An Important Skill for All Children


It’s a beautiful day to go for a walk. School has just begun for some of you, and starts shortly for the rest.

So, why not take a walk to the school. Teach your kids how to get from your home to their school. Today’s article gives you tips on how to teach the kids to make the walk and why it really matters.

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.

Two kids, two temperaments. Taking their unique temperaments into account.

Sarah is shy, Jared is bossy and Pat is easy-g oing. What do we need to know about different temperaments?

Every child is unique and different.  My mini guide e-book, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments addresses some of the temperaments we see in our kids.

I looked at my two children who are as different as night and day. Then I consider my siblings and we are a textbook example of different.

But, now I have three grandchildren, all the same age and the differences from their births has been striking.

The result is the e-parenting mini guide, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments. The guide is available on my website.

How Can I Bring Kathy to My Community?

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.U.R.E. Parenting.

P — is a parenting plan

U — is unconditional love

R — is respect for your child as he is right now

E — is encouragement

I look forward to working with you for your professional development, workplace wellness or parenting education event.


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