I Can Never Build Another You

Grammy award-winning country music artist, Larry Gatlin, was recently featured on Fox News because he had written a song for the tornado victims in Woodward, Oklahoma. He was lying in bed watching the news one night when he saw a young woman standing in the debris of her home. Pointing to her husband and tearfully looking into the camera, she said, “I can build another house, but I cannot build another him.” Larry climbed out of bed. When his wife asked where he was going, he said, “You know where.” And a touching song was born.

Shortly thereafter, Larry performed the song at a benefit in Woodward, Oklahoma. The lyrics are very moving and true, and I encourage you to check it out on YouTube. The young lady who inspired the song held the handwritten words as Larry sang, and the community came together to raise close to $200,000 for the victims. It’s a great story of compassion.


As I listened, I thought about how applicable this song is to parenting. We will have several opportunities in our lives to build houses, careers, and dreams … yet we have but one chance to build our children. Each child has only one childhood, and what we do every single day really matters as her brain connections form. Look into your child’s eyes and make note: the emotional connection she needs today is significant to the woman she will become.

No matter what stage of life—rocking him gently to sleep, helping her with her homework, getting her ready for prom, watching him learn to be a man—remember that each child deserves our very best. What we do every day molds them into who they become … forever. Think about that as you make choices in life so that you can reflect on your choices with pride. Build your child with honor … with confidence … and with knowledge.

Written by Donna McClintock, COO with Children’s Choice Learning Centers, Inc.


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