The Teacher is Talking Tuesday: The Value of the Swingset

By Leslie Lindsay

I don’t know about you, but I have about a million and eight memories on my childhood swingset. Juicy, sticky twin-pops running orange and cheery and grape flavored sugar water down my wrists and puddling in that little space on the other side of my elbow. Of course there was the putting the damn thing together, a project in which I heard my dad curse for the first time, the metal parts lined up a jumble that no man could disentangle.

“Don’t ever say that word,” he cautioned.

“Oh? Okay.” I didn’t even know what gosh-dang-it, or rumpy-pumpy-poo-poo-head meant, but it didn’t sound good. Note to self: don’t put together a swing set lest you’ll spew out words that make no sense.

I recall swinging back and forth on the double-sided glider thing-y and feeling like the whole swing set would pull right out of the ground and topple over because we had two kids and a fat kid on one side and just a skinny pole-like kid on the other. Balance. All things in balance.

Skipping rungs across the monkey bars did not yield me a monkey, but a cripple. Yes, I twisted down, slapped my forearm on the base of the swing set and–bam–broke my arm. These were the days of heavy plaster casts, mind you and it was the summer I was five. No more swimming or sprinkers for me, and certainly not monkey bars. And when the cast came off, my arm was atrophied, extra-white and smelly. Yes, a lovely dead smell wafted from my monkey arm.

But I got some cool signatures and drawings on that cast, most of them from my parents and Cabbage Patch dolls.

When I was little–really little–I taught myself the ABCs while pumping my little cable-knit knee-highs up and down; it was then that I learned lmnop was really one word, one really long and silly word.

Creating a water slide using a hose at the top of the metal and allowing it to rest at the top, the water pouring from the hose down the side of the slide and into the baby pool at the bottom: dumb. The rungs get wet, slick feet do not grip, wedgies ensue. And the ride down: nothing like it was at Wet-Willies.

But here’s the thing: there are a lot of lessons to be learned on the swing set:

  • Life is all about balance
  • And sweet things. Or at least looking for the sweetness as it drips from your blood, sweat, and tears (or, your twinpop)
  • Bad words are bad. They are a disturbing noise to hear from your father’s lips and they are even more disgusting from a child’s.
  • Water makes life delicate. Use with caution.
  • Don’t show off, lest you break a bone and get a smelly arm. And who wants that?!
  • The alphabet is only a series of 26 letters which allows human beings with a properly functioning prefrontal cortex to create an infinite number of words and phrases, stories and songs, and a fantastically satisfying way to express ourselves to the world. And that may be the best lesson of the swing set yet.

That’s it…class dismissed!

[This post inspired by a passage in THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green (2012). See page 124 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fault_in_Our_Stars, swing set image retrieved from www.paradisoagencies.com on 5.27.14]

 

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Apraxia Monday: Kicking off Summer!

By Leslie Lindsay

Happy Memorial Day! So glad you’ve taken the time to stop by.

Couple of house-keeping things:

  • Winners of Apraxia Awareness Week are: Chandra C. won a signed copy of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA, Mario y Nellie H. are the lucky winners of the apraxia mom necklace, Annemarie R. and her family will receive a copy of THE BIG BOOK OF EXCLAMATIONS, and finally, Vanessa S. won the ebook from Playing with Words 365’s Katie Yeh, CCC-SLP and the music CD TALKING TUNES. Apraxia lives were touched from the east coast to Texas. Thank you!!
  • A VERY special thanks to Diane Dynes, PhD CCC-SLP and Kelly Donovan, Katie Yeh, CCC-SLP, Teri K. Peterson, CCC-SLP, and Melissa Belleto for making these give-a-ways possible. They say it takes a village…and it certainly does. A huge amount of gratitude for all of you lovely ladies.
  • If you’re just now joining us here at SPEAKING OF APRAXIA–welcome! Every Monday is “Apraxia Monday,” with tips, stories, reviews, etc. on all things childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Sometimes life gets busy, but I do my very best to get something to you…all followed by “The Teacher is Talking Tuesday” in which we talk education–but not that school’s out–or very nearly–we may be changing up the content slightly. Suggestions are always welcome
  • And now for today’s post. Recently, I was chatting with my dad about how much Kate (my 9yo daughter with resolving apraxia),  has come since her diagnosis in 2008. His response: “I sure hope you are writing these things down…” Uh…kind of wrote an entire book about it! But I digress. Here goes:

The day was hot and sunny. A little redheaded sprite with an abundance of energy had a very clear idea of what she wanted to do; I had others. With little Kelly (then about 18 months) attached to my hip, another arm frantically doing the dishes, Kate walked into the kitchen with an idea in her head. She tugged on the hem of my shirt, “Momma! Fsspft Fsspft!” A giant smile erupted from her face. What was she trying to tell me? I cringed.

