Tuesday, September 7, 2010

150 Ways to Show Kids You Care

I have yet to mention one of my passions...kids. I used to enjoy working with youth when I was a Police Officer and seemed to be able to connect with them. I took a course through the "Search Institute" in Minneapolis, MN, USA a few years ago. It was all about being positive "roll models" for kids. Basically it involves everyone! From parents to teachers to professionals. It is a mindset, but something many of us do naturally every day. I thought it would be important to share some of what I learned.
I have a list of 150 ways to show kids you care...the Search Institute did  a study several years ago. It studied youth, from babies to young adults. They found very strong evidence that positive roll models in a child's life, make the difference in a person's life. They found that even the under privileged children benefited  from positive influences in their childhood. Their socio-economic status does not completely influence and shape their future potential!

Think about it! Think of someone who you looked up to or made a difference in your life as a child! What was it they did? I think you will find that it was nothing more than acknowledgement that you existed and took extra time with you to teach you and gave you special attention that you weren't getting from most others. People in positions of power (teachers, parents, grandparents and professionals) are in a position to influence the youth more than anyone else.

Think again about things that influenced you in a negative way in your childhood...lots to choose from, I know. We really need to be careful what we say to a child. We can dash their dreams in a matter of seconds!

What I am trying to demonstrate is that it matters what we say to children. Even just a smile to a child...make it known to a child that you notice them, acknowledge them. Its so amazing the difference you can make!

Don't know about you, but this didn't sound like "rocket science" to me...but...we all know that there are kids out there that don't have the benefit of supportive parents and teachers. They "get lost" in the numbers of kids in our public schools. There are plenty of great teachers and mentors out there doing an awesome job...we just need more! Just becoming aware of how important it is makes a difference.

Together we can change things for the better...so...

I am going to list 5 of these "ways" on each posting, and eventually would like to share some
success stories with you from what I have learned and others have experienced.

#1 (seems easy) Notice them.
#2 Smile a lot.
#3 Acknowledge them.
#4 Learn their names.
#5 Seek them out.

Even if you pick one kid today and do one of these 5 things...you have made a difference in that child's life!
It's that simple! Easy!

The good this does, trickles down into our society. The more others see you do this...the more inclined they become to follow suit! If it becomes "the norm" to act and say positive things...it make us better people too!

The great thing about all of this...YOU feel good too!

Works in progress;

Here is one of the big oil paintings I'm working on...as it progresses.
24" x 48" Oil on Hardboard
I sold 2 ACEO'S on Ebay last week!

Spirit Horse - Watercolour

Grazing - Watercolour

I am currently doing some research on one of my favorite Classic Artists, Michelangelo, and will be providing what I learn on my blog with links to my references, so keep an eye out for that if your interested in one of the greatest master painters of all time!