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An Open Book

Help your children write their story.

By John Croyle

Over the past few years, I have written four books and have number five in the early stages. The content of every chapter in each book is the fruit of lessons learned from experience.  I’m honored to have had some great coaches, teachers and friends.  My wife, Tee, and our children, Reagan and Brodie, have had the greatest influence on making me the man I am today.  And some of the most influential instructors in my life are over 2,000 children who have called Big Oak Ranch home since 1974.

But the architects in charge of the foundation of my life are my parents and grandparents. They laid the base that others built upon.  The life I have led and now lead comes in large part from the “outline” that my parents wrote as I was going through life’s early stages.

The thought that you and I as parents are outlining the book of our children’s lives is a daunting one. Every day we are laying the foundation of their life chapters.  What do we need to give our children?  What do our children need to know in order to fill in the blanks of their “story.” 

  1. Fundamentally, we want them to know how to SURVIVE. 

At an early age, we teach our kids the basics such as tying their shoes, brushing their teeth and using good manners.  What we are doing in the long run is building within our children foundational pillars, such as work ethic (a good day’s work for a good day’s pay), strength of body and mind (making healthy choices every day) and using the gifts God has given them.

2. The next step is to give them the keys to SUCCEED.

Success can be viewed in many different ways (the right school, a high ACT score, making “the” team, wearing “in style” clothes, having the right friends, etc.).  Make sure you are focusing on, and in turn teaching your child to focus on, things that truly do define success – such as a Christ-like attitude, honesty, integrity, manners and self-discipline.  If those are in place, the rest will fall accordingly.

3. And finally, we want our children to FLOURISH.

For a child to flourish, they must be in an environment that encourages balanced growth in all areas.  Let your child pursue their interests to find out what they are passionate about.  Every person wants to make a difference and wants to know their purpose.  Help your child pursue theirs.  Give them the tools they need, and sit back and watch them do what they love.

Everyday your child lives under your roof, you are outlining the blank pages of their life. We have literally been entrusted to help determine the content of each page.  Do you want your child’s book to be about surviving, succeeding or flourishing? 

Decide now.  Your children are counting on you to give them the best outline possible to help them flourish!    

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