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FOREWORD
 

By: Stephen R. Covey

In today's world, we hear a lot about identity theft, where a thief gains access to your financial accounts and the like. What a misfortune. But there is a more serious type of identity theft going on that we're largely unaware of. It happens when our children forget who they really are and are stripped of their intrinsic worth and potential. It happens when our children grow up with comparison-based identities. In other words, they get their sense of self-worth, or lack of it, from how well they stack up compared to others. Because of so much exposure to media, they feel pressure to look, dress, talk, and act a certain way. Peer pressure becomes their guiding influence, and they gradually become more concerned with their images than with themselves and are thus robbed of their real identity. This is the worst kind of identity theft.

It is our job, therefore, as parents, grandparents, teachers, and leaders of youth to change this pattern by teaching our kids (by example and precept) that they are of infinite worth, not to be compared to anyone else. The work that we do within the four walls of our own homes is, in fact, the most important work we will ever do. Simply put, our main job is to inspire our kids to see the greatness within them. In my book, The Leader in Me, I shared how schools, parents, and others around the world are inspiring greatness in children. It is being done all over the place. The opportunity to truly inspire a child to greatness is one of the greatest opportunities you could be given.
That is why I commend this book, The C.H.I.L.D. Game Plan, to you. It encourages and equips parents, grandparents, teachers, and other leaders of youth to find the greatness within each child they raise or work with. From his unique perspective as a sports agent, Bruce has been able to see firsthand the fruits of good parenting. Throughout this book, professional athletes share how their parents inspired them to greatness. You are given the inside scoop on what their parents did and how it inspired them to reach deeper inside their own heart and experience greatness in their lives. However, this book is not just about raising athletes. It is about the principles and practices of raising great kids who know who they are and are able to reach their full potential in whatever endeavors they choose. Greatness, after all, resides in each of us.

As a parent, I've learned that kids spell love t-i-m-e. This book will help you best utilize your time with them. It is loaded with ideas and approaches that you can use to help your child, grandchild, or student develop into a strong, well-balanced, productive adult. You only get one chance to prepare a child. So please make yours count! I encourage you to read this book from cover to cover and follow the advice and tips given. As we all know, we only reap what we sow. If you sow well into a child's life, you will reap the benefits for generations. In the words of Daniel Webster: “If we work upon marble, it will perish. If we work upon brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work upon immortal minds, and instill in them just principles, we are then engraving upon that tablet that which no time will efface, but will brighten and brighten to all eternity.”

—Stephen R. Covey, father, grandfather, cofounder of FranklinCovey, consultant, family expert, and #1 New York Times Best-Selling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, First Things First, The Leader in Me, and numerous other works.