The Pledge – Part 6: Taking Care of our Planet

My World PledgeAs we continue to navigate the My World Friends Pledge, today we focus on ways that Kids can “Help Take Care of our Planet.”

Are you raising eco-savvy children?  Caring for our planet has been a much talked about topic in recent years and one that your child should be familiar with.  From composting to conservation there are many ways for your child to contribute to the longevity of our planet.

Here are some behaviors you can model and promote that will set them on their way:

  • Recycle everything possible!
  • Turn the water off when brushing teeth – constantly look for ways to conserve water.
  • Composting – not only does this help take care of our planet but it’s a great way to promote responsibility.
  • Turn off & unplug! Computers, small kitchen appliances and chargers are great places to start.
  • Minimize the use of disposable items. Plastic water bottles (use refillable containers), paper plates and paper towels; use eco-friendly grocery bags.
  • Ride your bike if your destination is close and casual.
  • Carpool when possible.
  • Set a good example within your community and spread the word!

Check out this link to an article on eartheasy.com that highlights fun and appropriate environmental websites for kids.  Eartheasy is a site I love that promotes solutions for sustainable living.

And mark your calendars… April 22nd is Earth Day!  Be proactive and plan an activity for your family or identify a local event to participate in.  The more our children learn about taking care of our planet, the more sustainable we’ll become.

Enjoy Earth.  Enjoy your environment.  Enjoy each other!

In gratitude,
Renee

The Pledge – Part 5: Be Kind to Animals

My World PledgeAs we continue to break down the My World Friends Pledge, today we look at being kind to animals.

While this may strike some as oddly specific, when it comes to children their treatment of and expression towards animals is very indicative of their overall attitude and behavior towards mankind.

While not every household can accommodate a pet, we should all try to expose our kids to animals on a regular basis… pet stores, shelters and zoos are all wonderful options.  Pet ownership is generally one of the first ways your child will be given the opportunity to be the “caregiver” and learn the importance of kind, nurturing behavior.  Here are some reasons that animals and pets are great for kids:

  • Caring for a pet/animal will foster kind and gentle behavior.
  • Animals are easy to show affection towards.
  • Pets promote a healthier and more active lifestyle within children.
  • Pets encourage time outdoors enjoying nature.
  • Pet-related chores promote responsibility and accountability.
  • Caring for an animal nurtures empathy in a child.
  • Pets calm anxious children and help quiet children come out of their shells.

So, are you a pet paw-sitive family?  If not, now might be a good time to reevaluate!  Shelters are a great place to find a family pet… after all, rescuing an animal is a teachable opportunity for kids.  And you never know, you may be the one being rescued!

Be kind to one another… and the animals!

In gratitude,
Renee

Get Your Cupid On!

Valentines Day Cupid with Pattern Hearts on Red BackgroundHappy Valentines Day!

As you know, Cupid is regularly shown drawing his bow to inspire romantic love and has long been an iconic symbol of Valentines day.  In myths, he is a minor character who sets a romantic plot in motion.  Son of the love goddess Venus, Cupid is the god of desire, affection and attraction.  I suppose it’s not a bad gig if you can get it!

While I’m sure you appreciate the above information, get this… this morning, my 9 year old asked me “what is the difference between love and romantic love?”  Wow!  As parents we are often asked questions by our kids that aren’t the easiest or most comfortable questions to answer, but her question got me thinking about children’s interpretation of things based on what they see and hear… especially the things they see and hear at home, and further how they form expectations based on these things.

My answer was something along the lines of “romantic love is shared by husbands and wives and couples that are getting married and the other love (which clearly there are many levels and variations of) is for everything else… your family, a best friend, pizza, your dog – you get the idea!

Think about how you can appropriately model the ways you love for your children and specifically, how you differentiate your affection towards a partner or spouse versus your children.  Do you consciously display “primary relationship” love in front of your kids?  Do you think that’s important?  So many issues and questions that involve parenting go back to the same thing for me… learned behavior.  If we consistently and appropriately model “romantic love” and affection within our primary relationship for our children, then aren’t we giving them an example of what a primary relationship looks like in hopes that they can have one themselves someday?  I think the answer is yes, but I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Regardless of who you show your love, or how you choose to show it, it’s Valentines day! so go forth, be sweet and get your Cupid on!

With love,
Renee

Celebrate Black History Month

Regardless of the color of our skin, we can all celebrate Black History Month.  There is a reason that it takes an entire month to celebrate… Black History is chalk-full of rich, American History, and we would be remiss if we did not use this month to reflect on the positive impact and contributions that this culture has made on our world.

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.
 ~ Rosa Parks ~

Challenge your children (and yourself!) to learn about a historical black American that they believe changed our world for the better.  Here are some ideas:

  • Write an essay detailing the persons achievements and their life.
  • Write a letter to the historical black person of their choosing explaining how their legacy changed our world.
  • Using a poster board, put together a collage of photos and quotes highlighting a historical black American.

Let’s teach our children to “celebrate differences” and live without judgment.  Let’s teach our children to be mindful of intent vs. impact regarding the words that they speak.  Let’s model appropriate behaviors to our children to assist in the development of the whole child.

Please join us in celebrating Black History!

In gratitude,
Renee

The Pledge – Part 4: Being Good

My World PledgeIn general, the word “good” is used in a positive way. In fact, it’s definition contains the word “positive”.

Good: adjective. Being positive or desirable in nature; not bad or poor.

For the purposes of continuing to break-down and discuss The Pledge, this week we are focused specifically on being “a good child, a good sibling and a good friend”. Think about the concept of “being good” in a broad sense and identify some ways that you can guide your kids towards consistently “good” behavior and making consistently “good” choices.

Here some things that my 9 year old daughter came up with when we talked about being good, and specifically being a good child, a good sibling and a good friend:

A Good Child is:
A good listener
Respectful
Honest
Trustworthy
Kind
Caring to friends and family members

A Good Sibling is:
Helpful
Patient
Loving
Sets a good example

A Good Friend is:
Loyal
Honest
Supportive
Inclusive
Kind
Caring
Someone who works at creating a friendly environment

So sit down with your kids and make your own lists!  Get them thinking about ways to be a better sibling and friend.  You never know, along the way you may learn some things about yourself and ways you can be better, too!   It’s never too late to begin being a better person.  We always have room for improvement in this area :)

Have a GOOD weekend!

In Gratitude,
Renee

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

iStock_000021836977XSmallWith the excitement of the Super Bowl in the air, I’m reminded of my childhood and watching games with my family.  Both of my parents being from Colorado, the Broncos were always our house team!  While I can’t say I spend hours in front of the TV watching football these days, I’m still a huge sports fan and love the excitement associated with the big games!

As a parent of 2 very sporty kids, I can’t help but think about all the awesome lessons and lifelong benefits that come from playing team sports. Here are just a few that quickly come to mind:

 

 

  • Creating friendships that can last a lifetime.
  • Developing social skills and learning to be cooperative.
  • Developing leadership skills that will carry you throughout life.
  • Building self-confidence and determination.
  • Learning to love exercise and how to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Wherever you’ll be watching, and even if it’s only the commercials, find ways to encourage your kids to become part of a team.  Even if they’re not into sports they can join a chess club, girl scouts or the debate team, just to name a few!  While winning is great, it’s not all about winning and losing – team sports prepare you for time off the field… where life really happens!

Enjoy the Super Bowl and GO BRONCOS!!

In Gratitude,
Renee