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 children out to make the walk to school on their own.
ParticipACTION suggests that we should Park the Car, It’s not that Far. Once you make the decision that the car is always the last resort, choosing alternate transportation become a typical activity. Pretty soon you will realize that you simply don’t need to drive as often as you think.
Start with taking the kids to school. Only 28% of kids walk to school. And yet, walking is a form of active transport that is available for all of us and will have a positive impact on our lives.
Teach your child the best route to take by first walking with them and then having them take the lead.
Make sure he has a comfortable backpack so he can easily carry his school supplies to and from school.
Encourage other families in the neighbourhood to join you on the walk so that once your child knows the route and rules of the road she won’t be walking alone.
Biking is a great mode of transportation for both adults and kids. Make sure your child’s bike is in good shape and fits properly. Then ensure that he knows that he must follow all the rules of the road. Have him ride his bike when he goes to play with a friend or off to soccer practice.
Older kids will want to include in-line skates or skateboard to their list of active transport options.
It’s a question of attitude. If your family decides that taking a car is the last option the kids will see using active transportation to school, extra-curricular activities or visiting friends as the preferred method of travel.
Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments.
I have always known that each child is a unique individual. I looked at my two who are as different as night and day. Then I consider my siblings and we are a texbook example of different.
But, now I have three grandchildren, all the same age and the differences from their births has been striking. Just before they were born I was thinking about the two movies about Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and this also caused me to think about the differences of people who live together.
The result is the e-parenting mini guide, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments.
Parenting Today is keen to speak as part of your professional development event, parenting workshop or workplace wellness support program. I offer keynotes and workshops, have written books and have ongoing newspaper columns, books, blogs and newsletters.
And, no matter what the actual topic, they all share a basic value that I call:
P — is a parenting plan
U — is unconditional love
R — is respect for your child as he is right now
E — is encouragement
These make up the framework of any resources that will come from Parenting Today. These four pillars are the essential ingredients for raising healthy children who will develop into capable young men and women.