By: Steve Hayes
Every summer for the last eight years, my niece and nephew have come down to visit. When I first see them I am simultaneously filled with joy and sadness. While I am thrilled to see them, I know it will be just a matter of moments before they will say or do something that is disappointing. It is not their fault, I absolutely blame my brother. Some people just should not be parents.
Don't get me wrong, there are no perfect parents. In fact, there is no perfect WAY to parent. Everyone has an opinion on what is right and wrong and there are countless books and articles about different approaches to rearing a child. But one thing is certain, you must be involved.
You can not expect everyone else to raise your children. It takes more than a teacher to educate a child, more than a coach to learn how to play. Success starts and ends in the home. The examples parents set, the roles they play, the activities they partake in, all help guide and mold the future. Sadly, now teenagers, my niece and nephew struggle with basic elementary math, are socially inept, and avoid anything that may be challenging. But, underneath all of this, are two amazing kids with enormous hearts that just want to be loved.
Children need your presence more than your presents. They don't need fancy toys or the latest electronics. They just need our time. In our short time together, I will encourage them to try new things, participate in sports, and be wary of who they hang around. I will show my nephew how to fish and play football. Becca will talk to my niece about clothes and boys and whatever else girls her age do. I could go on and on, but instead I will end with this: Be involved. Unfortunately, I have only a few weeks to show them how much they are loved. I wish I had more.
"Lean and Leggy" Burnout
- 4 Alternating Lunges
- 4 Right Lunge "Pumps"
- 4 Left Lunge "Pumps"
- 4 Plyo Lunges
Repeat sequence for 3 (beginners) to 5 (advanced) minutes.