Garry F. Liday Corporation June 2018

Call Us: (503) 620-3531

JUNE 2018

Garry F. Liday Corporation FINANCIAL COACH

RETIREMENT ASSET MANAGERS, INC. A Registered Investment Advisory Firm (RIA)


I don’t think there’s any class you can take or book you can read that can prepare for your becoming a parent. Doing a little research can’t hurt, but when you have kids, every day is a learning experience. Looking back on it now, I was woefully unprepared for fatherhood. I was 22 when my first wife and I had children, and she was only 17. Let me tell you, I would recommend you wait a little longer than that. Having and raising children is one of the great joys in life, but it’s also one heck of a challenge. To be perfectly honest, my parents didn’t provide a parenting model that I wanted to follow. It wasn’t that they were bad parents — far from it — but they came from a generation when kids were supposed to do what they were told. “Because I said so,” was a phrase my dad was very fond of. He was a nice old redneck from Texas, but he and I saw the world differently. As a kid, I was extremely curious. Whenever I was told to do something, I asked why. That didn’t always sit well with him and led to many arguments. Looking back, I probably would’ve had an easier time if I had just kept my mouth shut, but it simply wasn’t my nature. Let me give you one small example. One of the only forms of entertainment in our small town was a movie theater, but we were not allowed to go. You can only imagine my surprise when we got a TV during my teenage years. In my eyes, the only difference between a TV and the movies was the size of the screen. We’d even watch movies on the TV set. Of course, I wanted to know why one was okay and the other wasn’t. Guess what the answer was? “Because I said so.” When I became a father, I knew I didn’t want to replicate this approach. Kids are smart and they deserve honest answers when they ask questions. I’m not saying I had all the answers for my kids — nobody does — but I always did my best to explain the reason behind something. If I was at a loss, I wasn’t too proud to say I didn’t know. That attitude, combined with a big dose of trial and error, informed my parenting style more than anything else.

I also learned more about parenting from my wife, Louise. We shared our experiences and cherry-picked each other’s best advice. I’d like to think those years of experience and perspective prepared us to be the grandparents we are today. We like to say that it’s a lot more fun to be a grandparent than a parent. Some of that comes down to the fact that you get to do more of the fun stuff and less of the hard stuff. But I think it’s also because you have a lot more wisdom about interacting with children after you’ve raised your own. Neither of my parents are still with us, but I’m so grateful for everything they taught me and for helping mold the man I am today. If your parents are still around, take the time to say thanks to them. They probably weren’t perfect, but nobody is. Parenting, at its core, is all about making an effort and learning along the way. – Garry Li day

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