When you live in Waynesville, everything seems to be a 20 minute minimum drive away. Whether it’s to a football game or to pick up equipment in a field on the other side of Dayton, we can expect a drive and typically a fight in the back seat. That is unless we allow the in-car DVD player.
And what typically gets played in our in-car DVD player is either a series of Scooby Doo episodes or Sponge Bob episodes. I think that I have heard them all.
Most recently, the kids were watching an episode in which Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy (super heroes of Bikini Bottom) tell SpongeBob that they are too busy to help. They advise him to be his own hero.
It struck me as an interesting concept to teach kids. So many of the super heroes that my kids watch fix everything for the humans they are sent to protect. And most of them rely on some super human power to do it – super strength, apparition, x-ray vision, super speed, the ability to morph into anything, etc. Even Batman had access to an unlimited supply of cash that helped him create some pretty amazing advanced weaponry (and a really cool car!)
But rarely do we teach our kids to be their own heroes. In fact, I believe we do a better job at teaching them to be victims than heroes. It is our job as parents to help them learn to defend themselves and how to stand up for what they believe in. I’m not suggesting teaching them how to fight or use a gun, but really understanding what it means to have confidence in who they are and the values we give them.
Being your own hero doesn’t mean forcing your opinions or beliefs on someone else. It means having the strength and resilliance to be a better person no matter what life throws at you. It’s not giving up. Listening to your own voice. And getting back up no matter how many times you get knocked down.
It’s not allowing yourself to play the victim.
And it’s knowing that sometimes you’ll be scared, and sometimes you’ll be sad, and crappy things will happen. How you deal with them makes you the hero in your own life.
With everything going on in our world right now – mass shootings, war, bullying, terrorists and more – teaching our kids how to believe in themselves is one of the most important lessons of all. And one that we try to do every day. Thanks for the help, Sponge Bob!