What is the role of a parent? Obviously, keeping them alive is a big one. I’ve learned that feeding them semi-regularly and redirecting them away from hot stoves and wild animals helps with that. Teaching them morals, and how to be a positive contribution to society are important next-level responsibilities.
But what about being brave? Isn’t it important to teach them how to chase a dream and how to take risks and strive to reach their potential?
The tricky part is that kids still pay more attention to what we do than what we say. (Dangit!) The standard platitudes like, “You can be anything you set you mind to,” or “work hard and you’ll achieve your dreams” fall pretty flat when they see us settling for a job that sucks the life out of us or increasing our television watching instead of improving ourselves.
Consider these thoughts from artist Kelly Rae Roberts:
“I think it’s vitally important for our families, especially our children, to witness us being fulfilled. Not only does living our dreams give our family and children permission to do the same, but it also creates an energy in the family – we’re happier, more inspired, more energized. And we bring all that energy to the family system. By the same token, I think it’s important for our children to witness us taking risks and reaching toward our potential. How will they ever do the same if their mamas and papas haven’t shown them it’s possible by living that very possibility into reality with their own lives?”
I couldn’t agree more. Mind you, this is not an excuse to neglect our children in a whirlwind of workaholism. (They can just as easily learn from us how to sacrifice our family FOR our dreams. Not good.)
But it IS a call for us to be brave with our stories so they can be brave with theirs.
By the way, this applies to all of us, not just those with kids. We are being watched all the time, by friends, family, students, patients, clients, co-workers, etc. Actions always speak louder than our words ever will. When we live our lives as a great adventure, we give others permission to do the same.
Who has been your greatest role model when it comes to living life as an adventure?
Pierre Kelly says
My mom, because she cared for me everyday ever since I was born.
Irene Delao says
My Mom because even though she raised 11 children without our dad, she did correspondence courses by mail and became a CRD ‘Certified Registered Dietition’. Not because she had the time but because she made the time to accomplish her dream. She worked as a Dietition at a Hospital for many years! I am so proud to be her daughter! All 11 of us went to College and are successful today because of her example! She never gave up trying to make a better life for all of us! So we figured if she could it with all of those obstacles then we could too! Thank you M♥m, I love and miss you dearly! With all my love and Respect. Irene :D!
I really hope more people can be inspired by your mom. She seems like a very wonderful person :)
Truth be told Jason, you helped me be brave a few years ago. I attended the NAEYC conference in Sioux Falls, SD where you spoke about adultitis and about improving our life story. Sometime during your very motivational message, you gave us a card with one of your cartoons on it. I think it was about blowing bubbles in your milk? I still have it somewhere . . .
Even though I don’t remember exactly what it said or how I finished the statement about improving my own life story, I do remember that it was at that moment that I decided to go for what I wanted in life. I took a big leap of faith and chose not to resign my contract for the upcoming school year and I applied for my dream job that would be opening later that fall. It was a tough few months while I waited, but it was well worth it and my children got to see me follow my dreams and get the job! Thank you for the great gift that you gave me that day!
my mom she maneged to raise all of us without the help of my father be a full time working mom and still figured out time to arange vactions in between. and you and kim make me braver everyday
Emma, actually, YOU make you braver, but I’m happy that we can serve as inspiration!