Kids. They grip our hearts in a way no one or nothing else can. When we watch the news and see or hear anything that affects a child, there’s a part in all of us that squirms and churns. We want our future adults to be safe, to be raised well and to be productive and hopeful citizens. Some days it’s a little more challenging than others to impart life skills they can use for their lifetime!
We have many organizations focused on the health and welfare of our wee ones, from hospitals to wish granters, to the YMCA, to any help lines, to support for battered women or pregnant teens. Human lives are to be treasured and each of us can make a difference whether it’s in donating a vehicle to raise funds for one of these causes, or whether it’s the attitude and values we instill in our children.
A few simple steps each of us can take towards ensuring little lives become functional and emotionally sound adults can include:
Affirming positive experiences. When a kid does something well, tell him/her. When there’s a learning opportunity, use it as such instead of focusing on what’s not right. Putting a child on a pedestal isn’t healthy either. There’s a fine balance between encouragement and entitlement! One thing though, that children definitely respond to, is when they know you think they’ve done a good job, they want to do more of that. Even as adults we want to know when we’ve done good, right?!
Demonstrate kindness. Let them observe you being kind in a line up, like letting someone go ahead of you, or buying the car behind you their beverage at the drive through. It may seem simple enough, but the more you example those behaviours to them, the better chance they have at succeeding at being a thoughtful and caring adult. Don’t be a, “Do as I say, not as I do,” person!
Think about your actions and words and ask yourself if what you’re doing is something you’d like those young’uns in your life to be or do. You don’t need to be a parent to think this way. We all influence someone younger than us, whether we want to acknowledge it or not.
Ask questions. “What makes you think that?” “Tell me your thought process.” “Help me understand why you did it that way.” Allow their learning and growth to build on their own curiosity and mistakes.
Speaking of mistakes, allow them to make some! Our overprotective natures and our culture don’t want anything bad to happen, but sometimes it’s the only way. Kind of like the hands on the stove example we often use, learning experiences need to happen.
I’m not a parenting guru by any stretch, but when I think of how I responded to my ‘elders’ when I was a kid, I know what worked and what didn’t! Being a bully adult or a pushy dictator isn’t how we influence children to be their best, that much I know to be true! And as we often hear, these kids are our future…
Donate A Car Canada is so grateful however, when kids do need support and help (whatever the reason), that we have so many great causes and charities to support that truly do make a difference. A few years down the road it’s not just the child’s life that has benefitted, but an entire community and nation. Your dollars do matter. Every one of them.