Rockstar Dad: What I Learned About Vulnerability and What I am Teaching My Boys

Meet Luis. Luis is a painter, tattoo artist, masseuse, and a rock star dad to two young boys. Growing up Luis didn’t have a father figure around to show him how to grow up and “be a good man.”

“I grew up thinking men had to be strong, show no emotion, and figure things out for themselves. Today, I realize I was wrong,” explained Luis.

As Father’s Day approaches, I want to highlight and acknowledge the dads who are teaching their children how to show up different in this world. The dads who recognize they grew up misguided by thinking they needed to be tough and fight everyone who crosses their way. These dads are teaching their children, especially young boys, to be vulnerable by expressing their feelings and to stand up for themselves, in a respectful and compassionate manner. Today Luis shares with us three lessons he’s teaching his boys about vulnerability and how other fathers can do the same.

Lesson #1 “It’s Okay to Make Mistakes.”

In today’s busy world, children juggle busy schedules like: school, sports, friends, family, and even social expectations. It is common for children to want to excel and not let anyone down. However, this mindset creates a dangerous state of mind in an imperfect world. According to Luis, “Perfectionism is a result of false security and confidence. No one is perfect and if we aim to achieve perfection, we will not take any risks.” Luis suggests reminding your children that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you will love them no matter the outcome.

Lesson #2 “Take Responsibility for Everything You Do”

This lesson is a bit more challenging for children to understand right away. However, in the long run, it teaches children about leadership. John C. Maxwell, author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books, primarily focusing on leadership, states: “When you take responsibility for yourself, you take responsibility for your learning. The earlier you do this, the better the potential results”. Luis believes this too. Luis shares that he learned to drop his emotional-protective armor in order to be honest with himself.

“I’ve learned that being guarded doesn’t serve me and that when I come from responsibility, it is the only way I am able to be my true self,” said Luis. Drop the emotional armor and be honest. It does more good than harm.

Lesson #3 “It’s Okay to Cry”

Study after study shows that boys don’t differ in how angry, sad, how much crying they do compared to girls. The only difference is how people react to boys crying. Just like many new age thought leaders, Luis believes and suggests to let kids be kids regardless of their gender.  “If my child were to be crying at a grocery store, I would hug him and patiently wait for him to finish crying. Allow them to just be,” says Luis.

Luis is the father to Alex (6) and Vincent (4). He describes Alex as a committed, natural born leader and Vincent as a kind-hearted, creative boy.

“As much as I strive to teach my boys, what I didn’t learn growing up, they teach me more by reminding me daily me to continue searching within.”

Luis is an example of what’s possible when men own their vulnerability and take responsibility for the past. He is giving and aims to help other men learn how to accept their own vulnerability. Luis, to me, is a Rockstar Dad.

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Karen Cervantes Jimenez

Karen Cervantes Jimenez

Karen Cervantes Jimenez a grant writer, storyteller, and advocate of the physical and social environment. She believes everyone is unique and that by sharing their personal stories, they can make a difference in education. She is an LAUSD and CalState University of Northridge alumna. In addition, she is an Autism Awareness and Emotional Intelligence advocate. She has three children (who are her inspiration) and lives with her family in Buena Park, CA.

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