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?