Be Your Child’s Champion


Maybe you are like me: you know your “things” and you know what is not your thing. My things are writing, history, teaching. Science (among many others such as gardening, math, and sweating) is not my thing; it’s a great thing, but not my thing.  So when it became clear we needed to investigate my son’s nutrition, I was not excited.  It deals with science – not my thing.  But, it’s important for my son – which is my thing; he is my most important thing!

You are your child’s most important champion!  

Champion: a person who fights or argues for a cause or on behalf of someone else.

Congratulations, that’s you!  Your child needs you to be the person who fights on their behalf when they do not have the skills, knowledge, authority, or strength to fight for themselves . . . 

…when they don’t have the words to communicate their emotions.
…when they can’t identify why they are upset or sad or confused or all mixed-up.
…when they know they’re different than other kids but don’t know why.
…when they are labeled or misunderstood.
…when they struggle learning/doing something, especially if it comes easily to others.
… when doctors or teachers or coaches or family or strangers make assumptions.
…when their own body seems to be fighting itself.
…when you know something is not right and others don’t want to listen.
…when stereotypes don’t apply but others apply them anyway, or maybe they do apply but shouldn’t.
…when you they don’t fit “in the box.”
…when other kids behave in ways that confuse them.
…when you seem to hit a brick wall on resources or reasons or solutions.
…when they’re tired, you’re tired, even the dogs are tired, but there is still more to do, to pursue, to deal with.


To be a champion, you have to train.  You don’t wake up one day, put on your “champion” cape, and have it all figured out.  It takes diligence, intentionality, preparation, strength, and humility.  Take some advice from some champions in another arena:  

  • See yourself as you want to become – “You have to see yourself as a champion long before you actually become one. ” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Watch yourself – “I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.” – Billie Jean King 
  • When you think you can’t do more, just keep going – “When the mind is controlled and spirit aligned with purpose, the body is capable of so much more than we realize.” ― Rich Roll
  • Learn from your mistakes and move on – “When you fail you learn from the mistakes you made and it motivates you to work even harder.” – Natalie Gulbis 
  • Focus on the future – “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” – Wayne Gretsky
  • Do what you can, and realize you don’t control the world – “The most we can hope for is to create the best possible conditions for success, then let go of the outcome. The ride is a lot more fun that way.”― Phil Jackson
  • Don’t buy into the labels – “Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people.” ― Martina Navratilova
  • Listen to those you respect; everything else is just noise – “You’re always going to be criticized to a degree. Some people didn’t like Mother Teresa as well.” – Brendan McCullum
  • Celebrate successes, and don’t settle for them – “Take your victories, whatever they may be, cherish them, use them, but don’t settle for them.” – Mia Hamm
  • Never believe the lie that you’re alone – “Aim high and don’t sell yourself short. Know that you’re capable. Understand that a lot of people battle with a lot of things – depression, body image or whatever else – so know that it’s not just you. You’re not alone.” – Holly Holm

Being your child’s champion is tough!  It’s not glorious or pretty or simple; it’s grueling and dirty and complicated.  And it’s beautiful, because, at the end of the day, your kid knows you’re their person.  And if you’re not their champion, who will be??