In this final part of the A Reflection: Next Gen Parenting series, we would like to continue sharing with you what we have learned in our parenting journey over the past 28 years of nurturing our three boys into young adulthood. In the last article, we shared about Applying Team Synergy and Leveraging and Developing Financial Intelligence, which you can read here: A Reflection: Next Gen Parenting Part 3. If you’d like to catch up from the beginning, you can find all the articles here: Next Gen Parenting Series.
Modeling as a Lifestyle 
We model what we want to see in our children and mentees. We do so intentionally. During the formative years of our children’s lives, they learn more from what we do rather than what we say. We were and still are mindful of modeling the seven areas below:
We live by the Marriage First principle and place our marriage above all other priorities in the way we love each other with absolute commitment. We let our children see and hear that we speak well of each other both privately and publicly.
We were united as one in parenting our children personally without delegating the task to maids, grandparents, child-care centers or schools or social media. We let our children experience first-hand love and care from us throughout their growing years with us. This was so that they would do likewise with their own children (our grandchildren).
We honored and respected our own parents as children, often intentionally making time for them and helping them in practical ways according to their needs e.g. taking them for medical check-ups or by being with them during events important to them.
We resolved to live a debt-free lifestyle, settle our credit-card payments in full each month, and be ethical in all our financial dealings. We showed our children that we never spent beyond our means. Yet, we were always generous with our resources, remembering to give to the needy in our circle of friends and immediate family members.
We chose our thoughts, food, people associations and faith in God as a lifestyle. Our faith, we would like to stress was not delegated to a once-a-week religious affair. We reminded our children that when they were young, our best gift to them was TIME. Now that we are older, our best gift to them is to stay in good health.
We transformed lives through our intentional mentoring: one-to-one, couple-to-couple and family-to-family. We involved all our children in ministering and connecting with children of other families, even in their younger days.
We overcame our crises, learned from past failures and chose to never be limited or victimized by unfavorable circumstances but to come forth victoriously while charting a better destiny with a lasting legacy. We showed our children that we need not be limited by our family or origins. All bad situations can be transformed into our greatest growth opportunities.
One day, I asked my second son, Othniel, “Mum and dad have looked after you for 25 years…would you also invest 25 years of your life and money to look after us, if we need you?” He replied with a grin, “Do you think you have raised your child right? If you did, I would.” If your children are below 18 and are still living with you , you need to make use of every opportunity to nurture them into maturity.
Time is running out. Seize the day while you can!
If your children are already 18 and above and they have gone wild and disobedient, it will be an uphill task for you to apply the above as you have very little time to model positive influence for your children. You missed the window of opportunity that was open during your children’s formative years. However, hope is not all gone. Focus on changing yourself. Entrust your family into the hands of our miracle-working God.
Ponder on this poem entitled I Wanted to Change the World:
When I was a young man,
I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world,
so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation,
I began to focus on my town.
I couldn’t change the town and as an older man,
I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize…
the only thing I can change is myself,
and suddenly I realize that
if long ago I had changed myself,
I could have made an impact on my family.
My family and I could have made an impact on our town.
Their impact could have changed the nation and
I could indeed have changed the world.
~Unknown monk, 1100 A.D.
About the Authors: Dr Peter Ting is the President/CEO of Family First Malaysia. He and his wife, Dr Abby Ting, are committed to TRANSFORMING Next Gen Fathers, supported by Mothers, to build Better Families, resulting in a Better Workplace, a Better Society and a Better Nation. They are also co-authors of a book titled “3F Next Gen Leadership”.
Since 2014, Dr Peter uses his time to mentor Gen-Y CEO Couples and Gen-Z leaders, who are tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Dr Abby continues to be the best helper to Dr Peter in their shared vision to reach every generation and build better families everywhere.
For more about them, find their profiles on our trainers’ page.
 Our new book ‘Modelling for the Next Generation’ will cover this subject in detail. It will be released in 2019.
 We advocate against sending children away from direct parental influence for overseas studies far too soon, as many Asian parents tend to do. The best time to send them off is when they are ready for marriage. If you have prepared them well, they will be able to stand on their own feet financially. That’s when it is best to release children to form their own family units. Yet, ironically, some rich parents tend to hold their children back, and this only hinders their further growth and maturity and prevents them from taking up family leadership on their own. That’s another topic that we will cover more extensively at another time.