She tried again, “Momma! Fsspft Fsspft!” This time she moved her hands up and down over her torso.

I lowered the handle of the faucet, bent down and said, “Kate–honey momma doesn’t know what you’re saying. I’m sorry.”

She sucked in a deep breath and placed her hands on her hip that is oh-so-cute in ToddlerTown, Population 1 and ran off. My heart sank. She had something on her mind and heck if I could figure out what it was.  I felt like sort of a failure of a mom. Kelly gripped my shoulders more tightly, her chubbly little fingers pressing into my flesh. I continued with the dishes.

Kate returned to the kitchen with her swimming suit in hand. “Momma!  Fsspft! Fsspst!”

“Oohhh!  You want to go swimming!?”

Her eyes lit. “Yeah! Fsspft! Fsspft!”

And so we did.

I’m sure you’ve been there. Those moments in which your child desperately wants to tell you something and you  just don’t know what it is…we all have, apraxia or not. But when our children have a disorder that prevents them from talking, well then it’s even more imperative we take the time to listen, honor, and if possible–follow-through on those requests that our little people worked so hard to express.

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As summer–and swimming season–aproaches, there are a few things to keep in mind for your children who may be suffering from apraxia:

  • Make sure your child understands your rules about water. Drowning is the number 1 cause of death for children under the age of 10. If you have a pool at your home–in-ground, above-ground, kiddie blow-up, it doesn’t matter…make sure your child(ren) knows it’s off-limits unless there’s an adult within arms reach.
  • If your child has a word or gesture for swimming like Kate did, make sure you know what it is and share it with others–grandparents, babysitters, daycare providers, and anyone else who may care for your child. It may save their life.
  • That said, water and swimming may actually be beneficial for kids suffering from apraxia. Just as you’ll unlikely 00 (1)observe a quiet playground (when children are present), you probably won’t here a quiet swimming pool packed with kiddos. Kate loved the water and the sounds/words/phrases/word play generated in water play was priceless.
  • However, some kiddos who have apraxia may also have difficulty with sensory processing. They don’t like the feel of water, crowds are overwhelming, so is spalshing, etc. If that’s the case for your little one, but all means, don’t force the issue.
  • Instead, you may consider looking for a less-stimulating way to expose your little one to water by enrolling in a Water Babies class in which you and your child participate together.
  • Swimming lessons are a MUST for any child, apraxia or not. Please inquire about special needs services at the appropriate level–swim coach, instructor office/coordinator, etc. Every child should have access to water safety and swim instuction. The ability to speak shouldn’t hinder one’s access to this basic life skill.

That’s it for now! If you  have any ideas or suggestions on apraxia and water safety, please let us know! Your tips and ideas may be prove to be very helpful for another parent walking your path.

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The Teacher is Talking: Prepping for College with Special Guest Dr. Melissa Deuter

By Leslie Lindsay

Ooh! What fun–I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Melissa Deuter, an expert in emerging adults. In my opinion, this is an often under-represented subset of the population, yet these young adults need just as much direction, love, and care as our younger kiddos.

If you are parenting elementary-junior high kids, please take time to read this article–and dare I say–chat about it at dinner tonight? Get your younger children’s input and consider slipping some of their answers in a time-capsule and then re-evaluating when they are ready to go off to college.

Okay…take it away, Dr. Deuter!

5 Things To Discuss Before Your Teen Heads Off To College

Communication between college students and parents is key. Here are five important things to talk about before your teen leaves home:

 1) The Budget

One of the biggest potential sources of family conflict is the college student budget. Whether you are funding your child’s education, or expecting him to come up with the money himself, your child will need to be on the same page. If your financial assistance will be limited, it’s important to explain what help you can provide and how it will be distributed. Plan to deposit five hundred dollars a month to help out? Say so. Don’t expect your child to intuit your financial plan.

Parents often promise to pay for college in full, but may not define their expectations clearly. Maybe you have been saving since your child was a toddler, but how to you plan to disperse the funds? What if the savings won’t be enough to cover living expenses all four years? Paying for college extends well beyond tuition.

