Principle 5. Be a Hero
I call being a hero the secret prevention weapon hidden in every home. I say “hidden” because it’s not something we hear much about. It’s not given the attention and publicity it deserves, nor is it the first priority strategy communities look to, or invest in, when addressing public anti-social youth behavior.
To be fair, I can understand public officials looking to some type of school, church, or police program to intervene with rebellious youth behavior. Yet, when it comes to prevention of rebellious youth behavior, that’s a matter of parental leadership that begins early in a child’s life and can’t be replaced by youth programs. We’ve tried that for decades and it’s not working. And, contrary to the conventional wisdom, it does NOT take a village to raise a child. It just takes good parent leadership. That’s what will keep our kids on the right path and part of that leadership is in being a hero to our children.
Definition of a “hero”:
A “Hero” is someone bigger than life. He/she is someone to look up to. A hero is what I want to be; someone who does great things to help others. A hero is the person I can trust and depend upon to always be there when I need them. A hero is someone who is loved by all.
With this definition, we have just described “Superman/woman”, but that is what a hero is in a sense. An almost mythical, mystery kind of a person, beyond the ordinary, unlike the rest of us, or so we think anyway, and somehow it almost doesn’t matter whether it is true or not or whether they really exist or not, because we can still draw inspiration from this figure we have in our heart and mind as a personal source of inspiration.
“We cannot live fully without heroes, for they are the stars to guide us upward. They are the peaks on our human mountains. Not only do they personify what we can be, but they also urge us to be. Heroes are who we can become, if we diligently pursue our ideas …Heroes are those who have changed history for the better…Their deeds are not done for the honor, but for the duty…” – F. Smith
Three Principles of Parent Heroes:
(This is not an exhaustive list of all the qualities of being a hero)
1. Priorities. As adults we choose our priorities. Part of being a hero to our children is the consistent choice of investing time in our children’s activities as first, important, and top priority.
2. Integrity. We don’t have to be perfect, just honest, to win the love and respect of our children and humble enough to apologize when we make mistakes.
3. Crisis. It may not seem like a crisis to us, but if it is important to them, in those hard times we are there for them. We may not have all the answers or know the right words to speak, but we can show up in the crisis of life and often times that is all that is needed.
“One-reason children choose loyalty to family over peer pressure is because they have heroes they look up to at home. Parent heroes in the home are a source of inspiration and modeling of life children can follow and draw strength from in their time of temptation. Every era has those extraordinary men and woman who have risen to the challenges of their time. It is my contention that the extraordinary men and woman of our time who must rise up to take on the complex challenges of this time, more than any other single entity, institution or community program, are parents. That’s why I call them “Parents on a Mission!”– R. Ramos