Imagine getting a phone call or letter home from your child’s school. The basic message communicated is little Johnny or Suzie is being a rebel. When you hear the term “rebel”, what do you think of? The 50’s greaser, the 60’s hippie, the punk rocker, the goth kid, the druggie, or the rule breaker? What if being a rebel was good? What if we taught our kids to be rebels? Why should we do this? Well, keep reading my friend.

Our cultural is full of zombies. No, not the ones from The Walking Dead. I’m referring more to people who act like sheep. They follow whatever they see or hear. Whether it’s tv, social media, or just other people in general these sheep follow the crowd. They don’t think for themselves or question what is being done.

We need to teach our kids to be countercultural. Often we think of countercultural as a bad thing, but I believe it’s something to strive for in today’s society. Our kids must know and come to embrace the fact it’s okay to not follow the crowd. Being unique is awesome. Kids need to be taught to embrace and celebrate their individuality. If you’re the same person in your 30’s as you were at 18; you’ve failed to reach your potential.

“If you want your child to lead, teach them to read.”

If you want your child to be different, teach them to value and love reading. In the United States 19% of high school graduates,, and over 32,000,000 adults can’t read. The average CEO in our country reads four to five books a month. It’s imperative to teach children the value of reading. In a society of “10 second Tom’s”, attention span is continuing to decrease. Instead of watching videos and playing games, give your child a book. However, they will not develop the love for books unless you read to them, and they see you reading. It also is a good idea to have a bookshelf in your house that is on display. Teach your child to be a rebel and read a couple of books a month. Who knows, they may just end up to be a CEO one day.

“More than anything else, eating healthy might be the most countercultural thing you can do.”

According to the CDC, 34.9% of adults and 1 in 6 children are obese in our country. Eating healthy might be the most countercultural thing you can do today. Don’t take the easy route when it comes to feeding your kids, and teaching them about food. Teach them how their body works, and how food is fuel and information for the body. You are what you eat. Health is wealth. Think about how much money you save (and your child will save in the future) by not constantly going to the doctor and having to take prescription medication. Eating healthy is hard but there is so much junk out there. Here are some simple rules to follow that will make a world of difference for you and you child:

-Don’t drink soda and avoid dairy (drink water, green tea, green juice, and drinks with low sugar amounts

-shop around the perimeter of the grocery store, avoid the aisles

-avoid GMO’s, artificial colors, and processed foods

-eat grass-fed beef, and hormone free chicken

-eat more greens

-eat fruits, nuts, and seeds

-avoid trans fat, BUT eat more saturated

-follow the 80/20–this allows you to still indulge in snacks and junk food, but only 20% of the time

We live in an increasingly self-centered world. Being a selfless individual is definitely an example of rebelling against the norm. It seems as though we are being taught and told that in order to succeed we must focus and promote ourselves at all costs.

Proverbs 22:9 says, “Generous people will be blessed.” Sometimes I am hesitant to give because I don’t feel as though I have enough to give, and that’ selfish. However, I was reminded this past week at our church service that it doesn’t matter how much you have to give, just give. Whatever we give, we will receive in return. It’s the law of reciprocity.

Proverbs 18:1 says, “Unfriendly people care only about themselves.” We should all be more open and friendly. I am reserved and tend to stay to myself when not in a social setting with friends. This reminds me to go out of my way to just smile at someone and ask, “How you are doing?” It seems so simple and insignificant, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In order to truly be a rebel, we must give more and be more selfless. It’s important to teach our children at a young age the value of service.

Don’t let your child grow up to be like the mainstream.

Teach them to value and embrace their own uniqueness.

And teach them that sometimes being a rebel is just what they should be.

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!

Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.