Points to consider:

  •  Who will pay living expenses? Will those be paid directly by parents, or will money be deposited in an account for the student to use to pay bills him/herself?
  •  How will food, transportation, and clothing be paid for?
  •  What about the cell phone?
  •  Will parents pay for health care?
  •  Who will pay for extras?

 2) The Timeline

College isn’t always four years of coursework. Some students extend time in college because their programs last five or more years. Some change majors. Others take it slowly for the first couple of years.

If your plan is to fund college for your child, does your strategy take these things in to account? Is there a time limit to your financial support? How about your patience? Are you prepared to pull the plug if your child is on the seven-year plan? If so, maybe she needs to hear your thoughts ahead of time, so she can find a part time job or pick up the pace.

3) Crisis Situations

Medical or mental health crisis: Record numbers of college students are seeking mental health support according to recently published studies. Common mental health related causes for leaving college include: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, excessive drinking, and drug use. Are there medical or psychiatric issues that might prevent your college student from completing school uninterrupted? If so, under what circumstances might you need to bring him home? Does he know when to ask for your help?

Academic Crisis: Do you have a plan for failing college grades? Most paying parents won’t want to continue writing checks unless kids are producing passing grades. Have you discussed your views with your soon to be college student?

4) Breaks From School

Some parents express frustration when kids arrive back home during college breaks, dump their laundry next to the washing machine, and flop down into bed for the duration of the school break. If your son or daughter is home on break, do you expect him or her to help around the house? Work a summer job? Be up and at ‘em by nine every morning and in bed before midnight? Whatever your expectations, be certain to spell them out before the first academic break begins.

5) Plan B

Recent statistics estimate that almost half of college enrollees drop out before completing a degree. No parent sends a kid to college hoping she’ll drop out, but with estimated dropout rates so high, all parents and new college students should discuss alternative strategies in case college doesn’t work out.

If you choose to discuss this article with your children, here are some great talking points from Dr. Deuter: 

  • Failure to Launch: why young people struggle during the transitional stage?
  • When to begin preparing your child (and yourself) for adulthood
  • When does adulthood truly begin? Hints from brain science and sociology
  • How parents can help vs. enable their struggling teens/young adults
  • Diagnosing mental disorders: bipolar, anxiety disorder, ADHD – and why psychiatry should be diagnosing more people with nothing at all
  • The growing prescription drug problem in the United States
  • Why many psychological problems are born into families, and why no one is to blame
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Bio: Dr. Melissa Deuter is a psychiatrist in San Antonio, TX who specializes in the care of emerging adults. www.MelissaDeuter.com; @MStenDeut. Recent reports place the U.S. college drop-out rate at 46 percent—just one of the many issues that send parents flocking to the offices of Dr. Melissa Deuter, looking for a solution to their teen’s “failure to launch.” Dr. Deuter currently holds an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) and is the course director for the resident training seminar on Eating Disorders. In previous years, she directed the course on Sexuality and Sexual Development. She is the former President of the Bexar County Psychiatric Society and a current member of the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians Ethics Council and the South Texas Psychiatric Physicians Research Network’s Executive Committee. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas and attended medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She completed psychiatry residency at UTHSCSA and served as Chief Resident in 2004. She has been recognized as a San Antonio’s “Top Doctor” and a “Best of” doctor, a Texas Super Doctor’s “Rising Star,” and has received the American Registry “Patient’s Choice Award.”

[college studnet image retrieved from www.theprospect.net on 5.20.14. M.D. image retrieved from plus.google.com on 5.20.14]

Apraxia Awareness Day 2014 Friday Give-a-Way

By Leslie Lindsay Apraxia-Awareness-Day-FB-Graphic-1

It’s FRIDAY and that’s another great reason to celebrate this weeklong Apraxia Awareness Event!

I’ve got two really great products to pass on:

1) Diane Dynes, CCC-SLP and Kelly Donovan have teamed up to put some new tunes into your hands with TALKING TUNES!  With fun children’s music for langauge development and speech therapy, this CD is sure to be engaging and effect as another tool in  your apraxia toolkit. JUST RELEASED this spring! See our recent “Apraxia Monday” interviewTalking Tunes Promo Card

2) Katie Yeh, CCC-SLP and MOMx3 has a fan-tabulous website/blog that you may already be following, Playing with Words 365 (http://www.playingwithwords365.com/) but what you may not know is she has a brand-new e-book filled with early childhood speech & language development tips, skills, ideas, etc. titled HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD TALK: The eBook (http://www.playingwithwords365.com/2014/04/how-to-help-your-child-talk-the-ebook/)How to Help Your Child Talk eBook Cover 3D

One lucky winner will receive BOTH items. Here’s what ya gotta do:

1) Leave a comment on this blog or the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook page letting us know your interest.

