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How Do You Raise Your Child to Be a Hero?

In a materialistic society where appearances and wealth are glorified, it is remarkably easy for children to become self-centered and egotistical. So how do you as a parent ensure that your child grows into a selfless, kind individual?

It’s the most difficult job in the world: being a parent.

South San Francisco Editor and Davis Patch Editor are brand new parents and are already experiencing the immense joys as well as the inevitable challenges of raising a child.

In a society that is plugged into numerous technologies and highly saturated with blaring images from media, raising a competent, skilled child is already a daunting task.

But what about raising your child to be a hero? How does a parent instill the qualities of bravery, empathy, kindness and selflessness into this little being?

Wall Street Journalist columnist Sue Shellenbarger says the first step is for parents to behave the way they want their kids to behave - with a sense of service and sacrifice.

Parents can set an example in everyday life, by treating neighbors, friends and family members with kindness, or reading stories about empathetic characters,’ Shellenbarger writes.

She goes on to list examples of individuals who have received heroism medals and military personnel who have selflessly saved lives. A list of good books to read, she says, include “The Hundred Dresses,”  “Fly Away Home,”  “Thank You Mr. Falker,” and “How Do I Stand in Your Shoes?

Patch readers, how do you teach your children generosity and service? Let us know in the comments.

Gretchen Wengenroth August 26, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Ffight for fairness. When you see an injustice in the world or are experiencing one yourself, don't just accept it. Teach your children that even though most of the time a fight is not worth the effort, there are times when backing down should also not be an option, particularly when it has to do with injustice in the world. Help them express themselves honestly and to explore the resources to get a point across. Show them how to make a difference.
Merrily August 26, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Show them how community service helps everyone including their own self esteem!
Elaine August 27, 2012 at 01:00 AM
My brother recounted how our father had instilled courage in him. He admitted, not the kind of courage that would allow a person to run into a burning building, but the kind of courage that when faced with what seemed like an insurmountable problem, to have the courage to not quit, to break the problem down into more manageable terms and charge on.
Mom August 27, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Volunteer is a good example, hugs, praise, recognition, as a parent be conciencious of what comes out your mouth. Get invovled everyday with your child, my son is so kind.
Paul B. August 27, 2012 at 04:46 PM
When Belmont P.D. does not support Veteran's but instead harrasses them with false arrest and instead glorifys gangsters and drug dealers in the name of "Adult Entertainment" and recruiters are not allowed on Carlmont Campus in the name of Liberalism you will find it hard to find young people willing to run into a fire fight than run away from one. Hero's and Social Justice Liberalism are incompatible. Like our constitution and certain cults.
Ben Toy August 27, 2012 at 05:57 PM
There is no one size fits all in most things and surely in raising a child. As is common sense so uncommon Personality and value system plays with the potential hero event if it should present itself. One might look the other way to one who might do whatever turns out to be a hero. Another point is 'what is a hero' ? Several hero's of mine are not known to be hero's. They are mine because they are my surrogate fathers who made me what I am today. A hero does not have to save lives in the news media sense, but saving/helping or making a difference If you teach your child to go around looking to become a hero (I've come across a few), then they might become one or become a victim themselves to then look foolish Just look to have a good line of communication throughout their lives. Instill a value system/metrics of your own or want him/her to have. Also, teach by example both in the home and out there. DO NOT depend on the school system to raise your child. Their job is only to teach and fine tune on 'specific' topics. Parenting is more than providing a roof, food and company. One key component to my parenting and my own day to day: "....know you will have regrets...manage your regrets NOW whenever a decision is made..." Shallow, superficial, self-centered, narcissistic folks do NOT understand or care about that point of view
Mike August 27, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Teach them a value for life, and help them to understand honor, courage and committment. I have been credited by a local government with having saved the lives of 12 people while placing myself in great personal danger, I have also been credited with having saved the life of a drowning child, and as having taken tiff possitions on issues that others disagree with. I do not consider myself a hero but I do consider myself to be a man who understands what it is to do the right thing. As a US Marine serving during the Vietnam war I had the great honor to have served with heros. Unfortunately they are nolonger with us.
Angelina P March 12, 2013 at 09:13 PM
I think it is a great idea to teach your kids how to be a hero. They can easily learn other things from it like bravery, courage, and just being kind.

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