Intentional Parenting for the 21st Century.

21 Sep

MomTime alumna Laura Barr, owner/founder of e.Merging Educational Consulting, led us in a lively discussion of parenting techniques to raise “independent, responsible and creative human beings.”  As a mother of four, Laura has had plenty of practice in teaching her children to care for themselves.  From age o-2.5 we spend our time catering to our children’s needs, but as they approach 3 they can take on many responsibilities themselves.  Laura shared a thought-provoking quote from Gold, spoken by a coach: “You need to step back the minute you want to step forward” – the same can be said for parenthood.

You can download Laura’s handout on this topic here: Parenting_21rst_Century

Laura talked through Tony Wagner’s Seven 21st Century Skills:

  1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving – encouraging your kids to keep thinking.  “What are they building in front of that house, Mama?” – “What do you think it might be?  Look around at the other houses and see if you can figure it out.” – “I think it might be a garage.”
  2. Collaboration and Teamwork – finding solutions that everyone can participate in and agree on. “How can you and your brother share this toy? How long should I set the timer for your turn? How long for your brother’s turn?”  Collaboration applies to everyone from your husband to your kids to your community.
  3. Agility and Adaptability – learning to negotiate a world that is always changing; going with the flow and not getting bogged down when problems arise.
  4. Communication: Oral and Written – encouraging children to use their voice; saying how they feel. “I don’t like it when you push me off the slide, Charlie. Please stop that!” Children’s voices teach them to be advocates for themselves, and builds confidence.  It can also keep them safe, particularly when it comes to body safety – “Only mommy and daddy are allowed to tickle me.”
  5. Curiosity and Imagination – allowing kids to experience boredom so that creativity can spark!
  6. Accessing and Analyzing Information – exposing your kids to appropriate information and helping them process it.
  7. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism – chores, chores, chores!  Allowances teach children how to use their own money (and hopefully budgeting and saving),  which may lead to them taking the initiative to earn more money in other ways – calling their regular babysitting clients to let them know they are taking on more hours, cleaning out grandma’s garage, etc.

Laura explores many more fascinating topics on her blog.  There you can also sign up for her newsletter and find e.Merging’s Facebook page.

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