Posts Tagged ‘children’
My son finished pre-school this week. His class had a special celebration to culminate the academic year. It was a special moment for him and for us.
Some people would argue that this pseudo-graduation ceremony is not a good idea because it promotes mediocrity. They will argue that having all of the pomp and circumstance dilutes the importance of the traditional graduations at the high school and college levels. These people would continue their argument by saying that to celebrate the end of pre-school, elementary or middle school is just poppycock, as the kids are just doing what they are supposed to do.
All of the points in this argument are wrong. Dead wrong.
As a parent of a child who went through a pre-school celebration, I think it was great that the school did this celebratory activity. For one, it honored the hard work of the children and demonstrated their growth over the last year. Secondly, it was an opportunity for the kids to publicly thank the support they received from their parents and families.
Additionally, the school built the entire year around the theme of being a bucket filler instead of a bucket dipper. And, from what I learned during the ceremony, being a bucket filler is pretty cool.
What gets me about the people who rail against having the celebrations like the one my son participated in, or even the graduations at the lower levels of education, is that I honestly don’t think any of them are parents. Being a parent of a young child changes your perspective. You want to cherish every moment because the kids really do grow up too fast. Time is not on your side, so it’s important to let the kids be little. It’s important to love them. It’s important to tell them you are proud of them.
Sure, there would be opportunities to do this without the celebrations. But it wouldn’t be as much fun. And you know, everyone can use a little celebration in their lives every now and then.
When I was younger, my mom always says, I asked her how the moon stayed up in the sky.
“Elmer’s glue,” she said.
Driving to our kids’ daycare provider this morning to drop them off, my three-year-old son asked me what the hazy cloud blanketing the field was.
“Fog,” I said. “It’s what is left behind when the sky comes down and kisses the ground.”
He seemed to like that answer.
When a child asks “Why?” sometimes it is easier to just say anything to make him stop asking that question repeatedly.
With a little patience and some creativity, however, the answer you give can be one that creates a lasting memory because as the child grows, you can always tell the story of the day he asked what fog was and how you answered him.
Flipping through the newspaper this morning, I was struck by a story about a study that indicates a staggering rise in the reported abuse of ADHD drugs
My first reaction was that this news wasn’t at all out of the ordinary. I give the editors of the paper credit for putting it in the paper. Drug abuse is an important issue, especially when there is an increase in the abuse of safe (read: FDA-approved) drugs. However, the story was buried on the inside of the front section and squeezed in next to an ad for replacement windows. Such a placement tells me that the editors at the paper didn’t think too many people would buy a paper because of this story.
With the reduction in staff at most local papers, and more and more people moving online for their news, I know that the following suggestion might not carry much weight with news editors, but I’m going to put it out there any way.
This is the type of story that could make an impact in a community. It could really raise the consciousness level to a point where the issues causing the abuse and the infrastructure supporting it are brought to light. It would be perfect way for nonprofit service providers that help with all of the issues regarding drug abuse to enter the public sphere. Working with a reporter to create a follow-up story that localizes the issue and highlights how organizations in the community are helping to alleviate the issue and related issues is a fantastic way to build community awareness and support, both for the newspaper and any nonprofit service providers. The reason being is that readers like to know about what is happening in their community. They also like to read about success stories–people who hit rock bottom, sought out and got help, and are now recovering and finding success.
It is a redemption story.
I’m putting editors and reporters on notice: I’ll be on the lookout for this type of story for sure. I’ll buy more papers with this type of story in them.
Read the story that inspired this post here.
What does respect mean to you?
The other day, I was having a conversation with my organization’s webmaster about respect as it pertains to people out on the roadways. The conversation made me think about our culture and how respect manifests itself therein.
Over the past several years I believe there has been a severe erosion of respect in our culture. It has gotten to such a low point recently that I’m afraid we may never be able to build it back up.
Just a few examples that come to mind:
- The lack of respect for the purity of sport as evidenced by the numerous athletes found guilty of crimes and also of taking steroids to enhance performance
- The lack of respect for differing opinions in the health care debate
- The lack of respect for other drivers, safety, and the rules of the road as evidenced by the ever increasing number of people talking on their cell phone or texting while driving.
