Recently, we all heard the sad news about the death of Phil Walsh, the famous A.F.L coach. This would have to be one of the most tragic stories ever told, how a son killed his father.
I’m not a football fan and to be honest I hadn’t heard of Phil before his death but as I read reports, my heart became sorrowful. It would seem he was quite an amazing man in many ways and the men he coached over the years held him in high esteem.
I was reading a report in the papers of how Phil had voiced regrets and concerns over the last while about how his success has affected his family. He was reported to have said he was working hard to repair and strengthen his relationship as a father. He has been a man of huge dedication to his team and their ability to perform well. He always gave his position a high priority, and this, of course, has brought much success.
Phil’s son had also spoken over the years on how his dad’s success and the ability to put in such long hours and how his drive to achieve had affected him as his son. Unfortunately, the child was left to feel as if he couldn’t measure up. He spent a lot of his time trying to work out who he is and where he fit.
I have no judgement towards Phil or his son; I just want us to look at the situation as best we can through the information given to us by the media and learn. I must say, I don’t think we can always trust the media one hundred percent, however, I feel we can still learn from the basics of this story.
It would seem Phil was a real father, his daughter says he is her “hero”, he worked hard to succeed, and his family certainly has reaped benefits from his hard work. He had said openly how when he realised the negative effects of success had become known to him he tried very hard to turn things around for them all.
None of us ever get it all right, we all make mistakes, and it seems Phil got a lot of it right as a father and a coach. I guess what we all need to do here is stop and see how Phil can coach us now in the sadness of his death.
I feel being successful does not have to have negative effects on our children. It will always be harder for some children than others when we succeed as they will all have their perspective on the situation.
Hopefully, we are all putting our best foot forward and attempting to reach our full potential and succeed in life. Our children can learn so much from watching us go the extra mile, putting in the extra effort in life and benefit big time themselves from these lessons. Let’s face it, it takes strong discipline and effort to become all we were born for, I believe we are all born to succeed in life.
As parents and grandparents, we need to put some measuring points in our lives to help our children journey the success road with us, well. While you are young and working hard to succeed, your family is young and developing their self-awareness, so you need to be conscious of involving them in your dreams. At the same time helping them to imagine for themselves. If you only focus on your goals, what your dreams look like and how to get there, you may unintentionally devalue your children and spouse.
Talk to your children about your dreams and why they are important to you, while you are doing that, ask them what they think about your goals/dreams. If you include them and value their opinions even as children, they will be in a safe space to let you know if they are feeling overwhelmed, neglected or anything that is devaluing them. Ask them what they are dreaming about, what do they hope to achieve in life, celebrate it with them and put yourself out to help them achieve. Take time out in your busy life as you work towards your dreams and goals in life and meet them where they are. Learn what makes them excited and get involved in it with them, there will still be time for you to push into your dreams for you. Most of all, deliberately create space and time to really listen to your children, take time out to spend with your family, doing things they have chosen to do and give each one your attention.
We don’t have to lay our dreams down for our children, we can live our dreams, we need to live our dreams to show them how to live theirs. Take them on the journey with you, involve them in your dreams and success and be involved in their dreams and successes. It is a journey that has its up’s and down’s; we won’t get it perfect. However, we can take them with us and learn together. They can learn from us, and we can learn from them, no matter how young they are.
It takes open communication, quality time together and valuing each other’s dreams. I pray Phil Walsh’s family will be able to heal in time, that his success will be celebrated well and that he will continue to be a hero. As parents and grandparents, we need to see our children are not always able to achieve the same way we do, they may not have the same outlook on success as we do. Success can mean different things to different people, we need to help our children see that we just want them to give it their best whatever that looks like. One hundred percent for one person will look different for another, and that’s great, we were never meant to all look the same.
Be blessed, go for your dreams, involve your family on the journey with you, don’t leave them behind and help them on their journey of success as well.
Much love,