New Year's Resolution: Be Present For Our Youth In 2012

Resolution No. 1: Be Present for Our Children

Earl G. Graves Sr., Chairman & Publisher, Black Enterprise

Is it hard, especially for working, single parents, to deal with their own  concerns and interests, meet the households’ financial needs, answer to the demands of their jobs or businesses, and still be consistently involved in the lives of their children? Absolutely. But the time and effort it takes today to establish healthy values, teach right from wrong, stand firm against drug use and premature sexual activity, and make educational achievement non-negotiable is far less costly than the prenatal care, drug rehab, unemployment, law enforcement, and prisons we’ll need to deal with the consequences of our neglect tomorrow.

More than four decades ago, as a new entrepreneur and young father to three sons, with the support of my wife, Barbara, I chose to schedule my business life around my family life, so that I could be present and engaged in the lives of our children. Today, we remain loving and close-knit, and all of our lives are the richer for it. My involvement in the lives of my sons has paid far greater dividends than the extra advertising account or seven-figure deal I could have landed instead of attending their football and basketball games.

Please, don’t deprive your kids–or yourself–of that same wealth. Let’s make being present and engaged in the lives of our children our No. 1 resolution for 2012. And have a happy and prosperous New Year.