This is a tricky subject. I believe that most of us try to be the best role models for our children, but sometimes that has a tendency to go a little awry. Like the mother who likes to watch reruns on her DVR, while her family is upstairs “doing homework.” She remains downstairs until it is safe so that no one will have any questions for her about the homework (or until her show is over…) That does not set a great example for the kids. Her husband, on the other hand, is a great role model. He goes to shul three times a day, without question or exception, and has instilled that love of prayer in his sons (for lack of a more realistic term.)
There are other role models, like the moms who say their kids are spoiled or not well behaved, so they punish them by buying them the latest styles or electronics. I cannot see that situation ending well, but we all do what we have to do in order not have whiny, bratty children (just whinier and brattier ones.) But I am not here to judge. I am actually here to point out the type of role model that I think is the most important…and here is her story.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful, practical young woman who inherited an Italian scooter from her husband’s grandfather. She was very excited about the scooter and couldn’t wait to ride it around town,especially up and down the really big hills she lives near. One day, the beautiful practical young lady decided that she was going to get her motorcycle license so she could drive her scooter safely and legally. She registered for a course that would involve her sitting in a classroom and learning everything she had to about motorcycle safety and then she had to take a class on the actual motorcycle.
Well, some of her friends thought she was a looneytoon “Why do you need to do this to yourself?”
“What’s the big deal?”
What she taught her children was that mommy was going to try her best and if she doesn’t pass, at least she knew she wasn’t a quitter and she’d given it her best shot. And pass she did. She is now an official biker chick and her children, her friends and her parents couldn’t be any prouder. She had a goal, she met that goal and she exceeded that goal. What more could you ask from yourself or your children? If you try your best, you can never lose.
When you teach by example, by the right example, you give your kids the tools to have confidence in everything they achieve, big or small. And when you have a really cool parent who can ride a motorcycle and simultaneously teach you the value of having faith in yourself, then you are a real role model.
Banji Latkin Ganchrow is a Teaneck resident and writer who enjoys traveling across the country by car with her husband and three sons. She is also the author of the blog holycrapimgonnabe40 and hopes to, one day, write a best-selling novel and appear on the Ellen Show.
By Banji Latkin- Ganchrow