My father was a well-known person in town. However, like most children, I was unaware of his status in the outside world. To me, he was my papa, and I adored him. In many ways he was my superhero (a stage lesser than Spider man of course!).
He could hit the ball to boundary line every single time. He could drive faster than anyone else. He knew all the rules of all the games. He could ride a horse without getting scared. And above all, he knew how to make me climb down a tree when I got stuck. He was the strongest, wisest and the most loving man I knew. I almost wanted to marry him.
As I grew up, I started seeing my father in a more realistic light. He had his shortcomings and he made mistakes. But deep down he still remained my hero.
Rules of a hero.
1. Loose Gracefully: Take up a simple game like skipping or cycling and help your child master it. Someday he will do it better than you. Losing to him gracefully will teach him the true essence of leadership.
2. Experience: Walk down the park bare foot. Experience the ground, the grasses, the dried leaves and the stones. Feel a bark of a tree with bare hands. Feel the wind, smell the flower. Catch an insect and then let it go. These simple acts create memories. Memories that last a lifetime. Besides teaching to be humane.
3. Compete: Teach them to compete with self. Each time your child wins a game [or loses] ask them, “Is this your best?' Encourage her to introspection. Chances are she will say, “No I can do better.' When competing with others we limit our abilities. Striving to do better than the last performance sets limitless benchmark for achievers, while those who did not fare well will have the hope and will to do better next time.
4. Invent: Make simple things from readily available resources. Not preplanned crafts from shop bought expensive materials. This will teach them to think out-of-the box and invent.
5. Relive Stories: Stories need not be of fairies, dragons or great men. Tell them stories of you as a child, a time when you fell down and cried, when you forgot your speech on stage, the day you fought with your best friend. Knowing that their hero also failed will give them hope during challenging times. It will also make them confide in you.
6. Believe: Believe in your own upbringing. It is the biggest gift you will ever give yourself and to your child.