“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”
– John Quincy Adams
If at no other time in your life, the moment you become a parent, you assume a position of leadership, charged with one the greatest of all tasks: raising a child. When we are born, with the exception of certain genetic predispositions, we are all pretty much a blank slate, or what John Locke calls “tabula rasa,” the theory that at birth, the mind is a “blank slate” before it receives impressions gained from life experience. Therefore, who and what we become is often a direct result of our immediate environment, primary socialization, and thus our parenting. For this reason, it is imperative that we take seriously our role as parents/caregivers, and bring our “A” game when it comes to equipping and preparing our children with the wisdom, knowledge, and life skills they will need to thrive and be happy, well-adjusted adults.
I am writing this month’s JOW as a call to action for all parents, myself included, to first be mindful of just how important our role as parents are and to remind you that our children are at our mercy, and no matter how resistant they may be, they are fully dependent on us to provide guidance and direction and to lead them to greatness. Therefore, the example we set, what we model, what we do, and/or what we do not do as parents will have a direct effect on their overall development and outcome. For this reason we must step up our game and demonstrate, by what we say and do, absolute and sound leadership, as it involves every facet of our children’s lives, be it their physical and mental health and well-being, their development of exceptional character and integrity, and of course their academic and scholastic achievement.
It won’t be long before school bells are ringing again and we and our kids are back to the daily grind and all that entails: school, work, homework, office work, grocery shopping, meal planning, family time, and, if at all possible, “me” time! Trust me, I know it’s a lot! But what I also know is that with some forethought, planning, and CONSISTENCY in adhering to and implementing “the plan,” your entire family can meet with great success in everything you aspire to do, individually and collectively. For me and my crew, I know that effective time management and self-discipline in adhering to a schedule is paramount to our success. For this reason, we created a basic, informal contract/agreement that we all signed. This made us more accountable to one another and more vested in the plan.
So I invite you to sit down with your children and have a heart-to-heart regarding the upcoming school year. Start by taking inventory and an assessment of everything you and your children desire to accomplish. Reflect on past success and failures and then set goals relative to improving in areas that need attention. Then map out a plan/schedule together that will allow you to accomplish all that has to get done. Perhaps you and your children desire that they achieve a higher overall grade point average, more consistent communication with teachers and administration, and greater awareness and involvement in school-related events and activities; whatever it may be, write it down, then take it a step further and maybe even laminate it, and post it where you all can see.