What do you want to be when you grow up?
I asked my six-year-old son this question just recently. After thinking for a few moments, he told me he wanted to be famous for telling the weather, and then he would go on Wendy and talk to her.
I grew up on Oprah. He’s growing up on Wendy Williams. Go figure!
Every parent wishes the best and a world of success for their children. While following your passion to a career of your choice is important, being a good person and “being your own hero” is key.
In the story Be Your Own Hero - written by Lisa King and filled with a diverse cast of characters and modern day references - students were asked to decide who they were going to dress up as to represent their favorite hero. The main character thinks of heroes in time she would like to emulate. Each day the teacher gave the class quotes representing various heroes. The quotes included the following:
“Heroes believe in themselves even when others don’t.”
“Heroes do the right thing, even when it’s tough.”
“Heroes understand that failure leads to success.”
“Inside everyone of you is a hero waiting to happen.”
“Not all heroes are famous. Heroes can be ordinary people who have discovered ways to make the world a better place.”
By the end of the book the main character recognizes her heroes include her mom, dad and grandmother, Oprah, Jane Goodall, Taylor Swift, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her teacher, and herself. The main character states she chose those heroes because they are helping her grow into the person who she’s supposed to be.
When we ask kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I hope we also help them to identify responses such as:
I want to believe in myself.
I want to do the right thing, even when it’s tough.
I want to have a growth mindset and understand that failure leads to success.
I want to be a hero for myself and others.
I want to make the world a better place.
As we raise our kids - in our households and classrooms - how are WE fostering our kids to grow into the amazing little humans [and heroes] they are meant to be? May we ask and answer that question each day as we LEARN, GROW and INSPIRE our little humans to do the same.
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Vanessa De Jesus Guzman is an Educator and a Board Certified Licensed Professional Counselor who has worked with children and families for two decades. Vanessa is the owner and CEO of Free to Be Mindful - a private practice located in Ridgefield, New Jersey.
Vanessa is passionate about helping moms, kids and educators with mindful living, mental health and personal growth through efforts including:
Host of the Free to Be Mindful Podcast which provides bite-sized tips and guided meditations to anyone working with kids
Founder of Amiga Moms, a supportive network for 21st century moms offering educational events founded in mindfulness
Public Speaking and Professional Development for parents, educators and young adults on topics such as mindfulness, building healthy relationships with kids, self care, mental health and more.