Late for MLK, Jr. Day but always relevant…
These are what we parents try to protect our children from… right?
This is something I have really been struggling with, lately (with twin teenagers!). We all want to see our children develop into confident, capable, responsible individuals that exercise good judgment. Yet, I feel that every time I step in to ‘help’ my children avoid a potentially painful consequence I’m also preventing them from learning valuable lessons. It really is a balancing act!
A recent Huffington Post Blog post by Christine Gross-Loh really hit home!
- Risky play helps kids develop a sound sense of being able to judge what they can/cannot do.
- Waiting to eat until you’re truly hungry (and eating together as a family) is healthier (as opposed to continuous grazing).
- Frustration and delayed-gratification help kids develop patience and self-control.
- Learning OUTSIDE of the classroom may be more important than classroom learning. Play, music, art and life skills are essential!
- Hurrying independence by encouraging independent sleep does not an independent child make!
- Making children very aware that their ‘family responsibility’ or obligation is to work hard at school actually helps their achievement and motivation.
I highly recommend reading Gross-Loh’s blog post AND remembering to keep the idea of moderation in mind.
Fear, Anxiety, Risky-play, Frustration, Hunger, and Delayed Gratification are good for our kids! Moderation is the key.
This was posted on my birthday, last year, by Goodwill Librarian (on Facebook). Even though I do not know who Goodwill Librarian is nor do I think Goodwill Librarian knows who I am (it was a public post) – I ‘took it personally’ in only good ways and have finally decided to share it! Gotta love Dr. Seuss!
Living an ethical life isn’t easy. It’s a lot easier to judge others harshly than to be harsh with our own actions.
These are not cop-outs, though. These statements should not be used as justification for not trying your absolute best at all times – it’s just important to recognize that we all falter. What’s that common phrase from George Herbert’s original: “Whose house is of glass, must not throw stones at another.”…? However, does that mean we should also ignore or accept other people’s bad behavior? A couple articles by Michael Josephson (famous for Character Counts©) reminded me that the road of ethical behavior is not easy, which is precisely why it’s an admirable goal to shoot for.
So, do we just do whatever we want? I believe that we all share a core set of values, across cultures, religions and nations that are based on mutual respect, trust, caring, responsibility, fairness and helping our community (local and global). By asking ourselves questions about our own behavior centered on those core values we can guide ourselves to do what is right… which, like it or not, is not always doing just what you want but considering others, as well.
What do you use as a guide for doing the right thing?
Anyway, I’m a generally positive person and I try to look at the ‘positive side’ of any situation… usually that works well for me but I sometimes set myself up for disappointment when I have an unrealistically positive view.
Here’s a guy that inspires me because he hasn’t let his challenge ‘stop’ him: Nick Vujicic (see video links, below).
LinkedIn… I’ll give it a plug because that’s how I arrived at the article I want to share with the world, today! First, though, a little sidenote on how wonderful technology can be… A fellow admin colleague at Graded in Brazil – Blair Peterson, Tweeted about an “Inside Higher Ed” article. I received the tweet (which had a link to the article) in my LinkedIn feed AND presto!
So… read the article!!! It brought tears to my eyes as I thought about my own children and the steps (and missteps) we take as parents. It’s easy to say… “accept people for who they are”. In fact, it’s simplistic because on one level we absolutely MUST accept others for who they are AND we must empower them to reach further than they think they can. This results in a constant tension between pushing our kids and accepting their efforts. I’ve heard some parents say, “I accept only your best effort” and that may be where the balance is.
What do you think?
As a former Character Counts™ Trainer I try to stay ‘up’ with the latest in character education and I subscribe to Michael Josephson’s weekly commentaries. In a recent commentary called “Shaping Values, Shaping Lives”, Mr. Josephson discussed the opportunities and aggravations that all parents face when it comes to trying to raise children well.
As educators, we have a special responsibility and unique opportunity to help make this world a better place… one classroom at a time. In fact, our influence on children’s success in school is on par with parents and exceeds the famous ‘peer pressure’ that exists:
For both boys and girls, the researchers found that social support from adults, particularly from teachers—in the form of encouraging engagement in school, emphasizing the value of an education and facilitating participation in extracurricular activities—could counteract the negative influence of peers.
There’s a lot more than just common sense to support the age-old statement by Henry Adams, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Together, we make an enormous difference!