effectively committing them to a life of emotional problems, insecurities, broken relationships, and this responsibility ultimately falls on your shoulders.

I am amazed at a person’s ignorance and lack of ability to self assess then when they look at a child who’s a teenager or in their 20s who is very much off the rails and having a difficult life, scratch their head and wonder why. I believe one of the biggest problems impacting mental health and suicide rates and all sorts of things that are occurring in today’s western society is a lack of decent parenting. We’ve gone from 200 or 300 years ago being intimately involved with our children for hours and hours every day, to now, where often the children come a very distant second, third and fourth to what the parents want to do in their life.

If you are a person my age, late 40s, then you have probably gone through your life where your parents very much focused on careers and different things, and now you need to focus in on your children and what they want. You may feel like you’ve missed out on both fronts, but unfortunately, that is just bad luck. We all need to commit to our children and make sure that they can be given the best start in their life, because it’s not just about them. We all depend on them as our future leaders in our society to see what will happen.

At the moment we are in a real flux in our society that isn’t working. We have many problems around crime, social injustice, and all sorts of other conflict, and a lot of that comes from the way the people involved were parented. Understand, the way you parent your kids will massively influence your future and the future of the planet, and perhaps then you will take it more seriously.