Archive for the ‘Making a Difference’ Category

What legacy will you leave behind?

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Carry out a random act of kindness with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. – Princess Diana

Parents wonder if our children hear our words, learn the lessons we try to share or see the actions we model. Yet sometimes we see a glimmer of hope as they perform a random act of kindness for a classmate or ask you to help a stranger.

At those times you secretly smile and think, ‘ah yes! It is working.’

Well if you ever have doubt, I suggest you look at Prince William and Prince Harry 20 years after their mother, Princess Diana’s death. Even though they were still relatively young when she died, they witnessed how she genuinely cared for those less fortunate and take up their own causes today.

Our children shouldn’t believe they are the center of the universe. It’s likely they are fortunate and should be encouraged to help others. There’s a commercial that really bothers me where a little girl asks viewers if she is cute and responds herself saying, “I think I am.” But then goes on to say that mom and dad can’t play with her because they are busy cleaning. Is it just me or does anyone else think that the cute little girl can help mom and dad? She gets to learn what is like to do a little housework and help mom and dad so everybody can play!

If we are concerned about the polarization of views in this country, a unifying view could be that kindness always makes things better. Anyone disagree with that?

Start kids thinking early about helping others. One way is to sponsor a child through Children Incorporated. Their mission is to provide resources to children in need in the United States and abroad. They passionately believe that children everywhere deserve education, hope and opportunity. Our kids may need to know every child doesn’t start out with the same advantages.

Like Princess Diana, our legacy is that we should leave the world a better place for our children. It may be a small start, but much like Saturday chores, why not make them active participants?

Have a great week!

 

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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When you realize you are friends with your children

Sunday, August 20th, 2017
Tina and Noelle

Tina and Noelle

Well before the Gilmore Girls made it popular to be friends with your daughter, Noelle and I had a relationship based on mutual love, respect, trust and laughter.

Now I’m realizing how much I’m learning from her. I don’t worry about keeping up with the digital age because she recommends websites, blogs and podcasts I should subscribe to, and provides valuable insight such as the groundbreaking decision that Allure magazine is no longer using the term anti-aging.

We do things that girlfriends do like sharing clothes and going to our favorite mall we affectionately refer to as our ‘mother ship’, even at a time where malls are becoming passé. We do it for the experience we’ve always enjoyed, which begins with shopping and ends with lunch because well, doesn’t that order makes sense?

She explains why the Khardasians are marketing geniuses because everything they touch turns to sold, and why she is moving from Snapchat to Instagram stories because she is always just ahead of the curve (remember kitten heels Noelle?)

She tells me what is cool, but at the same time suggests I not use that word.   We discuss politics on a daily basis, because there is always something to talk about, and there is a concern about the future, and the children she will have one day, and what we can do to make a difference.

We have our many traditions, including our favorite movies, Hokus Pokus for Halloween, Love Actually for Christmas and The Ten Commandments, reciting each line as we prepare our Easter raviolis. And the tradition of wishing you happy birthday at the exact moment you were born, August 21st 5:09am even if you took a day off!

Together, we may not be changing the world, or are we?  If everyone spent time building quality relationships with family and friends, that may be just the spark needed to start peace with others.

Even though parenting experts suggest not being friends with your children – I disagree. My daughter Noelle has made my life better, and who wouldn’t want a friend like that?

Happy birthday my sweetie – I love you with all my heart, and remember, I will always love you more.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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The value in finding a common enemy

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

To me… it appears that there have been differences of opinion and party differences, from the first establishment of government to the present day, and on the same question which now divides our own country; that these will continue through all future time; that every one takes his side in favor of the many, or of the few, according to his constitution, and the circumstances in which he is placed. – Thomas Jefferson

Action

This is a call to action to move from divisiveness to finding common ground, which can be achieved by addressing common societal enemies.

Background

A few disparate events in my life highlight the challenges we have listening to each other.

  • My six-month old grandson Matthew was ‘talking’ to me in baby babble. I had no way to understand what he was saying but nevertheless I listened because it was obvious what he had to say was quite important.
  • My daughter Noelle’s wedding was exactly one month before the Presidential election. We strongly discouraged political conversation.
  • We had a Thanksgiving rule at our house. At the dinner table, phones and politics were not allowed. It was a lovely dinner!
  • I have good friends that attended the Inauguration on January 20th, and I have good friends that attended marches on January 21st.

We are not able to communicate with each other because we have vastly differing points of view and refuse to listen to each other. We gravitate to those with the same point of view, but don’t engage in conversation with those who don’t see things the same way. With a few notable exceptions, such as Hitler and Osama bin Laden, people are rarely pure evil.

Yet when there is a crisis, such as a multi vehicle car wreck, we don’t ask about political affiliation, but immediately jump in to help. People are amazed at their strength and ability to work together.

It is that thinking that we need now to creatively solve distinct and different problems to demonstrate how we can work together by starting with things we agree on. By engaging in real conversation, you know the kind where one person is talking and the other is really listening…we can create persuasive arguments.

Here is one to get us started; there is a crisis in quality childcare for many working parents, isolation for many elders, and college costs so high that it is impossible for students to even consider college.

What if we combined the challenges of those groups, and found solutions so they could help each other?

Closing

If you’ve got a better idea how to fix this, I’m listening.

 

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

  

Making a difference – Raising a Child You Want to Meet at Age 25

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

making a difference

One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.

Malala Yousafzai to the UN Youth Assembly 2012.

According to the 2015 Child Stats government data, there are presently 49.7 million children ages 6 to 17 living in the U.S.

What would happen if all those children began to recognize problems and offer solutions? They would be successful because children don’t stop to think of all the reasons why something might not work!

Instead of making excuses, they would take action, which usually starts in their own community.  By experiencing success, they gain courage, confidence and know how needed to build a network. These children aren’t special; in fact they are regular kids with one thing that gives them (dare I say it) a superpower. It’s conviction.

As you read stories about these children, you will be inspired. When your own child comes to you with the desire to tackle a problem, don’t dismiss them; encourage them.  After all, where do you think the next generation of leaders will come from?

Here is one simple idea to get started…most families are getting ready for back to school which means a shiny new book bag filled with new school supplies. There are nearly half a million children in Foster Care that don’t experience that annual family tradition and very likely aren’t prepared on the first day of school

With your child search online for local organizations that welcome donations and give a foster child a reason to smile on the first day of school.

Here are more inspiring stories:

8 Amazing Kids Who Make a Difference

10 Kids Who Changed the World

What can you do today?

Begin a discussion with your child about concerns:

In the community

  • Land use
  • Vacant lots, abandoned buildings
  • Beautification projects
  • Animals and wildlife
  • Libraries
  • Literacy
  • A community garden
  • Parks and recreation
  • Sports and athletics

Social Concerns

  • Families
  • Child care
  • The Elderly
  • Homelessness
  • Nutrition and health
  • Poverty
  • Diversity

The Environment

  • Pollution
  • Garbage and recycling

Public Safety

  • Disaster preparedness
  • Crime
  • Safety and accidents

All this week, please look for resources and ideas on Parental Wisdom’s Facebook page, Twitter Feed and Instagram for resource links and inspiration.

It is more important that your children are kind rather than happy.

See you next week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#parentalwisdom #makingAdifference #valueoftheweek

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