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15 Things A Father Wants His Kids To Always Remember

15 Things A Father Wants His Kids To Always Remember
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When a man discovers he’s going to be a father, a million thoughts run through his head at once. “Am I ready for this? What if I don’t raise him right? Can we even afford to have a kid?” As time goes on, these panicky thoughts give way to the deeper questions, such as “What do I want my child to know?” We want our children to grow up to have the best life they possibly can.

There are many things fathers hope their children know by the time they leave the nest. These include:

1. Knowing how to speak up

Children should know how to stand up for what they believe in. However, this doesn’t mean they should learn to be obnoxious and only focused on getting their way. Fathers should teach their children to be calm and collected in their approach to arguments, as well as relentless in their pursuit of justice. Not only should children be taught to stand up for themselves, but they should also know to stand up for those who cannot fight for themselves.

2. Working hard in all you do

So many kids (and adults, for that matter) don’t understand the value of hard work. In a time in which instant gratification is so widespread, it’s important for fathers to show their children that dedication and hard work takes a while to pay off. But they should also lead their children to understand the satisfaction that is felt when a job has been done, and done well.

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3. Being persistent

Whether a child is speaking up or working toward completing a task, fathers should communicate the importance of sticking with their pursuits. Giving up is giving in, and admitting defeat. Fathers should teach children to see things through to completion. Giving less than their full effort is wasting the talents that were given to them.

4. Contributing to a clean environment

Fathers should show their children how important it is to keep their room clean, and focus on how it will improve their overall mood in the long run. Children should know how important it is for them to help out around the house, so their parents aren’t cleaning up after them day after day. And they should definitely understand the importance of keeping their community clean by not littering, picking up trash, and recycling.

5. Taking care of their body and health

Fathers should model the importance of keeping a healthy body through nutritious eating, exercise, and lifestyle choices. Fathers who overeat, laze around, and smoke and drink are more likely to raise children who follows in their footsteps. Even children who are seemingly healthy should learn how important it is to be active on a daily basis. If they grow up practicing unhealthy habits, it will be much harder to get healthy when they’re older.

6. Treating everyone with respect

Fathers should teach their children that every single person on Earth is important in some way, and deserves to be respected as a human being. This goes for the people serving you at restaurants, the people who collect your garbage, and the homeless people sitting outside the convenience store begging for change. Fathers should model compassion for everyone they meet, and their children will follow suit.

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7. Staying informed

At a time in which information is at our fingertips 24/7, ignorance is absolutely inexcusable. Fathers should communicate that staying current is incredibly important in order to continue being compassionate. Being informed about controversial issues will lead to children being able to understand the importance of assisting groups of people who have been shunned or otherwise slighted by society.

8. Being responsible

Perhaps one of the most important jobs a father has is to teach his child to take responsibility. When a child makes a mistake, he should feel comfortable admitting the truth, rather than hiding from it and digging himself deeper and deeper into despair. It’s always hard to admit when you’ve done wrong, but a father should instill in his children the idea that owning up to mistakes is the sign of a truly strong and mature person.

9. Putting family first

Your family should be the most important group of people in the world to you. They’re the ones who were around when you were born, and will be the only people who will love you unconditionally throughout your life. A great father will model this by always being there when his children need him, and dedicating himself to his family’s safety, security, and happiness. He should also teach his children the importance of spending time with grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, and brothers, and appreciating every experience you have with them.

10. Embracing their flaws

Nobody is perfect. Unfortunately, children are often incredibly insecure about their shortcomings, and fixate on imperfections. For example, young children often think they’re “not good at math” or “not a good reader.” This is a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it holds them back from truly trying to succeed. Fathers should teach their children that trying their best and persevering through adversity is is much more important than succeeding at everything they set out to do.

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11. Being comfortable with who they are

Fathers need to help children be comfortable in their own skin. As they grow into teenagers, children will often make a big deal about their appearance, finding little physical imperfections to obsess over. Fathers need to help their children get past this stage by showing them how to appreciate themselves as a person not defined by their physical appearance. When children are comfortable with who they are, they can be confident in themselves and their ability to succeed.

12. Not being afraid of failure

Many times, children are so afraid of failing that they don’t even get started on the path to success. Fathers need to be there to support their children when they’re feeling insecure or inadequate. They need to instill in them the idea that failure is not the end of a journey, but just a bump in the road. When children see failure not as a roadblock, but as a stepping stone, they’ll make the most out of every experience in their life, whether it be positive or negative.

13. Stepping out of their comfort zone

Fathers need to push their children to constantly expand their comfort zone. Staying where they’re comfortable is easy, but it’s also a surefire path to stagnation. Fathers should always be up for trying something new so their children see how much life has to offer. They’ll never see it if they spend their weekends holed up in their room or on their phones.

14. Not wasting their talents

All people have one or two things they’re just naturally good at. It’s important that fathers teach their children not to take these talents for granted. Talented children can sometimes become conceited and start to mistakenly believe they’ll be able to get by on their natural talents alone. That’s not the case. Fathers should push their children to push themselves further.

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15. Not letting life pass them by

Fathers should teach their children to never take life for granted, and to take advantage of every waking moment they’re given. Every moment lived is a chance to excel and experience something new. If fathers teach anything to their children, it should be to never waste the gift of life.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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