Our child’s first hero
A mom or dad – by default – becomes a child’s first hero. By the time our kids are teenagers, they see through our inconsistencies. Yet as kids, they think their parents can do no wrong, and what mom and dad think is the only way to think. It’s confusing to kids when they hear parents tell an untruth, because the same parents teach them not to lie. When we don’t measure up to our own standards, we fail our kids.
Do we –
- say academics are important, but put more emphasis on sports or other extracurricular activities?
- say honesty is important, but cheer (and keep) when a cashier gives the wrong amount of change?
- declare our kids must be gentlemanly, but fail to open a door for an elderly person?
- not allow our kids to talk back to us, but gloat when they give another kid a piece of their mind?
- make our kids work out differences among themselves, but keep the rift wide open with other adults in our lives?
- expect our kids to do their chores at home, but brag about how we make sure we don’t do more than necessary at work?
- make our kids go to church, but refuse to participate ourselves?
- tell our kids that God and church is important, but don’t show it by how we live?
Footsteps are followed
Our children follow the path we take. What they see us do is what they do because they are following us. Whether by attitude, actions, or activities, they get the message of what matters to us – and they want to follow. It matters not nearly as much what we say as what we do.
This fact sobers me today. Our kids grow up following the example we set because we are our child’s first hero. They know nothing else when they are young. They think the way they see us do it is the only way it should be done. We are our child’s hero. Their little footsteps follow us.
Our child’s last hero
Be the parent who becomes his child’s last hero. When he’s grown and gone and on his own, you can still be his hero.
Remember that little footsteps follow. No matter how small or how large the footsteps, they keep following and observing how we do life.
It’s true that there comes a time when our kids realize our humanness and our mistakes. They can count our failures and the times we have disappointed them. Suddenly we’re not so smart, and they are smarter still.
Then, just as suddenly, we are no longer dumb in their eyes. An authentic parent becomes wiser and smarter than their kids ever remembered them to be. They need advice and help in a myriad of instances, and realization dawns on the wealth they have owned all these years. Even when they are grown and gone, they need us to be authentic and real.
When the curtain is drawn at the end of our lives, our kids should be able to say that we are still their hero.
Don’t just be your child’s first hero. Be sure to be his last.