Raising Respectful, Grateful, Loving Children: 6 Lessons from an NFL Quarterback
Raising Respectful, Grateful, Loving Children
With all the negative news about Aaron Hernandez and the 37 arrests in the NFL in 2013, we’re happy to share positive energy from the NFL. The media likes to focus on the negativity but as you know by now, Lucid Practice is all about positive energy.
I recently stopped rooting for sports teams and started rooting for individual players. I like to root for “good guys” who create positive environments for their teammates to thrive under.
NFL, MLB, and NBA players have enormous platforms, meaning that the impact of their actions is magnified. I root for the guys who use this platform to make the world better.
A Powerful Practice
In 2008, I heard a story about former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner’s family that has stuck with me ever since. When the Warners dine publicly, Kurt and his family sit back and choose a family. Once they choose the family, Warner quietly adds the family’s dinner tab to his own. Every time, a family leaves with a free meal, oblivious to the the identity of their benefactor. This struck be as such a beautiful, powerful practice of love and generosity.
Kurt Warner’s Story
At one point, Kurt’s career was all but dead. Scouts said he wasn’t good enough to play in the NFL.
Kurt was relegated to bagging groceries (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and living off food stamps. However, one year later, Kurt was given a second chance. To say that Kurt succeeded would be an enormous understatement.
His accolades include a couple Superbowl rings and MVP trophies, but his off the field efforts are what really stand out.
Kurt’s primary priorities are his family and God. He and his wife committed to raising extraordinary kids (7 of them to be exact). Practices that bring positive energy into our lives are of the utmost importance. Here are a few practices that have helped the Warners live beautiful, lucid lives.
6 Beautiful Practices from the Warner Family that We Can Emulate
1. Everyone has to agree on which strangers’ meal to pay for when dining at a restaurant.
An intentional act of kindness. Kurt and his wife recognize God’s blessings and share them with others each and every night. Sounds “Christ+like” to me.
Kurt said, “We want our kids to grow up knowing that because of football we are so blessed. We never want them to lose sight of what it’s really about. Our circumstances are not the most important thing. It’s what we do with those circumstances.”
One of my college football coaches taught me that, “To whom much has been given, much will be expected.” This quote applies here as well.
2. At dinner, share the favorite part of your day.
Scenario 1: Dinner with the TV on. One person texting their boyfriend. The other shoveling the food in their mouth so fast that they can hardly think let alone speak.
Scenario 2: TV off. Phones not at the table. Eye contact. Prayer. Slow, thoughtful eating. Conversation about something positive that happened that day. What seems like the more lucid practice?
3. Hold hands and pray before every meal.
Family. God. Spirituality. Presence. Connectedness. That’s lucid practice.
4. After ordering at a restaurant, be able to tell Mom the server’s eye color.
Eye contact. Respect. How often do you see kids and teens (even adults) with their faces buried mindlessly into an iPhone while at a restaurant?
5. Throw away your trash at the movie theater and stack plates for the server at restaurants.
It may seem self+explanatory but it is often a neglected practice.
6. Spend one hour at an art museum when on the road.
This may seem to be “out of left field” but it goes hand+in+hand with raising respectful children. In order to be well rounded and diverse, it is important to understand art, music and history. Growing up, Brian and I were never artistic or into art but we’ve made the commitment (daily art postings, reading about artists, etc.) to learning as much as we can to appreciate art. Fortunately, my girlfriend is extremely talented artistically so I’ve been able to learn from her.
Thanks to to this NYT article for the short version of the list.
Conclusions on Raising Respectful, Grateful, Loving Children
Cheers to Kurt and Brenda. Their practice offers practical solutions for parents who wish to raise kind, respectful, loving children.
What challenges do you have or do you foresee in raising children? What practices can we employ to overcome these challenges?