By Amanda Grossman-Scott
It will be our kids who will change the world.
They will be the next great dreamers, thinkers, educators, philanthropists and leaders.
It is now, in their childhood, where we start to give them the tools that shape them, the heart that drives them and the knowledge that guides them.
One of the most important jobs we have as parents is to help our children develop principles by which to live. Sometimes this development is accomplished as we teach necessary life skills, such as how to drive a car or how to tie shoes. Other values are shown through example. Lessons that make our children stronger are the most valuable and are best taught by using real-life examples, discussions, and activities, like role-playing, to reinforce principles. Educate and Empower Kids helps parents teach these imperative lessons in our new book, 30 Days to a Stronger Child.
30 Days to a Stronger Child is the book you wish your parents had when you were growing up. It prepares kids to function in a world that is ever changing and anything but consistent. It provides an inner life-coach and code to adhere to, which will help a growing child through almost any situation.
30 Days to a Stronger Child focuses on 5 facets, which are the MOST important for children to develop: Social, Intellectual, Spiritual, Emotional and Physical. We can think about developing these qualities in terms of maintaining an account balance. Our children face pressures that can deplete these accounts. It is our job to teach our kids to be aware of what will drain these accounts, and what we can do to keep them at sufficient levels. If our kids don’t learn to keep their accounts full, they won’t have the inner strength to resist outside pressures.
The book helps you teach your children about these accounts by dividing each subject into 6 easy-to-share lessons that provide discussion questions, conversation starters, activities and further opportunities to engage with your child. Use them all in order, or start where you feel it will most benefit your child.
Social. By emphasizing accountability, friendship, boundaries, leadership, respect, and assertiveness, children will gain tools to use in social settings and discover within themselves their social strengths, what makes them great friends, and how to choose friends wisely.
Intellectual. This section stresses creativity, critical thinking, initiative, research, growth and curiosity. Every child learns differently and applies knowledge through distinct means. The goal of this section is to help empower you as a parent to teach your child to value their own intelligence and to make choices that will help them to develop habits and patterns that will allow them to reach their full intellectual potential.
Spiritual. Centered on non-denominational practices of belief, attention, change, community, gratitude and love, this section will help you to introduce or reinforce to your child the concept of their own spirituality. You can then help them find effective spiritual tools that will develop and strengthen their spirituality.
Emotional. Bringing together the concepts of self-confidence, optimism, empathy, positive self-talk, sense of humor and honesty, this section teaches overall emotional intelligence. Our children may not always make the choices we would prefer, but we can empower them with emotional intelligence, helping them understand and assume responsibility for their choices. In fact, one study done by Martin Seligman found that scores on tests of optimism were a better predictor of grades during freshman year than SAT scores or high school grades (Cherniss, 2000).
Physical. The many facets of physical health include: body Image, play, healthy eating, adventure, exercise and addiction. Having and keeping their physical account full will help your child to be more equipped to deal with emotional and social issues as they encounter them. Also, research suggests that physical activity among youth can strengthen resistance to addiction (Volkow, 2011).
One of my most favorite experiences from utilizing these lessons in my family’s life came from the humor topic in the emotional section. I have found one of the best ways to diffuse any negative situation in our family is through humor. When we need a break, the kids and I now put on some music and take a few minutes to let lose and dance. The sillier the better! We always end up on the floor laughing so hard that we struggle to breathe. I love that my kids are learning the value of humor in their lives.
The experiences in Stronger Child are designed to adapt to your needs. If you only have five minutes, that will work! Hit the highlights, ask a question or two, and know that you can always return to the material later. If you want to really dig into a topic, there is plenty of material here to engage you both and help you connect.
We cannot give our children a complete instruction book with an answer for every situation. We can give them a foundation consisting of strong guidelines and a principled code that will help them think for themselves as they assess their life choices so they can both function and thrive in society.
You can do this! We know our children are strong! Let’s help them realize and develop that strength in a fun and encouraging environment. Because a stronger child equals a stronger family–and a more successful life!
30 Days to a Stronger Child is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.
Amanda Grossman-Scott is Board Vice president and Head Writer for Educate and Empower Kids. She has written for various magazines, newspapers and blogs and has been active in the journalism industry intermittently for the last 15 years. She studied Journalism and Communications. Amanda is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and now lives with her husband and three children in San Antonio, Texas.
Cherniss, C. Emotional Intelligence: What it is and why it matters. www.eiconsortium.org. April 15, 2000. Retrieved November 21, 2015
Volkow, M.D., N. (2011, March 1). Physical Activity May Prevent Substance Abuse. Retrieved October 29, 2015.