We all have our heroes and role models. Some are teachers, coaches, sports figures, and other celebrities. I am no exception. I liked to read biographies growing up. I read about many historical figures and leaders. I had an interest in history. I enjoyed sports but never raised it to celebrated status. Most heroes are reluctant. They do not choose to be recognized nor celebrated. Neil Armstrong the first man on the moon, Left a permanent footprint on the moon in July 1969. Alvin York and Audie Murphy were decorated for heroism during the First and Second World War. Most recently Seal Team 6 was also celebrated for doing what they believed to be their job and nothing more. We should not seek celebrity. We should do our job the best that we can. We all have a different set of tools that we bring to our lives. We each have different skills and strengths.
The biggest and greatest heroes are the parents of the “heroes”. They instilled in them the values and perseverance to strive to meet their goal or objective. Read the biography of any great person. Do not read all the accolades.
As a parent we effect our child in utero. They sense when you are tired or upset. They know when you are active. My newborns whose mothers worked up to the time of delivery are often more sleepy during the day and much more awake at night. Just remember what the last trimester was like when you tried to sleep.
We should be aware of how we deal with our kids. Try to affirm their achievements. Catch them being good. There is a reason that the first word is often NO. I learned a new term last week. “Helicopter Parents” These are parents who continuously HOVER over their children. They want to decrease their hurts and injuries. This started in the baby boomer generation and has peaked now. Our kids must make mistakes and they must argue with each other. Most of our children will fight for 18 years and then they are often best friends. I remember one of my moms telling me of her 3 brothers. She was in a bad dating relationship, and suddenly the guy stopped calling. It seems her three brother had a TALK with him.
Our parents were not perfect nor should we expect to be. We all make mistakes and so will our kids. I hope we all learn from those mistakes as will our kids.
The most important thing for all of us is the direction given and the experience of trying.
My wife and I went to San Diego last month. We toured the decommissioned aircraft carrier Midway. It is named after Midway Island. That is the site of a pivotal WWII naval battle. In one of the preflight rooms we saw a motto that we did not understand. “Go Ugly Early” Our son asked a navy officer what that meant. It means make your rough or ugly landings or approaches to the carrier landing deck early in the cruise or deployment. That it is ok to make your mistakes and it is ok for our kids to make their mistakes early in their cruising years. It only fosters their confidence during later adventures.
Also on that tour we learned a lot about navigation. Initially it was line of sight or point to point then celestial navigation and now satellite and GPS. So our kids develop their own navigation skills based on their experiences and adventures. They are tentative at first, rolling, crawling cruising walking, running and then climbing. We do not want to inhibit their development nor do we want to stifle it. Try to be a positive parent do not hover and do not overwelm your child with opportunities either.
It is hard for a lot of parents or guardians to realize that their child is not a mini me. We cannot live vicariously through our children but we can give them the guidance and support that they need when they need it.
Again we can have many role models but the most important roles for us are to be ourselves.