Want to help your kid make some new friends this year? Here’s a pretty cool thing that I did for my daughter over the last Christmas break. It’s something you could plan to do on weekends, weekdays after school or on the next school break.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”
Sounds like Dickens was writing about the teen years.
Our kids do not always realize that they have their entire lives ahead of them. They can choose to have EVERYTHING before them or they can choose to have NOTHING before them. The question is – which will they choose? Will it be an age of wisdom or an age of foolishness? Depending on their choice, what at first appears to be the “worst of times” may turn out to be the “best of times” for them.
Here is a tale of two kids wanting the same end result. For the sake of clarity, we will call the first child “A” and the second child “B.”
Most of us have heard of the Eagle Scout Award through the Boy Scouts. But what about the Congressional Award? If that one is unfamiliar to you, you’re not alone. Keep reading because this prestigious award is not only a bright gold star on any student’s resume, but the activities they do to earn it are life changing.
The Congressional Award was established by the United States Congress in 1979 to recognize initiative, service and achievement in young people. It is a non-competitive program open to all 14-23 year olds (kids can register at 13 ½ and start working on it at 14).
I first learned about the Congressional Award when my son was about to graduate from high school. By then, Chase had so much on his plate that it didn’t seem possible to add one more thing – or so I thought at that time. Looking back, that was really foolish on my part.
If this is your first time seeing the Weekly Leader, scroll down and read all about it below the line. Then pop back up to the top for next week’s suggestions.
Weekly Leader for the second week in April.
Have everyone in the family brainstorm ideas for a business for each member of the family. Or if someone already has a business, brainstorm new ideas for the business.
TED Talk Tuesday
*Note — You may not always agree with the perspective of a TED Talk, but rather than shy away from it, use it as an opportunity to explain why you don’t agree.
What’s Up Wednesday
Nuclear talks with Iran
Think Tank Thursday
How can you steer away from conversations that are inappropriate or somehow violate your conscience?
When we think of a leader, we might picture an elected official or the head of a company. Often we imagine someone in an influential role. And that’s not wrong because leadership is influence.
But there is perhaps an even better definition for leadership — one that can help us see that every single person has the potential to be a leader. The definition came from Dr. Tim Elmore, leadership expert and president of GrowingLeaders.com. Dr. Elmore was a guest on our radio show last Saturday, and he has said that leadership is “solving problems and serving people.”
We have heard parents say that their child is not destined to be a leader, and it’s true that not every kid is going to be a CEO or a politician or even a team captain. But every child can solve problems, and every child can serve people.
As parents, we can do things to intentionally groom this in our kids.
Creativity and imagination are the keys to the future. They will solve our energy crisis. They will continue to make our lives and work more powerful. If you had told me when I was a kid that I could stand on a street corner and talk on a phone to someone on the opposite side of the planet, I would have thought you were crazy.
Ever watch the Jetsons cartoon? I don’t know about you, but I didn’t expect to see their technology in my lifetime. I still doubt that I will ever replace my car with a flying mobile, but the Jetsonian flatscreen TVs are a part of our every day life. Video chat is also here. And although we don’t have personal robot maids who are part of the family, Honda’s Asimo robot can walk, talk and have basic human interactions. It will probably be a another lifetime before we can shrink our vehicles to a brief size as George Jetson could, but nanotechnology is a fast growing field that will surely make new and amazing things possible in years to come.
It is all the product of imagination and creativity, but he question for parents is this: “How do we help foster this in our kids?”
We would say that it starts with boredom. Author Nancy H. Blakely, said it much better than we could:
“Preempt the time spent on television and organized activities and have them spend it instead on claiming their imaginations. For in the end, that is all we have. If a thing cannot be imagined first — a cake, a relationship, a cure for AIDS — it cannot be. Life is bound by what we can envision.
