Archive for August, 2015

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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Self-Reliance – Raising a Child You Want to Meet at Age 25

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Oz-end

Dorothy: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?
Glinda: You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?
Glinda: Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

In order to survive and thrive, babies have complete reliance on their parents. As they grow and learn, we need to help them build self-reliance.

What is self-reliance?

A person who is self-reliant is self-sufficient, able to think and function independently, is not risk-averse and solves problems rather than worries about them. Such a person would trust his own judgment, rarely needing to consult others for advice or guidance. A self-reliant person has better control of his life and can handle any curveball that life may throw his way.  This is exactly what we want to build in our adult children.

Here are strategies that can be used as a starting point, and consider age appropriateness.

  • Give kids responsibility – and hold them accountable for completing tasks.
    • Don’t do things for your children they can do for themselves. Three-year-olds can make their beds. An easy way to do that is to take three pictures as an example and hang the pictures by the bed.
  • Let them problem solve – be your child’s coach rather than sage.
    • For a middle school aged child with a problem with friends…Ask them, “What’s bothering you?” Let them explain and then assure them… “I know you can figure this out.” Give them time and ask, “How do you think you can fix this problem?”
  • Make room for mistakes – nothing is perfect, especially not at first.
    • They are learning self-reliance so they aren’t going to get it right all the time, whether it is how to make the bed, take the garbage out, set the table for dinner, or put windshield washer fluid in the car. Don’t jump in to ‘rescue’ them or hover over them. We learn by our mistakes.
  • Other ideas:
    • Begin with small tasks. Don’t say, “Clean up this room.” But instead, “Put the Legos in the bin.”
    • Encourage ‘free-play” throughout the day. Children need time to make their own rules, pretend and establish boundaries.
    • Schedule daily chores – children should learn early they are part of a family and that means helping with chores. Create a chore chart, with pictures for younger children.
    • Provide options when possible. Choice should be limited for younger children, and can increase as children mature. This helps them become independent thinking. This often begins with choices in what they are going to wear.
    • Give them stretch goals – ask them to do a little more than might be expected. That can be great for their self-esteem. You may even want to plan what new things they can try for the week. As an example, think of household skills, cooking skills, financial skills, or life skills.
    • Recognize them for things they’ve done well, but don’t recognize them for things they haven’t; the praise will be meaningless. Say, “Great job on putting all the Legos away!” or “Thank you for bringing the dinner dishes over.”

Since I opened with a classic movie line that helps reinforce the concept of self-reliance, I would like to close with one as well.

From Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

Professor Henry Jones to Indiana Jones:

Did I ever tell you to eat up, go to bed, wash your ears, do your homework? No, I respected your privacy and I taught you self reliance.

Follow us all week for additional tips follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  As always, please share your thoughts because we are all in this together!

See you next week.

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#parentalwisdom #self-reliance #valueoftheweek

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Parents Ask, Experts Answer:Nurturing Happy, Healthy Children

Because Kids Don’t Come with Manuals®