How many times have you come to a crossroad in life and wished you had someone to guide you on your journey? I went through it in my early and mid 20’s. I had no direction in life, I was married with my first child on the way, I had a job, but nothing I could see myself doing forever. That period of my life would have been so much easier if I had a mentor, or a guide, or some type of resource I could have referred to. And you can give that to your kids.
My wife and I created an email address for my 3 year old son and also our daughter who’s still in “the oven”. So today, I wrote my unborn child an email. I told her that I’m not perfect, but I’ll always love her. I told her that we’ll figure this thing called life out together.
As dads, it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day of craziness and we can miss a memory that made us laugh, or feel proud, or cry. How can we remember all of this when our adult kids want to know what they were like as toddlers? Or which direction they should go in life. We can’t. At least I know my memory isn’t that great. Half the time, I’m relying on my wife’s memory of MY past.
But sending an email is so much easier. At the end of the day, month, or even year, I can take a minute and write my son and daughter something heartfelt and funny. Something motivating and profound. Or I can just send them pictures and videos of us doing things together as a family.
Our plan then is to give them the passwords to their accounts at either their high school or college graduation. Or whenever we think they’re ready.
Maybe you like the concept, but don’t have any idea what to send your kids. Well you’re in luck partner, because I made a list!
- A picture of them every year on their birthday.
- Did you teach them a life lesson today? Send them an email reminding them of the moral of the story.
- Did you have to punish them for something they did that was inappropriate but was actually pretty hilarious? Tell them about it!
- Instead of saving all of those abstract paintings and school art projects and letting them clutter your attic and basement, keep the ones
- you really like, take a picture of the rest, and email them to your kid. Then throw away the wack ones.
- Family pictures of your kids with your spouse, grandparents, great grandparents, and anyone else that you think they will appreciate at an older age.
- All those videos on your phone that you’ll never watch again…yep! Now your kids can re-watch them again in 20 years.
- Write them and apologize to them for a mistake you’re going to make in the future and pre-scold them for not calling you enough in college.
- Send them a list of your favorite books, documentaries, blogs and movies.
- Tell them to drop everything and go watch Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.
- If you haven’t heard of StoryCorp, it’s an app and podcast that let’s you interview people. Let your kid interview you and you can then interview them. The recording will be stored in the library of congress in Washington, DC. Pretty cool right?
In conclusion, a picture on Facebook might be worth a thousand words, but thousands of words over the course of decades are way more valuable. Give your kids this gift when they graduate or come to a crossroad in life and I promise it will be a gift that keeps on giving.
Have a good week and tell your kids you love them.