How to be a Great Parent: The importance of mentors through leadership

If there is one skill that I have which is strongest, and most valuable, it is that of mentoring—or providing leadership.  I’ve had that ability virtually from the first breath I’ve ever taken.  When I was younger I naturally knew what the next possible action of every situation was, but I often respectfully wasn’t presumptuous enough to disrespect the older generation who thought it was their job to provide leadership.  So I yielded a lot to their failures and figured that I’d just fix things when they were out-of-the-way eventually.  Part of the reason for that decision was that I have always believed it is best to allow people to arrive at conclusions on their own and that the leadership provided by me was to point the flashlight where they needed to go empowering them to take possession of their own destinies.  It is not good to have vanity in such an activity where others feel they owe you gratitude for showing them the way.  A good leader should leave the smallest footprint possible so that the minds affected feel that they arrived at a destination on their own—therefore getting their buy-in as individuals.  Of all the leadership roles that are most important in the human race, the relationship between parent and child is the most important—so naturally I have always been a great parent to my children.  But I’ve never sought to beat them over the head with my parenting ability, but rather allowed them to carve out their individuality based on their own predilections.  The results have been spectacular of course and highly unusual by social standards.  Of all my kids, some who are biologically connected to me, and those who come in by marriage—they are all unique.  However, my oldest daughter has put herself out there a bit and is emerging as one of the best photographers in the Cincinnati area doing many weddings and coverage shoots for expensive real-estate.  For those who are curious, here is my oldest daughter providing a sampling of her outlook on life which obviously makes me very proud.

I never look at those types of things and reflect of my input into helping to shape her.  It was my leadership ability which helped pull out of her way the obstacles that might otherwise encumber her, and to show her what could be achieved.  Since I don’t practice the social evasion of a second-hander there is no secret yearning for public recognition for doing a wonderful job as a parent—not even within our own family structure. The reason is that those receiving mentorship by me should arrive at their destinations on their own merit taking possession of their lives individually without the vanity of public recognition.  No other person, particularly those un-enlightened oafs lacking direction, has the right to take credit for a person’s destiny.  There should never be a temptation from one to another to say, “I made you what you are.”  To do such a thing is to rob from the recipient of your leadership the right to declare their own life for themselves—and thus all decisions which trickle from them in the thereafter.

In this next clip my kids took my grandson on a day trip for no other reason than just to give him the experience.  They left after breakfast and drove across the state for a day of adventure and were back before dinner.  It was the kind of thing that most people never attempt—because they have such poor time management in their lives, they don’t even provide the effort.  When my kids were little children, I always provided them with similar adventures which squeezed everything out of life that there was available—because it is always in those efforts that the gold nuggets of existence reside.  As a leader you never quite know where or when those nuggets might turn up or in what quantity.  What you do know is that the treasures are hidden off the normal path of life and that if mankind wants some of that treasure that they have to step off the paved roads we are all taught to stay on to find them.  I taught my kids to look for treasure off the main roads—and as adults they have done just that.  I can’t take credit therefore for their wonderful lives—they own the right to their decisions and how they spend their time and energy.  So it gives me great pride to see them take my grandson on a simple adventure designed specifically to his age and ability knowing that what they are doing is providing leadership to the young man—which will empower him to wonderful things during his lifetime.

If leadership is done right, it should be as invisible as possible, only recognizable in your absence.  If people don’t learn to do for themselves, they will forever become prisoners of other people’s opinions—which is a chaotic mess of discombobulating thoughts.  If they learn to do for themselves, the potential that is unlocked is endless.  When I was younger I was the hated target of many parents who were doing their jobs incorrectly—and they hated me for the light I shed on their lives which they desperately hoped to conceal.  I was always—and still am—that guy who said to everyone chained to those types of circumstances not to listen to their parents out of obligation or loyalty—but only if they offered leadership that was valuable.    Don’t follow their light if they lead you to the doors of a mental prison or the mouth of a lion.  When I was younger I’d say these things but would often not take it to extreme measures because I wasn’t sure back then if my thoughts were correct as experience had not proven my path to be the right one.  However, as an adult I know without any doubt what the correct path is, and no longer feel that I should hold back.  So I don’t.

In a lot of ways this blog is doing the same things I have always done, only it allows me to do it on a larger scale—giving more people access to the types of things I have always said and done.  I offer the elements of this blog as insight into self-empowerment.  It’s the best parenting tactic that there is.  It is one thing to teach a kid not to touch a hot stove by allowing them to come to that awareness on their own.  The lazy method is to put the fear of God into them scolding them upon an attempt.  The proper method is to make them aware of the danger without fear by getting down on the floor with them—at their level so not to rob them of initiative and let them discover through you that the oven is hot by a simple demonstration—by pretending to be burned.  Of course you as the leader would not actually allow yourself to be burned—but you pretend to be so that they can see the pain on your face and equate that experience to something they’d rather not embark on giving them the self-empowerment to make decisions.  Once they learn to observe the conditions of their environment and make value judgments based on reality—you will have shown them how to overcome any obstacle, anywhere, at any time.

My daughter featured in that first video is the type of person that I don’t worry about getting a flat tire in the middle of nowhere—because she can figure out how to get out of that situation.  I don’t worry about people assaulting her—because she has been taught how to think for herself and adapt to the circumstances given to her—even if they are aggressive.   I don’t worry about her making money, because she has been taught how to gather treasure off the paved roads of life and knows what to do with it once she gets it.  I don’t worry about her because she has the ability to provide leadership of her own to others and can do so as an endless stream of motivation.

Parenting should never be like an Academy Award ceremony where all the members of your life turn out to provide recognition for a job well done.  Most of the time it is a completely thankless job—most of the people most affected by it will not have the ability to understand what it is that you’ve done—if a parent does a truly good job, they will likely be the scorn of the family making everyone else feel a level of guilt for their own inadequacies—that’s alright.  Being a leader is a lonely job that must cut through public opinion with the clear sense of direction that comes from the person holding the light—and trusting their ability to find the proper way in the darkness whatever the obstacle.  The best of these leaders do their job without anybody even knowing that they are doing it.  And there is no greater role for the leader than the parent.  It is important not to shatter the confidence of a young person just to exert a feeling of control over another human being—which happens in most relationships between parents and children unfortunately.  Children are treated disrespectfully primarily because the parents are corrupt with the wrong type of thinking.  And those children often grow up to become menaces of society in various forms.  The failure can most of the time be traced back toward parenting failures and severe lack of leadership.

I only used this example of my daughter because it’s hard to know what a real human being is supposed to be like for those who don’t know any.  By social standards my daughter is exceptional.  But to my standards she is normal—and it makes me angry to see so many people surrendering their lives right out of the gate because of the mental restrictions placed upon their lives by poor family leadership.  Most of the world’s problems begin with that very primal concept—the parent/child relationship.  Most of the world’s problems start with poor leadership and a lack of understanding how important self-empowerment is to each and every individual on planet earth.

And for those who want to utilize the services of my daughter—here is how you can find her:

Rich Hoffman