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Hero to Zero

How do we go from a superhero at work to an equal (with a zero ego) at home? Some of us have jobs that require us to be in charge, make difficult decisions, and help others. We may be respected and admired for our work, but when we go home we lose our status and position. Maybe we're working at a job that requires life/death decisions and we're expected to take control. We recognize the stress of work, but we also enjoy the rewards of being in charge. People in positions of power at work sometimes think they are owed the same level of acknowledgement and support when they arrive home. However, our spouse doesn't necessarily acknowledge our status in the same way as our colleagues or clients. Once we're home our tasks change and the tangible rewards are diminished. We are appreciated for helping out with the household chores, caring for the children, and managing the finances. Simple tasks like taking out the garbage, washing dishes, changing diapers, and vacuuming have much greater value. Ideally, our responsibilities and decision-making at home are shared and made jointly.

As Father's Day approaches, I thought it might be worthwhile to discuss our identity as parents rather than defining ourselves through our careers. Parenting can be challenging and complicated, especially with societal changes, advances in technology, and confusion over our roles. Sometimes couples don't discuss their expectations about their roles and job descriptions at home. Spouses should consider having that conversation and even consider writing a mission statement for their family. Consider having a quarterly couple or family meeting to discuss how well everyone is doing on meeting their goals and objectives. While structure and routine can give children security and stability, it can also teach accountability and self-discipline. We all want our children to succeed and helping them with planning, problem-solving, and organization can be a good start. One of the most important things parents need to do for their children is be consistent. Our children need to learn that there are consequences for their actions and we need to follow through on the implementation.

Our role as parents has the greatest consequence in life since our children are our legacy. Our children are looking for role models and we, as parents, need to show through our actions how to be loving, responsible, trustworthy, moral, and committed to our family. Our children truly need our time, attention, and affection in order for them to develop self-confidence and self-esteem. We need to set high expectations and lead by example. When we listen to our children, spend time in their world, and validate them in our words and actions, they will become mature. Ultimately, getting involved in the lives of our children and teaching them self-control, how to delay gratification, and finding purpose in life will position them for success. Decide today that being a superhero at home, while requiring a different mindset, brings the greatest reward.

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