I cannot plant imagination into my children. I can, however, provide an environment where their creativity is not just another mess to clean up but welcome evidence of grappling successfully with boredom. It is possible for boredom to deliver us to our best selves, the ones that long for risk and illumination and unspeakable beauty.
If we sit still long enough, we may hear the call behind boredom. With practice, we may have the imagination to rise up from the emptiness and answer.”
– Nancy H. Blakey, author of a number of books, including Mudpies: Recipes for Invention;101 Alternatives to Television; Lotions, Potions and Slime; and Boredom Busters, all from Tricycle Press
Parents can certainly turn off the TV or limit time on social media and video games. We can create open space (physically and mentally) for our kids to wander through, but once we establish an atmosphere of boredom, we also have to provide the resources and the encouragement for kids to explore and create.
Here are a handful of posts to give you some ideas. Click through, and try a few new things to cultivate imagination in your home.
Watch Your Thoughts, They Become Words; Watch Your Words, They Become Actions.
Multiple people have been credited for this quote and many forms of it, because it has been repeated by so many leaders.
Perhaps we don’t often consider our thoughts as being the seeds of our future, much less concern ourselves on a daily basis about what kind of self-talk is happening in our minds or the minds of our girls. But we should.
A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, commissioned by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund found that, “7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way.”
So, 70% of our girls don’t believe in themselves. That belief system started with self-talk (her everyday thoughts), but overtime, it becomes her identity.
Does Shame hide in your home? The key word here is “hide.” Shame can only live in darkness, hiding. Once it is found out and exposed, all bets are off. It’s been caught, had, busted.
Shame is the biggest enemy of self-worth. It destroys the hope of being worthy of love and acceptance. It’s goal is to squash you and make you feel lower than a snake’s belly. And more often than not, it succeeds.
Psychotherapist and author, Beverly Engel says, “Shame is the most destructive of human emotions. Shame destroys a person’s self-esteem and sense of who they are and causes people really serious problems. It’s the core issue of addiction and can cause other issues like suicide,depression and anger. For those dealing with addiction there is a Austin rehab options for young adults which are recommended.” If you have an alcoholic in your family, this alcohol detox Arizona Center is the perfect place for them to receive treatment.
Shame has been a familiar enemy in my life, and I have mistakenly welcomed it as if it were a friend. The path of destruction that shame leaves behind is beyond heinous. Self-blame, self-criticism and self-destruction are just a few of the bad fruit that grow from this monstrous tree. And if left unchecked, shame can lead to self-loathing — the mother of suicide.
I love the title of this book!
Their Name is Today is an awesome reminder that our kids won’t stop growing to wait for us to get our act together or get through this project or that crisis. They need our love and our focus right here and right now.
In his book Their Name is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World, author Johann Christoph Arnold reminds us that “as long as we have children entrusted to our care, we cannot forget that the demands they make on us must be answered in the present. Their name is today. Whatever children need in the way of guidance, security and love, they need now. Because soon enough it will be time for them to fly on their own, and then there will be no holding them back.”
The corporate and the academic worlds are moving toward a more project-based environment. So as our kids grow up, they’re going to need strong project management skills, and we can begin teaching them some of the basics by showing them how to look at their to do list to find mini projects: papers for school, putting together a vendor booth for their small business, planning a birthday party.
What Has to Be Done?
- Teach kids to ask, “What exactly needs to be done?”
- They should be clear and concise because being vague clouds vision.
- Then they should define any related goals and be specific.
My fifteen year old has a successful henna tattoo business, and she gets a good amount of business from booths at various fairs and events around town. For these booths, she has to have a table with good signage. She needs pictures of her work, brochures, business cards and pricing information. Her goal is obviously to do tattoos at the event and make money, but it’s also to network for future business. That means she has to provide information on these wedding venues greenville sc, pregnancy belly tattoos and home parties (which tend to bring in good money). Her goal is to leave an event with at least three bookings — one to replace that day’s event and two to grow her business.
When our kids are defining their goals and tasks, they need to think about what they want the end result to look like.