Spring is in the air! As summer approaches, schools, sports and commitments come to an end. This is often a time where families reflect on the past year, thinking about skills their children may have gained and setting goals for the summer ahead. At this time, I encourage you to keep in mind contribution and relationships when having these key conversations. Whether attending an IPP in school, or just planning out summer activities, keep in mind the following thoughts:
· What are the life skills and academic skills we are aiming for? Perhaps your child could write letters (or even emails) this summer to an out of town cousin? Could they help budget and pay for summer treats? Could they regularly be in charge of some basic cooking or folding laundry?
· Who is in my child’s life? Who are they friends with? How can we help them further these relationships? Perhaps they can invite people from school over to play at the local park and make a trendy craft (slime is all the rage). Sometimes just playing on the front lawn/driveway can give a child a chance to connect with other neighbourhood children. When in school make sure that an IPP takes into account a focus on relationships too. Who do they play with at recess? Who do they sit beside at lunch?
· How does my child have responsibility and contribution? What are responsibilities they have in our home and in their community? Perhaps your child could empty the dishwasher? Take care of the garden? Could they help mow a neighbour’s lawn? Spend an afternoon cleaning up a park they play at? When in school make sure that children have a chance to contribute to their class and school. How are they giving back?
So often we focus on skill building, and forget what a holistic version of success might look like. The key is to make sure that we keep adding in a focus on relationships and contribution too!
What are some of your ideas?