Do you have kids, man?
Deep relationship development through common interests.
I am sitting on my porch and enjoying a 12 years old Perdomo cigar while sipping a vintage port on this first truly warm day of this year and reading a book at the same time.
The first two pages of the book have shifted my mind, and I felt the urge to write about something every man should understand and incorporate into your life if you have children.
I had quite turbulent years for the most of my adult life working two-three jobs at the same time. My wife and two kids had to be protected financially. It's like building an invisible wall around the family that protects them from any unpleasant events.
Some of the jobs were associated with my desire to be creative or curious about the latest technology and some were just bringing cash to the table without any excitement like delivering pizza during the hardest time.
As you may assume, I was a busy man with a lack of quality time for my kids.
I have missed the best moments in the life of my son. I did not play soccer and chess with him, I did not attend sporting events in the school, and I did not even watched movies together.
The same was with my daughter. The only things I was able to teach them is how to be a decent person with my own example.
Now, looking back at those years, I regret that I missed those moments.
Maybe if I would accept a bare-bone income and concentrated more on my kids I would not hear from them some bitter worlds when they have been already in their twenties. Maybe we would not have so hard time with our daughter when she was in a high school. And maybe I would not be so distant with my son, especially considering the fact that I was actually his stepfather since he was 2.5 years young.
Yes, I took a serious responsibility to help him growing up without mental disturbances and to surround him with love and care, and the time spent together. I did not happen...
My wife took care for both kids while I was working and traveling. Kudos to her.
I could write a book about our family life together for almost 40 years. I bet you would read that unwritten book non-stop.
We came together through the "fire and water" and had many truly difficult times but, in the end, we swam to the " quiet waters".
I have realized that I have to do something to bring my kids closer and let them feel that they have a good father, the one they can be proud of.
In 2005, when I closed my business (computer training center) and left the only one job active as a cyber security consultant, I have realized that I have more time to spend with a family.
Each of my kids was left with a bitter taste in a mouth about those missed years, and my goal was to change their perception.
Over the time, the kids got their own families and could understand better why taking care about financial well-being is important. They became kind of softer to me.
It was my dream to get back to my old hobby when I retire -- oil painting. While I enjoyed it last time almost 35 years ago, I was afraid that I have forgotten how to paint.
Lucky me, I found that I still have those almost forgotten skills and enough patience.
I love the challenge. Physical or mental. It is a necessity for every man. So, I took an enormous task to paint the portrait of my granddaughter. Six months later, right before her second birthday, the portrait was completed.
I have presented it on her birthday party.
I was hiding what I was doing, and was looking forward to see the reaction. My son David was in complete shock. I have to admit that I have enjoyed a moment!
During the same months, while I was painting, I have convinced him to learn about investing money wisely, and shared with him my experience. He always was frustrated with his investments because whenever he bought the stocks, he was losing money. I taught him to be patient and develop the rules for investing money. I taught him about the charts, the power of dividends and compounding interest, the closed-end stocks, REITs, and BDCs (business development corporations) and some trading strategies.
Slowly, his results became better.
Then, one single event has changed his perception about his father.
David has a friend from Norway, the guy he met in D.C. Last year, he has invited him to visit Norway. While spending time there, he has shared the picture of my painting as well as his progress in investing world.
His friend Andrew was so impressed that he told him that my son has a very accomplished father: business skills, complicated technology skills, oil painting skills, investment skills, handyman skills (he saw the sauna that I built myself), etc.
Those praises of me from another person have made a major shift in my son's mind.
As a result, we got much closer. We talk or text each other daily. We discuss the market and political news, investing in general and in real estate, and we spend time together as often as possible.
My kudos to Andrew!
I have 180% shift in relationship with my daughter, and now I enjoy her sweetness and love. We share our admiration of her truly beautiful cats. We have the lunches and dinners together. And my time spent with her for money management skills was very productive.
My point? Spend a quality time with your kids and share your life experience. You could be a very busy man with your job or business but give them something that only father can give -- your love, your invaluable experience, and your view of world and life.
You won't regret, man!
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