2) Wait.

3) One name will be selected at random on Wednesday, May 21st to recieve both the CD and the ebook. We’re calling it #MediaFriday.

4) You’ll be contacted via FB and/or email if you are the winner. Kindly check spam/junk/other on Wedensday, May 21st after 5pm CST and respond promptly with a mailing address (for the CD). Your  ebook will be emailed to you.

5) GOOD LUCK!! cropped-9781606130612.jpg

Apraxia Awareness Day: Handmade Love Stories Jewelry Giveaway!!

By Leslie Lindsay Apraxia-Awareness-Day-FB-Graphic-1

Back by popular demand!!! The lovely Melissa of Handmade Love Stories will be stampin’ up a piece just for YOU!

So all of you moms/Grandmas/aunts/SLPs/teachers out there who have been touched by a child with CAS, let me know you want one by posting a comment on today’s blog, on the SPEAKING OF APRAXIA Facebook page, or my emailing me directly at leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com.

Drawing held next Wednesday, May 21st by 5pm CST. You will be contacted via email if you are the winner; kindly check junk/spam folders and respond promptly with a mailing address.

 

GOOD LUCK!!

 

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The Teacher is Talking: THE BIG BOOK OF EXCLAMATIONS by Teri K. Peterson, CCC-SLP

By Leslie Lindsay Apraxia-Awareness-Day-FB-Graphic-1

It was 2009 when I bumped into Teri K. Peterson, CCC-SLP–literally. I was tired, overwhelmed, and worried. “Oh, excuse me!” I exclaimed as I brushed off my mistake, a bloom of warmth rising up my face.

“No problem!” she quipped. With just those two words, I pegged her as being from Minnesota. No, no don’t get me wrong…I’m not stereotyping. Okay, maybe a little. You see, my hubby and I lived in Minnesota for just over five years before relocating to the western Chicago suburbs. Our daughters, Kate and Kelly were born just outside of the Twin Cities, in a small bucolic college town called Northfield.

But I digress. As a mother who was keenly aware of words–of lack thereof–I heard everything related to speech: accents, prosody, stress, rate, and so forth. Our first born wasn’t speaking much. In fact, it makes sense that I bumped into Ms. Peterson at the 2009 CASANA conference held in Chicagoland. She was setting up a booth of this very book, THE BIG BOOK OF EXCLAMATIONS–the one I am giving away to a lucky winner today!! Product Details

Being a book lover, I was immediately smitten with this book. Neverminding the fact that Ms. Peterson and I were connected by books, Minnesota, and apraxia…I snatched a copy, slipped her my card, and we’ve been in close contact since. Not only that, but I am proud to share that my daughter’s apraxia is nearly nonexistent.

Did this book help? Well, to borrow a Minnesota phrase, “You betcha!”

To quote from Amazon:

The Big Book of Exclamations is an educational book written by a speech pathologist and designed to promote speech sound development and imitation of gestures, sounds and words. Unlike most books, it doesn’t have a story to read. Instead, along the bottom of each page there are prompts which teach parents/caregivers how to act out the illustrations and interact using gestures, sounds, words, or phrases depending on their child’s ability. The book shows parents how to modify what they say about each illustration in order to maximize their child’s communication potential. It is also filled with information which helps parents understand speech language development and it lists resources for those seeking advice. A wonderful book for young children with typical speech development and those considered “late talkers”. It makes a perfect gift for new parents, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.”8be2d-giveawayfinalbanner

You’re in LUCK!!  Ms. Peterson has generously offered a complimentary copy for a blog reader THIS WEEK! Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share this link (copy and paste) via social media of your choice (Twitter, FB, an on-line group, Pinterest, even old-school email).
  • Send me an email at leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com with the subject line, “I Shared!” You’ll be entered to win. (your email won’t be used for anything else, promise)
  • A drawing will be held next Tuesday, May 2oth by 5pm CST.
  • If you’re the winner, you’ll be contacted via email, so be sure to check your “junk.” : )
  • The book will be mailed from Minnesota, courtesy Teri Peterson. [book cover image retrieved from amazon.com on 5.12.14]

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ApRaXiA mOnDaY: Guest Post Speech-Pathologist Gretchen Myers Shares CAS Success!!

