Six-year-old Valerie Sowards had an "accident" at school. Embarrassed, she used a jacket to hide her wet pants walked herself to the school office and asked to be sent home.
Valerie's father, Ben Sowards was heartbroken when he heard his daughter felt too ashamed to return to class. So Sowards decided to make an effort to alleviate his daughter's embarrassment. When he arrived at her school, Sowards quietly entered the office where Valerie was waiting. When Valerie saw what he'd done, he looked at her father in awe. According to abc10, "[Sowards] pretended like they were sneaking out of the school together, like they were both getting away with something."
What had he done? Sowards used water to wet his own pants to make it look like he'd had an accident of his own.
Sowards approached Valerie and asked for her backpack to cover up his "accident." Then the father and daughter duo pretended to sneak out of the school together. His efforts to lighten Valerie's embarrassment did the trick: she thought it was hilarious.
Apparently, this behavior is typical of Ben Sowards, father of 11 kids. His 17-year-old daughter, Lucina, said that her dad taught her that there's nothing in life that's too terrible you can't laugh it off. In fact, Lucinda told Huffington Post of a similar incident that had happened to her. She was ice skating and fell on her face, giving herself a black eye. Her dad responded by video calling her with his own black eye painted on his face.
Ben Sowards is just one example of many parents who are willing to go to great lengths to help their kids learn that they aren't defined by circumstances that feel uncomfortable. For example, single mom Amy Peterson transformed herself to look like a man so that her daughter would have a date to the father-daughter dance at her school. Although the school banned Peterson from attending, she was able to show her daughter she wasn't worth any less for not having a father in her life.
Likewise, when his son wanted to wear a sister's old dresses, Nils Pickert chose to don a skirt as well in support of his son. While Pickert says he doesn't enjoy wearing skirts, he wrote, "I'm like a soccer mom who doesn't love the sport — but does love her kids. I couldn't care more about my boy being a happy, self-assured, compassionate person. I couldn't care less about the choices he makes on the way to becoming that person — as long as they cause no harm to himself or others."
Not only that, but Keith Anderson makes his son feel special by turning his art into permanent tattoos. It began when son, Kai, was 4-years-old. Together, the father and son decide which piece of art is permanently inked on Anderson's body.
These parents — and many more — go above and beyond to make sure their kids recognize that they are valued as individuals and to know that while a lot of things in life shouldn't be taken too seriously (like having an accident at school), people and their feelings should always be taken seriously — because that's love.