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Your children as a self-improvement tool: How my kid makes me better

Before my son was born, and even in the months that followed when we was a little blob that I kept placing my hand on when he was asleep to make sure he was breathing, my wife and I talked a lot about how we wanted to raise him and what we wanted him to be.

We talked about the values we wanted him to have, the opportunities we wanted to try to give him, the things we wanted him to know we were important, and much, much more. We also talked about how easy it would be to forget these things and react instinctively in the moment when we needed to make the choices to teach him what we wanted to.

Of course, what you often end up wanting your kids to be like is some variation of what you aspire to yourself - it's often the best version of yourself.  In his case, we wanted him to be a combination of the best versions of both of us.

The other thing you realize as your kids start to get a little older is that they are sponges - they learn from watching you - your mannerisms, your actions and your reactions.

So effectively, if you want your kids to be awesome, you need to be awesome - or at least model it often enough.

Logically, you should be trying to be awesome no matter what - you shouldn't really need extra motivation for that. But it's easy to be lazy, or settle, or succumb to your baser instincts.

But that's where those things that you got into the world and worry about so much come in!!!  There are things you will do for your kids, that you won't even do for yourself - and being a better you is one of them.

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