I am writing this newsletter on the sort of morning that reminds us that Fall is in the air. It’s rainy and grey with that cool air we experience in the mornings and evenings when September is on the horizon. Today I want to mention three things that are important at this time of year.
It’s time to go back to school and it’s important that kids learn how to get there on their own. Take a look and find out why.
It’s time for personal development workshops and for those who live in the Lower Mainland and have been waiting for a Parenting Today workshop open to the public, join us on September 11. Details below and in the flyer.
There will be a new little booklet out shortly. I know, we hoped it would be out this summer but circumstances worked against us. We are striving to make this happen. Read to the end for more information.
Save the Date
Details will follow, but I can tell you that it will start at 6:30 pm and the topic is “I Like Me!
Child self-esteem is a topic of growing importance in our society as we see our young people struggling to develop a positive self-image. Children and adults who feel good about themselves are happier and more successful.
In this workshop you will learn:
• Why simply loving our kids us not enough
• Why some common parenting practices are backfiring on us
• Practical ways you can help your children to develop high self-esteem
The presentation deals with the difficult and abstract concept of self-esteem and will offer a blueprint for success. It is appropriate for parents of children of all ages.
Why You Should Teach Your Kids How to Walk to School
I love the summer. I love it for a lot of reasons but one is the reduced traffic around schools. During the school year perfectly healthy kids are being driven to and from school causing major traffic jams. It can be a nightmare.
But worse is that it’s not the best thing for the kids. Parents have many reasons for driving their kids. It fits their schedule, they feel the kids will be safer, they stay warm and dry.
But, we are not doing them a favour and need to seriously consider opening the front door and letting our child out to make the walk to school on his own.
There are a number of reasons why this is a good parenting decision. The first is easy to understand. Kids who are walking to school are getting fresh air and exercise twice every day. They are likely not just walking, the average child will be skipping, running and jumping. They will be flexing their muscles. And after spending the night in bed or the day at a desk nothing could be healthier for a growing youngster.
Our parenting job is to raise our children to become capable young adults. Children who do not know how to get themselves from one place to another have a challenge becoming capable. If they have learned that their parents will take them everywhere they will have problems going downtown for job interviews, getting on a plane to head to the post secondary institution of their choice or simply going out to a movie with friends. It’s a process. First they walk to school, then they may need to take a city bus to middle or high school, then they go to the mall on the bus with their friends.
Being able to get themselves from one place to another is their responsibility. When we make sure they have all the information they need to go where they need to go, they take on the responsibility to make it happen. When we do it for them, they do no need to be at all responsible for their activities. If we want our kids to grow to be responsible adults, it’s important that we start with the small things when they are school age. Then when they need to take responsibility for larger decisions, they will be ready.
All of this combines to be part of the picture of helping children develop high self-esteem. When our child can look at himself in the mirror and know that today he got himself to and from school, that he arrived on time and that he had a good time doing so, he feels good about himself. When she’s getting regular exercise she will feel better physically and this leads to her feeling good about herself. Being healthy and successful go a long way to a child’s positive self-image.
So, now is the time to take the bull by the horns and determine what you need to do to ensure that your child has the skills and knowledge to get herself safely to and from school. Step outside with her and start walking and while you walk, talk. Tell her why you chose this route and point out the homes of friends. Teach her to stay on the sidewalk and to look both ways before crossing the street. Go into any local stores so that the storeowners know and recognize your child. Then after a few trips, have her take the lead and you follow. It’s a process and by the first day of school she will be ready to make the trip on her own. Okay, you will likely want to go all the way with her on the first day, but then let her go.
If there are other kids in your neighbourhood, talk to their parents and arrange for the kids to walk together.
It’s important and will benefit your kids. Let them walk to school.
A New E-Booklet
Why is it that Jeremy and Olivia who are siblings are so different? Every child is unique and usually shows their particular temperament right from birth. What’s a parent to do?
Watch for a new e-booklet due out in July called Vive la Difference; Raising Children with Different Temperaments.
You’ll find out in this newsletter the minute it is available.