Welcome to Part II of II. Last week, in Part I of my short collaborative series on Raising Self Reliant Youth, you read about Challice where she shared about sodbusting the next generation and her vision for how she would like to see her family but shares her reality instead.
You also read about Pastor Dennit Goodwin Jr., that shared about how we should nurture our resources to meet the needs of tomorrow and shared a lesson on doing.
Lastly, Cheryl, a local mom to my area, shared how service creates responsibility but produces great rewards.
This week and to conclude this short collaborative series on Raising Self Reliant Youth, three women will share their stories. Be sure to come back and share this two-part collection. Thank you!!
Tools for Life
"We have two boys—a four-year-old and a two-year-old. They are energetic & curious children who have a daily hunger for knowledge and experience…in fact, sometimes the hunger is so strong that I find myself running to keep up with their desire to try new things, acquire new skills, and grasp the adventure of life with both hands.
It was evident from the beginning that they were both going to learn and experiment whether we were along for the ride or not (just ask about the time our then-three-year-old decided to test what would happen if he used a plastic hammer on our family iPad). As a result, one of the ways our family has decided to embrace our boys’ curiosity is to nourish it through teaching the proper context and usage for “big” tools. We no longer snatch away knives at restaurants or bring out the plastic toy tools when they want to mimic daddy in the garage—nope, we’ve started to instruct both boys on the proper ways, times, and places to use the real deal. My four-year-old has a small block of wood into which he practices hammering real nails with a small, lightweight (but real) hammer. And my two-year-old participates in the kitchen frequently, using a butter knife to help me cut butter, spread jelly, or prepare his morning waffle. The key for us has really been teaching appropriate context (never use these tools alone, and always use them in their proper areas) and usage. Teaching and supervising proper safety measures has also been a huge part of allowing them use “big people” tools.
By introducing the appropriate ways to wield and use real tools at a young age, our hope is that we are able to raise our children with a respect for how to use and care for things that are more dangerous in “bigger” versions. We also hope to empower our kids to know that they can use the same sorts of tools that we do and accomplish the same results—they just have to start small. They need to be patient with the process of learning and growth. And it’s been worth it. Their confidence has soared since we’ve started giving them opportunities to use real tools in a proper context. They are frequently excited to help and participate. And if we’re lucky, it will be just the beginning of many empowering experiences in which they recognize just how capable they are. In fact…maybe someday they’ll be able to pass along that lesson to their children as well."
Stacia Guzzo is a work-from-home entrepreneur, a joyful mama of two, & a wife to her best friend. Her business, Handcrafted Honey Bee, creates customizable DIY skin care kits that are sold all over the country. She resides in Tehachapi, California with her family and two dogs, two cats, thirteen chickens, two beehives, and a growing garden.
Inspire for Purpose
"Resilience, another term for self-reliance, is about putting your aspirations and dreams into action every time and all the time, even when you don’t know the how, what, who, where, or when. I understood the concept of resilience at any early age because often times I was told no, when others were told yes, I was given the least and often times did not have the tools I needed to succeed. I was often chosen last or not at all when trying to make my life better. I realized that resilience made me a stronger, tougher and wiser person thus propelling me to achieve my life’s purpose.
My parents always told me that dreams should never be dreams long; at some point they must become reality. If not, then you live a life unfilled and devoid of your purpose. They were always engaged and interested in what I was doing. They spoke positive words into my life and made me believe I was important, wanted and could achieve anything I wanted in life.
My action words that get me moving are Go*Be*Do. Without these words, I would not have been blessed to assist others. It keeps me pressing toward the higher goal, the end game and to be that winner that I was meant to be. I did this by giving back to the community by feeding, clothing, employing the homeless, empowering and motivating those in search of their purpose along with donating funds to help better the life of others. I have been able to touch lives, shift negative mindsets and change the world one person at a time. You can and you will too if only you continue inspiring others for their life’s purpose."
Empowered to Inspire, Minister Ceandra Baker has had a lifelong dream of motivating and inspiring people to find out what their purpose is and to put it into action, thus coining the name, "The Actionist."
She is the Founder of Inspire for Purpose and CFO and Executive Director, of Extended Hands Worldwide Ministries, a charitable organization. Graduating magna cum laude she earned a B.S. in Psychology and an M.B.A. in Project Management from Columbia Southern University.
Self-Reliance in Action
“Fostering independence in my boys and raising them as self-reliant children is very important to me. We do this through using Montessori-inspired techniques to teach practical life skills, encouraging them to do things themselves when they are able to and to try tasks themselves before asking for help, and I do this through providing my children with opportunities to serve others. I've seen with my own eyes that even a toddler can serve and how transformative service can be.
Raising self-reliant children is something I think most parents seek to do. Making service part of our children's lives improves their sense of self, their confidence and their independence. It makes them superheroes and magicians. It helps them understand that courage and consideration go hand in hand.
Wild Thing is studying community helpers at school. The school also recently made small collection boxes available to students to collect Pennies for Patients for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. On a bike ride to the park the other night, we grabbed the box and put it in the wagon with us (boys on bikes and scooters, me pulling the wagon with a few toys). Halfway to the park, we saw people for the first time during our walk. Wild Thing jumped off of his bicycle, grabbed the collection box and ran right up to them and asked for help. He did this throughout our walk to the park and back home. After about an hour, when we arrived back home, we added up our funds and had $17!! I was so proud of him, and he was so proud of himself. He realized that he didn't have to wait until he was a grown up to be a community helper, he could be one now. He can use his own skills and abilities to help others.”
Jennifer Fischer is a mom of two, as well as an independent filmmaker who has taught filmmaking to youth, most notably with Spotlight On Hope Film Camp, a free camp for Pediatric Cancer patients. Her company, Think Ten Media Group, is also embarking on a dramatic series to highlight mass incarceration in the U.S. She has written about her experiences with her sons, Wild Thing (5) and Caterpillar (3), at The Good LongRoad and Multicultural Kid Blogs, with an emphasis on mindfulness, imagination, and kid lit.
If you feel so inclined and want to feel part of something empowering, watch Jennifer and Ramon's docudrama on The wHole - an internet series, you can support by way of sharing and/or donating to their campaign here through April 21st, 2015.
Choose, eat, and live well! =)
In case you missed it, please read Part I of Raising Self Reliant Youth (it published on 4/6 at 6:30 a.m. PST).
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