This weekend my wife convinced me to add a couple of new outfits to my wardrobe. When I put on this new hip set of duds on Sunday, one of my daughters stared at me with fascination…or disgust…I couldn’t really tell.
After moments of silence, she said, “Dad, those look like rock star pants.” I beamed back with excitement, “I know. Cool, huh?” Her response pierced my ego: “But you are not a rock star!”
As parents, we should shine like rock stars to our kids. I am not talking about being cool for sake of being cool. I am not talking about being their best friend. I am talking about planning, advertising, entertaining and inspiring throughout your relationship with your children. Here is what I mean:
- Plan your concert tour. As a busy construction attorney, this is the most difficult part of becoming a rock star parent. I work very long days and often times I leave to and come home from the office while the kids are in bed. (Yep…I said that right…I miss them in the morning and night.) And with seven young children, the need to plan is more important. Just like the musician with a planned tour schedule, you need to plan the times that you will be home with the children. Include them in making your tour schedule so that they have involvement. Many times I have heard a little one say to me, “Dad, on our next adventure, can we ….?”
- Advertise each event. When you plan an event, you need to advertise and talk about it with your children. Weekends can be crazy at my house because I have scheduled three or four different trips out with different kids. When you talk about it during the week, you are solidifying your commitment to them, as well as building excitement for the weekend to come.
- Entertain their heart and mind. Okay. I got this one down because I love to entertain. A few pieces of advice: (i) learn to use many voices (…kids love voices…); (ii) buy tons of white paper and crayons, and sit down to draw with your children every chance you can get; and (iii) eat the green bean, peanut butter, and chip sandwiches, which means if you let your children help you make lunch, then be prepared to eat whatever they make. Role play with the chef, waitress and customer. And when you mess up by yelling at them for spilling the milk (…I may have done that a few times…), then cure the hurt in their eyes and face by saying “sorry” and finding their tickle spot.
- Inspire your children towards greatness. We entertain to get their attention; we inspire to teach them character. Whether it is the lyrics, the overall showmanship, or the eye contact made with the lead singer, the most memorable concert likely left you inspired. When you interact with your children, remain focused on your goal of preparing them for the real world (…hopefully not the MTV show…). In all things, including trips to the movie, ice cream shop or park, find a way to inspire them to greatness.
Are you a rock star parent? What can you do different this week to rock it?