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Who are Your Children's Everyday Heroes?

By Mihiri Udabage - 25th April 2012

This week we will commemorate Anzac Day and remember those thousands of young soldiers whose bravery defined a nation.  Young boys who left their shores, many never to return, forever remembered as heroes.

I asked my children (9 and 7 years) about their heroes.  I cringed at the anticipation of hearing names more notorious than heroic, more infamous than illustrious, more TV show than  book cover.  Pleasantly, I heard back – “Mum and Dad,” “my family,” “my teacher “, “zoo keeper,” and “J.K. Rowling”.  Not a mention of One Direction!  Happy with that!

What I understood in their responses is that who or what influences them is largely up to us, their parents.  When they are young, as are mine, their circles of influence are pretty small.  Imagine your children at the centre of a series of widening concentric circles, with parents and caregivers forming the closest loop around them, school and community circling wider, and so on.  It makes you realise that who we place before them, what we talk about in our homes, read, and watch on television, is very much under the influence of the parents and actively absorbed by the children. All of my kids’ answers reflected recent and on-going experiences, that we, their parents were responsible for providing.

For example, zoo keeper was on the list because these school holidays  we went to the zoo, chatted to the zoo keepers, and learnt about their days spent caring for the animals.  School is a big part of their lives and their teachers share the best part of nearly every day with them.  Thank goodness we have a great school for our children to thrive in.  J.K. Rowling made the cut because “she creates things I love to imagine.”

Mum, Dad, and family, for children lucky to have them, are constants. Whether we think we are worthy or not, our children (for a little while anyway) will look upon us as the bravest, the smartest, the funniest, the bestest (my daughter’s word) people in the whole wide world.  What will we do with that huge responsibility?  I say we should accept it, be grateful for the opportunity to be all that for another person, and give back to them everything they expect from the bravest, smartest, funniest, bestest people in the whole wide world.

Who are the everyday heroes you place before your children?

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