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Recently I dug into some of my past TunneySides to see what has changed, what has not, and where we might need to revisit. This post – ‘Importance of Parental Involvement’ – from 10 years ago this month details the importance of how parents model healthy behaviors to their children. Playing sports is good for children both physically and socially.

Importance of Parental Involvement originally posted on May 27, 2012

While we have no say in who our parents are, we hope they become role models for us. In today’s society with broken and/or dysfunctional homes, we hope and pray that we get lucky enough to have parents/guardians who will provide us with a positive environment.

Some of today’s sports stars did make it to the top without the guidance of solid parenthood.

As I watched and listened to Robert Griffin III in his acceptance of the Heisman Trophy and his selection as the second pick in the NFL draft, the influence of his parents stood out.

You may also recall the Pro Football Hall of Fame speech by Shannon Sharpe who, without the guidance of their parents, gave his brother, Sterling Sharpe, credit for helping his (Shannon’s) success.

As an educator, I am often asked how we can correct or improve today’s schools. Of course, we need dedicated, committed teachers and better salaries along with consistent standards of behavior, but my No. 1 answer always has been parental involvement.

By that, I not only mean how one’s children are doing in class but an awareness of their daily lives and activities, including texting, Facebook, and all elements of social media. This is not to suggest a parole-officer-type relationship, but a partnership. Trust is a vital factor.

Speaking to corporate groups about what I call “customer care,” I use the phrase “customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. This holds true in the development of children as well.

When did a child ever ask a parent what their SAT, GPA, or IQ scores were?

What children want to know and feel is “Mom, Dad do you love me, do you care about me?” Of course, parents do, but how they show it is what counts.

The role model tag is not restricted to adults. Peer role models, as in the case of the Sharpe brothers, can and do carry much weight. Selecting a team captain should not be based solely on the superior athlete, but one who is an example of a character with a willingness to do the right thing.

Will you follow the example that “Excellence is good, exemplary is better”?

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