Relationships-The Investment of Your Lifetime

I was in the back yard doing some spring yard work on a beautifully sunny day. The grass was a deep and rich green and the scent of the first cut of spring was in the air. My cell phone rang. It was my son. He was interviewing for a few internship positions with good companies and wanted to know what I thought he should do.

That phone call took me back to when our boys were quite young. I did not invest as much time in the boys as I should have when they were little. Work was taking a lot of time, working out was important, and there was little time left. I was letting good things get in the way of great. Thanks to suggestions from friends and family, I came to realize that investing time in these boys needed to become more of a priority. I made a committment to myself to place my family in front of my personal needs and desires. From that point forward I started making choices that allowed more time for investing in the family. I traded my activities for bonding with the boys through their sports and interests. I have even made career choices that may have slowed my career progression but strengthened the family bonds.

I would gladly trade everything that was sacrificed over the years just for that one phone call. Those sacrifices helped these boys grow to become fine young men. Those sacrifices were choices to build relationships and on that spring afternoon, my son was calling for career advice. We talked for 20 minutes or so and my wife says that I was grinning from ear to ear when we finished. I was grinning because of the great feeling you get when you connect with someone with whom you have a longstanding deep relationship. I knew I had that with my son.

Let me urge those of you who are Fathers of young children, be a Dad. Mothers and Grandparents, invest in your children. Build relationships. It’s an investment that will pay dividends for a lifetime.

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About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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17 Responses to Relationships-The Investment of Your Lifetime

  1. Mina Joshi says:

    Yes, it’s a lovely feeling when your kids call you for advice – be it for advice on important issues like recruitment for simple things like recipes or washing instructions – especially after they have left home.

  2. Mina,

    Thanks again for reading and for your comments. It’s great to get feedback!

    Best,
    Chris

  3. Laurie says:

    I know what you mean., I have a 22 yar old that just graduated college and an 18 year old that is leaving in 2 weeks for college. For the last 22 years, my life was designed around being a good parent to those 2 girls. My and my husbands choices were not always what we would had rather done but what was best for the girls.
    I have seen our investment bring back many payoffs in the way of relationship with our daughters. They are both wise, good moral individuals that are able to stand on their own two feet. I am excited about what the future holds for them. The most important thing I’ve done as a parent is to pray for them, over them, and with them. By doing that, I hope I have taught them to cultivate their own relationship with God, the ultimate Father! Thanks for a good article.

    • Hi Laurie,

      Thank you for your comments. You and your husband have invested wisely and are great parents. We feel the need to pray for our children more than ever as they have moved out of the house.

      Best wishes to you and your family,
      Chris

  4. refine lubis says:

    my daughter still 6 years old, but this is what i am hoping to have when she grow up one day. a strong bonding regardless how independent they can be as an adult. thank you for sharing it with us, all the best for you son. cheers!

    • Thanks for reading and for your comments. 6 is a great age! It’s also the perfect time to invest in the little ones. It’s not easy but you’ll be glad you did. Thank you again.

      All the best for you family as well,
      Chris

  5. Laine D says:

    Lovely article Christian!

    How special that you were able to make up for those earlier days. My children are still teenagers but have largely missed the opportunity to have a close relationship with their father due to military service. Luckily I have been able to schedule my work around them so that I could be at every function, and adventure. They seem to be as proud of my accomplishments at these times as I am of theirs! Which is rather amazing.

    Thank you

    • Laine,

      Thank you for reading and commenting on this article. The military life certainly makes it difficult and that is one of the many sacrifices that our military families make for our freedoms. I appreciate what your husband is doing for our country and the sacrifices you make as a result. It’s great that you are able to invest in your children. Thanks again.

      All the best,
      Chris

  6. Managing family and relationships is always a tricky endeavor. I feel that love is unconditional and its not based on time or even the quality of the encounters. I have three children myself and try my best to show them an equal amount of love and attention. What I learned was that no matter how much time or attention I gave to them they still loved me just the same as long as they knew I love them too.

  7. Alex Putman says:

    Great article and so true! My children are all 7 and under, so this is a great reminder and view into the future! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Roger Hickey says:

    Doing personal research on use of Quality Principles, (Six Sigma, etc.) to develop interpersonal relationships. As an Evangelical Christian Metrologist (B.Th., B.S., T.M.) , I see many correlations between Theology and Metrology. I found your site and was intrigued with your thoughts. Have you developed any other related concepts of (quality tools) in developing interpersonal (e.g. Marriage & family), or spiritual relationships?
    Thanks
    Roger

  9. Thanks for sharing the sweet story of yours Chris,

    From- To be father 🙂 (next year march)

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