5 Action Steps With Kids
Now that summer is in full swing, let’s look at 5 Action Steps you can take With Kids. Summer is a great time to work on communication with our kids. To help them enjoy being with the family by engaging them physically and mentally. Here are five steps that will help towards that goal.
One, Engage with them as Adults. Think back to when you were a child; one thing you likely disliked was when other adults treated you like you were a small child. Now, you might not have been as “adult” as you thought you were, but you still wanted to be treated like an adult. Even seventh and eighth graders often think they are fully grown. Treating kids as adults, engaging in adult conversations, and helping them see how to adopt perseverance and determination in their lives adds to their confidence immensely.
Two, Engage them in Activities. I was a high school band director for many years, and I always noticed that many of the very best kids were in the band program. That is true of most activities; the kids that stick with developing their abilities in soccer, football, and playing an instrument are in it for the long haul. They already know that perseverance will pay off, and they are with other kids who think the same way. Find something that your child is interested in and talk with them about keeping going when the “newness” wears off. Sometimes kids want to play tennis, for example, but when it gets hot, and their arm hurts from hitting the ball, they’re ready to quit. Please help them adopt perseverance, have a vision about being good at something, and be willing to put in the personal effort to get there.
Three, Engage them in Civic Activities. As an adult, you can help kids volunteer for a good cause within your community by setting an example. It might be working at a 6K running event or working with the homeless one Saturday a month. As a kid, I learned this through Boy Scouts and later in DeMolay, both civic-minded organizations that help others. Teaching our kids to do this and being willing to also model it for them as adults help to expand their concerns to others, and suddenly their circumstances don’t seem too big.
Four, Engage them with Others. With technology being so prevalent, it is far too easy to stay indoors with our electronics and feel like we’re engaging with others. It is quite the opposite. Research shows that overreliance on technology produces depression. Many of our young people struggle with depression, and at least part of the answer here might well be to get them out with others. Some options include summer camps, youth camps, summer sports groups in the community, music, drama, dance organizations, martial arts, sports camps, church or faith-based camps, all of these help to add a new dimension to their world and help them to feel more a part of it.
Five, Engage them in Mindfulness Personal Work. Mindfulness does not have to be faith-based, although faith-based is very effective. It can be simply helping them learn to meditate or encouraging them to take a Yoga class at the local gym. It may include some journaling just for their private use. With technology always stimulating our minds, eyes, and senses, it is imperative for their well-being, particularly their future well-being, to learn how to stop and allow our mind to drift into its plan.
I have a post that speaks for Steps and Missteps with kids here Steps and Missteps – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)
Middle web has a beautiful post about guiding students to set goals here Guiding Students to Goals Using Action Steps (middleweb.com)
Pick one or two of these and work with your young person to implement it this summer. When we take time as parents to teach these centering activities to our kids, we give them skills that will last a lifetime.
Yours for Better Parenting,