Back to School Series, Part 5 – Happiness

Back to schoolMany kids are already back in school (thank goodness mine are!), and those that aren’t will be starting soon, so to wrap-up our “Back to School Series”, let’s talk briefly about Happiness. Continue reading

Back to School Series, Part 4 – Accountability

Back to schoolAs we inch closer to the first day of school, there is much to be done to prepare our children… school clothes/uniforms, backpacks, and school supplies are some of the standard checklist items.  What about mentally preparing our kids to jump back into the routine?  Are you talking with your kids about your hopes and expectations for them this year?  Accountability is an excellent topic to touch-on.

Definition of Accountability
n.
1. the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable; an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.

Last week we talked about responsibility, the relative synonym of accountability.  Let’s be sure and understand the difference between the two:

“Accountability” is being answerable to others for your actions, or lack thereof.
“Responsibility” is being liable and dependable when it comes to tasks or actions.

Accountability leads to responsibility. Last week, I used my daughter forgetting to write down her homework assignment, as an example.  I can encourage her to be resourceful in hopes of getting the information she needs, but I will also need to remind her that it’s her responsibility to come home with the assignment.  Further, she needs to understand that the consequences for not getting the information and completing the assignment will be accountability to her teacher the next morning.  What that “accountability” entails is up to the teacher… sitting out of recess to complete the assignment, being given extra math problems, writing down 5 things that she’ll do in the future so it doesn’t happen again, etc.

Essential Questions:
How can we help our children think about accountability before they
take (or don’t take) action?

Being the “A Type” gal that I am, I like lists and charts!  I think a great way to get your children thinking about being accountable for their actions (or non-actions) is to lay it out for them in the simplest format possible and include them in tracking their actions day to day.  The more we talk to them about being accountable and reward them with our time and attention in tracking their progress, the more natural accountability will come to them.  They will also exhibit a great sense of pride in their accomplishments… I call that a “win-win”!

What are some ways that you’ve created a culture of accountability with your kids and in your home?  Do tell!  Let’s keep the dialogue going.  By sharing our thoughts and ideas we can help each other nurture accountability in our young citizens!

Until next time…

Much love,
Renee

Back To School Series, Part 3 – Responsibility

Back to schoolAs we prepare to send our children back to school, another excellent conversation to have with them is on Responsibility.

It’s clear that depending on age, responsibilities and our expectations of such will vary. Continue reading

Back to School Series, Part 2 – Empathy

Back to schoolAs we prepare to send our kids back to school, another great conversation to have with them is about empathy. Continue reading

Back to School Series, Part 1 – Addressing Differences

Back to schoolIt’s hard to believe the beginning of the school year is right around the corner.  With that in mind, I hope to get you thinking about ways you can better prepare your kids for the transition back to life in the classroom.

One of my personal goals Continue reading

Make Yourself Extraordinary

I love the below quote from Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.

“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”
Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success    

Let’s teach our kids to do the work!  As adults, we know that there are no shortcuts.

Happy Monday!

Let Them Play

iStock_000021122207XSmallWell, Here we are about halfway through summer.  Looking back over the past few weeks… which by the way have flown by… I’m feeling reaffirmed in my thought process of kids just needing to play.  I stumbled across this great article “Why Free Play is the Best Summer School” written by Jessica Lahey.

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/06/for-better-school-results-clear-the-schedule-and-let-kids-play/373144/

The article states, and I quote:  “Unscheduled, unsupervised, playtime is one of the most valuable educational opportunities we give our children.  It is fertile ground; the place where children strengthen social bonds, build emotional maturity, develop cognitive skills and shore up their physical health“.

My kids are both very sporty, and therefore, typically over-scheduled with practices and games.  While I try to strike a balance, it’s sometimes tough, and it’s article like this that bring it back to center for me.

Check out the article and share your thoughts.

Until next week… it’s time to Play!!

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

The Pledge – Part 3: Treat Everyone with Respect

My World PledgeIn our 3rd week of examining and breaking down The Pledge we’re focusing on “Respect”.  As we guide our children towards “living the pledge”, respect is clearly our foundation.  In fact, as one of the 5 pillars of character, if respect is consistently demonstrated, most, if not all, of the undesirable behaviors we’re striving to avoid/eliminate  simply never happen.

Here are some questions to assist in starting a conversation with your child(ren) about respect:

  • What does the word respect mean to you?
  • Have you ever felt like someone didn’t respect you, themselves, or others?
  • Have you ever seen somebody else not being treated respectfully, and if so, how did it make you feel?
  • Why do you think it’s important to treat everyone with respect?
  • Do you feel respected by all of your family members, care givers, and teachers?

Do you recall our previous dialogue on learned behavior? It really comes into play here… if you speak to your children with respect and treat them with respect, it is likely that that’s how they’ll treat and speak to you and others. If we have ongoing, open and respectful conversations with our children, they will openly and respectfully share more with us. It’s a two-way street!

Next up, “Good”. Specifically, being a good child, a good sibling, and a good friend.

Until then…

In Gratitude,
Renee