“Be the #1 cheerleader for your child. The world has enough of critics.”

As August begins and school-related activities start ramping up in preparation for another academic- and activity-filled year, this simple message (found in a Facebook meme this morning) brings parenting busy students into perspective.

Who doesn’t want their child to be the best that he can be, to stand in the spotlight or rank among the best of the best when it comes to grades?

But let’s face it. Not every child gets an A. Not every player gets to start. Some end up warming the bench or the sideline. Not every artist stays in the lines — but that could work in one’s favor when it comes to creativity, thinking outside the box or coloring outside the lines, so to speak. Not every musician gets the first seat, solo or section leader designation. You get the idea.

No matter what, moms and dads, you have an important job. Be the cheerleader. Encourage, teach and support. Correct, praise and brag. Rejoice, cry and regroup. Whatever it takes. Let your child or children know that you’ve got their back, that you’ll be there.

That’s a biggie. Go to the games, the concerts, the back to school nights and the parent-teacher conferences. You presence, concern and involvement means the world to your child. Really, it should mean the world to you. Time, as we all know, goes way too fast. You don’t want to look back and say, “I wish I saw …” or “I wish I was there to see …”

Your children will remember your presence or absence, and those activities could become memories that last a lifetime for parent and child.