By Dennette Bailey
The end of the school year is fast approaching and many of us are already contemplating what our children and families will be doing over the summer. If you are like me you are also considering trips and experiences that you and your family can take that will not only be fun, but will also be learning opportunities at the same time. My family and I have taken many trips over the years but this summer I am looking for – dare I say – more!
I am looking for memorable learning experiences –maybe because I have already raised two children and having just one child left at home, I know that the time we have to make an impact on our children as youngsters goes fast.
As a result I have been thinking about the experiences I want us to have, as well as the values I want to ensure this last child of mine gets before she too leaves the nest. I want to her to see the value in giving to others, but I also want her to recognize that sometimes we don’t have the resources to make the difference we feel could be made if our resources were unlimited. I asked her about the things she would change in the world if money were no issue. Brace yourselves: she wanted to stop plane crashes and save endangered animals. (Maybe she doesn’t need me to teach her she can achieve anything after all).
So, while I realize I will have to work on a separate plan to teach her how to develop goals, I stayed on this task and explicitly told her she had to think of ideas that she herself would be directly involved in.
She reminded me about the time we once went to a clinic for disadvantaged people and gave out envelopes of $20 in cash. We didn’t wait around to see people’s responses but she talked about how exciting it was to help someone who could not have possibly known help was coming.
Therefore, with that sentiment in mind, that is our plight this summer. My daughter will come up with 8 ideas and we will concentrate on 6 of them. She will have a budget of $25 for each because $25 certainly seems like a little to do a lot with.
Now, you might be thinking that giving to an organization or volunteering might be a better use of our time and resources. I think volunteering and donating is great, but we already do that. What I am aiming to teach my daughter this summer is that she alone can make a difference with very little in hopes that one day, maybe, she can make a difference with very much.
Stay tuned … I will be writing about our escapades over the summer and will let you know how it goes and what we learn!
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