Raising Socially Conscious Kids continued…
- Supported their attempts in making a difference.
I love seeing a child busking at a market and impromptu lemonade stalls set up on a footpath. When my own kids would come up with an idea it was always tempting to help them out a bit too much and eventually their passion fizzled because I had unintentionally trampled on their project. When we lived in Cambodia my then 11 year old daughter started making ‘perfumes’ out of leaves and flowers with her friend on a visit back to Adelaide. They wanted the money to help Cambodian children.
They named their project Three Jars Full and ended up baking biscuits to sell in bags with ribbons and the money they raised was used to buy educational toys and eventually a cow for a poor family in our village. In hindsight I wished I had been more aware that my daughter was really excited about making the biscuits and selling them and it was my own suggestion that she came along to distribute the gifts to the toyless playgroups in remote villages. There really was no need for us to be there and I now try to be more aware of letting my child lead with where the idea goes instead of suggesting something that is my own agenda.
- Silenced the Tall Poppy voice in my head and allowed my kids to shine.
I was recently at a Sustainability Day for primary school children and was blown away by how passionate these kids were about the environment. They had so much practical knowledge about how to look after our planet. Thankfully there was an event for them to participate in and be surrounded by like minded children. Unfortunately there are not enough of these opportunities for our children to shine and it’s important for us as parents to facilitate a way for our kids to have a platform to voice their passions.
My friends probably don’t realise that every time I share something positive that my kids are doing I still have to go through a process of silencing that voice in my head that tells me that I’ll just be seen as someone who is trying to get attention or someone who is bragging about her kids. In the same way that I try to be aware of doubt, mother’s guilt and a long list of other self destructive thought patterns that are so deeply ingrained, I really want to make sure that I don’t stifle my children’s message because of my own fear of causing a fuss.
…I really want to make sure that I don’t stifle my children’s message because of my own fear of causing a fuss.
- Created a platform through social media
As much as I curse screens for infiltrating every part of our lives I am very quick to acknowledge that so much good can come from them if used wisely. Out of my four kids it’s my youngest who is the most passionate about using Facebook as her platform for social change. She is so motivated to see justice for people seeking asylum in Australia and is constantly coming up with ways to spread the word and raise support for them. If she stays on this trajectory I know that she will be able to do so much more once she is old enough to have her own account and will leave me in the dust with her desire to change our government’s cruel laws.
Sugandha Chapman is the founder of My Organic Child – a hub for organic style, natural parenting and conscious living for modern mums. Her writing has been featured at The Huffington Post, Do You Yoga and Beautiful Coach Magazine.