As a parent of two young children, I believe I’m tasked with showing them the importance of using your manners and of living a respectful life. But with all of the bad examples out there (myself included sometimes) I think I’m fighting an uphill battle.
Additionally, for anyone that works in the communications industry, whether in PR, Marketing, Advertising, etc., the importance of respect is reflected in the success of the efforts made on behalf of your clients, your organization, or yourself.
For instance, if you are tasked with pitching a story to the assignment editor at a local TV station, you will tend to have better results if that person respects you as a professional and as a source of valuable information. Additionally, in communicating with the assignment editor, using language that is respectful and also being mindful of his or her time will go a long way toward the success of your pitch.
It used to be that the golden rule–treating others as you yourself would liked to be treated–was the standard. It’s common sense, really.
However, I think as more and more people continually treat others with less and less respect, thereby getting less and less respect in return, the golden rule is really just gold plating covering up an otherwise crass culture.
I’ve seen too many news reports on the topic is child abuse.
I’m a father to two young children and every time I read about someone hurting a killing a child, I have to either turn off the TV or put down the paper. Simply put, these stories disgust me.
Seeing the headlines and the stories, I ask why these things happen. I ask why people do not know that children are a gift and should be cherished. I ask what possesses people to drop dialogue and instead use violence to solve problems that may arise.
I’m thankful that family members and other caregivers can come in and help children that survive. I’m thankful that there are youth and family service organizations who employee people that help children and families reconnect, find their strengths, and become better.
However, I still worry about the future of our communities, our nation, and our world because of the way that child abuse can have a decaying, negative impact on the development of our children.
Will it ever stop? Probably not.
Are there ways we can help minimize tragedies of child abuse from happening? Of course there are.
It will just take each of us having a strong will and a collective desire to make sure that the children are protected and given every opportunity to flourish without the fear of abuse.
It is a challenge worth taking on. Are you with me?
Ninety percent. That’s a pretty big number where percentages are concerned. That’s almost 100 percent.
In almost any situation, 90 percent is a good goal to shoot for. Any situation, that is, except in the case when the 90 percent is the number of women who decide not to carry a pregnancy to term when they are informed of the potential diagnosis of a baby with Down’s syndrome.
Bob Lonsberry first brought this statistic to my attention in this post. It caught my eye because my sister has Down’s and, admittedly, I’m sensitive to people’s perceptions of her as well as the historical misconceptions about people with this genetic makeup.
I like Bob’s points and agree with him that people with Down’s syndrome are special. I know my sister is.
I just can’t get that statistic out of my head. It’s mindblowing. Ninety percent of anything is huge. If that was the only number we heard, we might be moved to side with the 90 percent. Usually, it’s easier to side with the majority opinion.
However, 10 percent of the population, when put in the situation to make the decision to continue with the pregnancy or terminate it, decide to continue. These women persevere. And they are rewarded with a miraculous child.
These are the stories we need to hear and see more of. We need to hear that women are not shying away from the difficutlies that come with raising a child with Down’s. We need to hear it more than 10 percent of the time, that’s for sure.
The reason is simple. These stories are stories of humanity overcoming; of what is possible when people believe. And believing is a powerful thing, even if only a small percentage do it.
I amazed at the puzzle that is a developing child’s brain.
My son, who is going to be three in a few months, sat on the living room floor recently and proceeded to put together a jigsaw puzzle that is age-appropriate for 3 to 7 year olds. He did it all by himself without any help from my wife or me.
To say I’m proud is an understatement.
It’s great that he did it. The part that really got me, though, was his reaction after the last piece was placed in its proper spot.
“Daddy. Mommy. I did it!”
His voice was filled with that wondrous tone that comes when children accomplish something for themselves for the first time. It was exuberant. It was joyful. Simply put, it was awesome.
For anyone that is a parent of, family member to, caregiver for, or works with kids and is able to see how they develop and accomplish goals they set for themselves, you know what I’m talking about.
For those that aren’t, moments like the one my wife and I shared in after our son became an expert jigsaw puzzle assembler are why children are so great. And if you ever wonder what life is all about, take a moment to watch a child play. You’ll understand soon enough.
What’s your take? Communicate with me by leaving a comment. Thanks for reading!