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*** Monthly Feature Column ***
Building Assets in your Kids
How do you empower your kids?
by Kelly Curtis.
This week, I completed and submitted to my editor the first two chapters of my book, so “empowerment” has been on my mind a lot lately. Empowerment is one of the eight categories, in Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets.
In it’s simplest form, empowerment is helping someone to help herself — the “teach a man to fish” philosophy. Last week, I watched the TV special about the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, and was struck by how perfectly it illustrated the idea of empowerment. She’s selected gifted, but impoverished, South African girls, and invited them to live and learn at her state-of-the-art complex. Potentially, these girls will lead their country some day.
None of us has the kind of resources that are available to HARPO productions, but as parents, we do have a special opportunity to empower.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrating Mothers and Daughters was released on Wednesday, and it features a story I wrote about my mom.
As a single parent, my mother empowered me a lot. I had responsibilities and she always made me feel I was completely capable of managing them. This was partly unavoidable, because she was a single mom. When I took an interest in something, I needed to want it badly enough to work for it — or it wouldn’t be possible.
Although my kids are fortunate to have two parents in the household, I still try to empower them in their own responsibilities and interests. When my daughter’s voice teacher started reciting to me all the things she needed to practice, I pointed to D and said, “This is her responsibility, not mine.” Even small things — like making their breakfasts, or packing a picnic lunch — I leave to the kids. They mess up a lot, but I know it’s better to forget the mayo on a sandwich they made, than to wait around their whole lives for someone to feed them.
I’d love to hear what you’re doing to empower your kids. How do you “teach them how to fish?”
Thanks for joining in to build assets in your kids! I look forward to seeing you again next month for Positively Speaking.
by Kelly Curtis
Pass the Torch
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