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*** Monthly Feature Column ***
Building Assets in your Kids
August – Stopping at Lemonade Stands
by Kelly Curtis.
We’ve all seen them.
A mob of Kool-aid-mustached children perched around a card table at the end of a driveway. Sticky cookies melting into the plastic wrap. Overly-eager, pint-sized salespeople urging you to purchase their treats. A finger-painted sign that proudly proclaims, “Lemonade – 25 cents.”
We’ve also passed them by. We may have said, “Isn’t that cute?” But we’re in such a rush…
Search Institute has identified “Community cherishes and values young children” as one of the 40 Developmental Assets, which means research shows it’s a characteristic of healthy, caring, resilient kids. The more assets youth have, the more likely they’ll resist risky behaviors in the future. Search defines community cherishes and values young children, as : “Children are welcomed and included throughout community life.”
The book, Stopping at Every Lemonade Stand : How to Create a Culture That Cares for Kids, is a compilation of inspiring tales that teach us how to create a kid-friendly culture in our communities. As the title suggests, supporting a child’s entrepreneurial endeavors is one way to do this.
Last month, my daughter and her good friend planned a lemonade stand during our town’s summer celebration. They were both abuzz with emails and phone calls, planning lists and organizing logistics. Although the stand never materialized (the Boy Scouts had dibs on the parade route), their plan morphed into making treats for the firefighters.
Witnessing their enthusiasm made me realize how important it is to support young people who make these kinds of efforts. Although multiple commitments do tax our busy schedules, it only takes a minute – and a quarter – to stop and chat with junior community members. And it does make a difference.
In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re approaching the end of summer. Children will soon be back in school. I’m committing myself to stop at every lemonade stand I pass, until school starts. This may mean only a stop or two. It may mean I wear out my brakes.
What will you commit to do?
Thanks for joining in to build assets in your kids! I look forward to seeing you again next month for Positively Speaking.
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