By Leslie LindsayApraxia-Awareness-Day-FB-Graphic-1

HAPPY BETTER HEARING & SPEECH MONTH 2014!  We’re celebrating the whole week, May 12-16th here at Speaking of Apraxia with some really great blogs, guest writers, give-a-ways, and more. Today, we are graced with a smashing success story from Pittsburg-based speech-language pathologist Gretchen Myers, CCC-SLP.

Welcome, Gretchen!

“Let me begin by saying that I thankfully stumbled onto www.speakingofapraxia.com as I was researching ways for my practice to promote Apraxia Awareness Day on May 14th. What a great resource for parents and professionals! I feel fortunate to have been given this opportunity to contribute to Leslie’s extraordinary website, and thought to myself……“What a better way to highlight Apraxia Awareness Day!!!” May also happens to be Better Hearing & Speech Month. So I appreciate the opportunity to share a success story!

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a complex, dynamic, and interesting (from an SLP perspective) disorder. It is also of fairly low incidence, which is one of the reasons I find CAS so interesting. I learned very early in my career that many children with CAS are very social and often have a lot to say, yet, have a hard time “getting it out” (motor-planning!!!). Many of these children are all too aware that communication is challenging and that others have difficulty understanding them. As a parent, I have some understanding of how frustrating and heartbreaking this can be when the realization of CAS begins. I can see it on families’ faces……….

Miss Leah B. (see her beautiful face alongside mine) is one of my patients, and she has apraxia. I had the pleasure of meeting Leah when she was a new 4-year-old. I have been able to work with her for the past two years and witness her Gretchen Myers CCC-SLPtremendous communication growth. She has improved by leaps and bounds to say the least and has far exceeded my expectations. When first meeting Leah, it was clear that she was bright and had a lot to say, yet, she was sooooo quiet! She was in her first year of preschool, very hesitant to speak, and much too aware that others could not understand her. You could see the disappointment in her face when her listener did not understand, as if she wanted to say “That’s not what I said; I wish you would just understand me!!!” Her communication difficulties were impacting her social skills and confidence. It was heartbreaking, though an awesome challenge for an SLP like myself!

After working with Leah for a short time, I realized that CAS was a reality for her. Her parents were concerned of course, but filled with questions, relieved to have answers, and motivated to begin their CAS journey. Leah receives school-based speech therapy and is in an awesome, supportive preschool environment. Above all, Leah works extremely hard in speech therapy and attends her sessions consistently (frequency and consistency is key!). Now at 6-years-old, thanks to her hard work and supports around her, it has paid off just in time for kindergarten, I might add. Yes, there are still obstacles and challenges, but she is more confident and talkative. She is able to be understood by friends, family, and others, and she knows it!

So as heart-wrenching and difficult as CAS can be for a child and their family, my message is……”It does improve!” Get a positive, supportive team around your child and get them to therapy. I have seen the progress first-hand and tell families often “Hang in there and keep up the hard work; It really does get better!”

Though children with CAS have very specific speech characteristics, each child with this disorder is unique. I prefer an eclectic motor-planning based approach to treatment so that I can have professional flexibility with an individual child. Some approaches/programs I like just to name a few:

Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol (popular, well-known, and very effective for a range of ages; love the big, colorful targets for younger kids too)

Speech EZ for Apraxia hand cues (easy and clear even for younger ages; kids often start cueing themselves!)

Easy Does It for Apraxia for vowel practice (I like the big arm movements.)

-lots and lots of movement while speaking! (bouncing on ball, trampoline, drumming, stomping, etc.)

JUST KEEP TALKING!!!

Bio: Gretchen Myers, CCC-MSLP, has been an SLP for 13 years in private practice, schools, homes, and rehab settings. She co-owns a private practice, Center4Speech, with her husband, who is also an SLP. She is the mother of two busy little girls, ages 2 and 5, and lives north of Pittsburgh, PA. Gretchen specializes in treating speech and language disorders in ages 0-5 and has extensive diagnostic experience. She also has a special interest in childhood apraxia of speech.

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Apraxia Smiles….and Thanks YOU!

By Leslie Lindsay

Happy Mother’s Day! Your love, patience, dedication, and committment to a child with apraxia is felt. Thank you for all you do today and everyday.

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“A mother’s heart is a patchwork of love.” — Author Unknown

“Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do.” ~Author Unknown.

“A Mother’s Prayer”

Lord give me patience for little ones.
A gentle heart and words so kind,
so when each child is grown and thinks of home,
a loving place will come to mind.

