As our children grow up and start school and start making friends, the pressure to fit in with the other kids is intense. This is the beginning stage of our kids “finding themselves.”  It is also the time when they start comparing who they are with the others around them. As parents, we have to teach our kids how important it is to be ourselves and love the person that we are.

First, what does it mean to be authentic? For me, it means not letting others tell you us who we should be. Instead, just be happy and embrace who you are; simply put, don’t be fake. As parents, it all starts with us. How do we speak about ourselves? How do we describe our actions? We have to be the model for positivity and accept our self in our own lives. As we do this, our children will notice. We may not realize it, but we are being a model authenticity for our children as they grow up. By watching us, they will be more accepting of who they are.

I try to always have a great self-esteem and be happy with who I am. Nothing or no one can change how I feel about myself. I have to be that leader for him and show him I’m very comfortable in my own skin. I have to show my son that no matter what I do in life, just being me is good enough.

I want to teach him that he doesn’t have to be like another child to be accepted. I will always be happy for him. As a parent, I want him to feel special for just being him. Simple things like saying “I’m glad that you came into my life” or “I’m happy that you were born,” shows him how important he is to me for just being himself…for being authentic.

One thing I do for my son is encourage him to do what he wants. I want him to be him. It’s nice if he wants to follow in my footsteps; however, he can also follow someone else’s example, as long as its constructive. If he has a passion to be something or do something on his own, then I will encourage it and stay focused on that for him. I want my son to be comfortable in his own skin and just being real to himself.

As you all know, our children are always watching us. If we are an authentic person and we live our own life as a fearless, positive person, children will see that and mimic the thing that we do and it will serve as a powerful lesson them as they mature.

I consider by authentic as one of the most valuable lessons for my son. I will continue to teach and preach to my son Jeremiah every single day. Remember, thinking positive about yourself and being your true “you,” will rub off on our children and they will grow into a great, authentic person.

What is GetConnectDAD?

@GetConnectDAD is an international project focused on One goal:  More ConnectDAD families.   We are 150 writers from around the world, focused on 52 Traits we want in our children.

The GetConnectDAD team would like to challenge every parent to:

  • Devote 1 Extra Hour of Time each week to your kids (uninterrupted)
  • Read 1 story or have 1 story read to you by your child this week 
  • Take 1 Walk outside with your partner and kids
  • Take 1 moment to say “I love you” to your kids
  • Hug your kid(s) 1 time this week