Jason Vance, a Lawrenceville father of three, has not only sought to build character, self esteem, personal responsibility and discipline in his own children, his work at Legacy MMA and Karate in Buford means he has served as a role model and mentor working to instill those qualities in other children throughout his six-and-a-half years with Legacy.
“I hope that our kids grow up to be good people, capable of being independent and willing to sacrifice of themselves to serve others,” Vance says of his students, who train in kickboxing, karate and Jiu-Jitsu.
Vance and his wife Krista have a 23-year-old son, Christian, who is a medic in the U.S. Navy; a 22-year-old step-daughter, Kailey, who recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in microbiology; and a 19-year-old step-daughter, Kendal, who is a rising sophomore at UGA.
“Being a dad helps me focus on being a better man, husband and friend,” Vance says. “As a dad, it’s your responsibility to raise a good man/woman … that’s it. Do that, and your child will find a good path on their own.”
Vance says demonstrating and discussing self discipline, a positive attitude, the willingness to help others and resiliency — and finding everyday examples of these traits to prove their value — provides a foundation for children.
“The higher standard I hold myself to, the easier it is to hold my kids equally accountable … at least to the attempt,” he says. “When I see my adult children hold themselves to a much higher moral standard than I did at the same age, I know I did a good job.”
Vance shares this advice with fellow fathers:
“Give clear and direct expectations concerning behavior and then let them make mistakes. You can’t complain about expectations that weren’t met when they weren’t communicated in the first place,” he says. “A parent is there to help teach their children how to be a good person and how to set their own expectations, not dictate every decision they ever make.”
While Vance’s children are now adults, he still takes on a parental role.
“The Legacy kids fill a gap that I didn’t realize would be there when my kids grew up,” he says.