Author: Unknown

Check out these kind kiddos and what they did for their friend with apraxia. Heartwarming! http://themighty.com/2014/05/40-boys-put-on-suits-to-stand-up-for-their-friend-it-worked/

Coming up THIS WEEK, May 12-16th: Daily Give-a-ways of books, music, and jewelry all related to apraxia, including one copy of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA and an inspiring post from Gretchen Myers, CCC-SLP of apraxia success tomorrow!! Mother's Day[image above retrieved from http://www.latintimes.com/mothers-day-quotes-50-inspirational-sayings-about-motherhood-171758 on 5.10.14]

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The Teacher is Talking: Who’s Your Giant with Book Give-a-Way

By Leslie Lindsay Product Details

I have a special guest with us today–Clark Burbidge, author of the Mom’s Choice Award recipient GIANTS IN THE LAND.

We all have “giants” in our lives–parents, mentors, teachers, coaches, religious leaders, and employers–these folks profoundly change and uplift us…but do we acknowledge them like we should? And what about the giant we all have within ourselves?

Perhaps the overarching question is how can we give back? What does volunteer work teach the young, and the young-at-heart?

Oh…and I have a FREE hardcover book, (Book 1: The Way of Things” Giants in the LandI’ll be giving away to a lucky reader. Leave a comment on the blog and a name will be selected at random by the end of May 2014. Good luck! 8be2d-giveawayfinalbanner

Here’s Clark in his own words:

Learning to Give Back: Children and Service (Volunteering)
Clark Burbidge, author of Giants in the Land Trilogy, giantsinthelandbook.com

A lesson often overlooked in the growth of a child is the need to volunteer to help others or give back to the community. While sharing is usually stressed at school and in the home, we can overlook talking about the value of a child sharing their time and contributing work to make something or someone’s life better. This can teach a child to pay closer attention to the world around them and consider others more deeply. It can also help them learn to work in groups and follow rules given to complete a task. Most of all it teaches a child the value of placing others’ needs before their own.

Here are a few tips to help inspire your child to volunteer and become a role-model in your community:

1) Give them choices

Allowing your child to choose the type of service helps them take title and responsibility for their decisions and follow through. There are opportunities at food banks, animal shelters, schools and with neighbors. Having choices, and counselling with them as they make the final decision will empower your child from the very start.

2) Start out with something fun

Make sure that the opportunities you pick have an element of fun, so that your child can learn to love serving others and work up to the more difficult jobs. Working at an animal shelter by playing with the pets or taking the animals for a walk or helping an elderly neighbor with simple chores are examples of starting with something manageable and fun.

3) Serve side-by-side

Have you ever noticed it’s easier to get your child to do something if you offer to work together? Make sure that they’re not doing this alone. Support your child by volunteering with them and doing the same work that they do. A friendly presence and positive words will help the first few times volunteering fly by for your child. Long after they have forgotten the nature of the service they will remember that you did it with them. If you can’t volunteer with them, have your child volunteer with a friend. Having a parent or friend as a role model for their actions will inspire your child to work harder and continue to return.

4) Emphasize the benefits

Talk about the benefits of volunteering. Make sure that your child knows why they’re doing what they’re doing and the difference it will make for those served. Show them who their work is helping and talk about what their life would be like without the volunteer work. Help them to understand the difference between self-benefits which will surely be present and the benefits that others receive from the service. This perspective will bring a better understanding of compassion in a world that sometimes only talks about passion. Compassion is a much more powerful and uplifting characteristic and worthy of effort to develop.

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And remember, if you’re interested in a receiving a complimentary hardbound copy of book #1 in THE GIANTS IN THE LAND trilogy, kindly leave a comment on the blog. A name will be selected at random by May 31, 2014. Good luck!

About the Author
Clark Burbidge received an MBA degree from the University of Southern California Clark+Burbidge+Photoand a BS degree in finance from the University of Utah. His career spans 34 years in banking, project finance, investment banking, and more recently as a Chief Financial Officer. He has been actively involved in community and church service, including lay youth and adult ministry, for over 38 years. His first book, Life on the Narrow Path: A Mountain Biker’s Guide to Spiritual Growth in Troubled Times was released nationally in 2011. His works A Piece of Silver: A Story of Christ (2012) and the Giants in the Land (2012 & 2013) Young Adult Fiction trilogy Books One and Two have been recognized with several international awards including Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Medals as the top books in the world in their categories. Learn more about Clark at his websites: http://www.giantsinthelandbook.com and http://www.apieceofsilver.com. [cover image retrieved from Amazon.com on 5.6.14]