Dear Sons,

I have to say that I’m really proud of you both. I can see you growing up with new experiences and perspectives right before my very eyes. Your growing up conjures both fear and pride in me, all at the same time. I think I’ve seen you both learn more about the importance of participation in growing up. No one is an island and much of the success you experience will be from your participation in and belonging to something larger than you.

Part of the realities of growing up means that you’ll eventually learn the world doesn’t revolve around you. I know that may be a difficult concept, especially for teenagers, but it’s the truth. Growing up, the world does seem to revolve around you.

It’s all about your schedule.

What you want for Christmas.

What you want for dinner.

Life, when you’re young, revolves around you. I remember when I was a kid I would complain on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to my dad that there was no such thing as “kids day”. His response to me was, “Oh son, that’s because every other day of the year is kid’s day.”

He was so right, but I didn’t know that until I was no longer a kid.

[bctt tweet=”Newsflash teenagers – the world doesn’t revolve around you! #parenting #DadOfBoys” username=”dadtography”]

Adulthood is not like that. The world doesn’t revolve around me – not at home, or at work, or anywhere else. I have to work for what I’m given and that’s a very important lesson we all need to learn.

One of the biggest challenges of parenting is striking a balance between nurturing our children and spoiling them.

One of the best ways for you to learn that the world doesn’t cater to your every whim is to become part of something larger than you. From team sports, to marching band or volunteering your time to those less fortunate, we all need to experience things that are larger than us.

We all need to be part of a team and to learn the value we give to the team and it gives back to us.

Free Advice from Coach

The Importance of Participation and My Pride in Your Hard Work

I’m really proud of your hard work the past few months. When you’re part of a team, you don’t receive all of the recognition when the team succeeds. In fact, you may not receive any of the recognition at all. I’m proud that you’ve stuck through the countless hours of practice, the long, hot days in the sun and the early mornings and late nights.

These experiences are all contributing to your growth as a person. You’re benefitting from being part of that team’s successes and failures. You’re learning about sacrifice, hard work and contribution. Those lessons will all serve you well later in life.

Growth is About Striving for More

Your experiences lately have shown that in order for you to grow, you’ll have to do more than you’ve done before. Success won’t come to you by doing the same thing you did yesterday. Success will come to you by doing more than you did yesterday.

I hope your experiences have shown you that success is earned. If you want something – whether it’s that new “toy” or a state championship, you have to work for it. If you don’t win and you didn’t work the hardest for it, that doesn’t mean it’s time to blame the winner. It means you’ll need to work harder next time.

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