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The Importance of Spending TIME With Our Kids

Note:  If you are a parent or grandparent reading this, to provide you an incentive to spend some time just sitting down for awhile and enjoying some time together with a child or grandchild, for June and July we are joining with Ethos Bakery and Cafe to provide coupons good for a FREE BEVERAGE AND PASTRY of your choice when you visit their new bakery and cafe on the corner of Keene and Queensgate in Richland. Just mention to them you visited this website.

If I had my child to raise all over again, I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later. I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less. I would do less correcting and more connecting. I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes. I’d take more hikes and fly more kites. I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play. I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars. I’d do more hugging and less tugging.                                           – Diane Loomans

Diane Loomans’ words above beautifully capture the critical importance of simply spending time with our children – lots of time.  Many parents realize this too late in life. Child development experts will tell you that by spending this time with them we are naturally guiding, encouraging and teaching them by our own example. Near 80% of what kids learn is done in this way.  At the same time, our children are learning from us how to build strong, healthy relationships which, in turn, they can use in their own lives and teach to their children.

The more time we parents and caring adults spend with a child, the more we are apt to glimpse the tremendous potential that they possess – a potential we as parents and professionals too often underestimate, hinder, and sometimes even squelch without knowing.  So much of this potential is influenced by the type of parenting practices we use during the daily interaction with our children, and putting aside specific time for them.  This is even more critical for those children currently undergoing stressful times or changes in their lives, or kids considered to be on the margin socially.

Because of studies in the last couple decades, it is now very clear what profound influence our childhood experiences have on our success later in life.  Both our ability to create outer success and our ability to be happy and fulfilled inside are heavily influenced by early childhood circumstances and the type of daily interaction we had with our parents and the adults close to us. That love and caring message we demonstrate to our children is spelled T-I-M-E.  Given what a typical parent and child of today juggles during the day, it has become increasingly difficult for parents to find sufficient time for their kids.  That is why we parents must find ways in which to schedule our week so as to find more one-on-one time for our kids; and also find ways in which to allow our children to spend time with other caring adults that we trust will provide a positive example, whether it be a relative, a church youth group, or organization that specializes in the mentoring of kids.

Please do not fall for the fallacy that spending minimal time with a child is sufficient as long as that time is QUALITY time! For one, quality time can only be judged from our child’s perspective, and we do not have a magic wand to turn time into quality time; so we simply need to spend lots of time…period!

Today there is an overwhelming barrage of negative advertising, news, video games and television. Because of this overwhelming influence it has become absolutely critical that the adults that care for these children not only reduce and filter the negative media as much as practical, but spend a significant amount of time with them in order to counter the negative aspects of this media influence and pass on your cherished values.

As parents and adults of our community that have the responsibility (and, yes, the good fortune) to guide, teach, mentor and encourage our own children and the children of our neighbors, let us work together to help promote parents and caring adults to spend more time with kids.  Let us also work together to ensure that parents and caring adults have easy access to information and programs that result in our children getting the effective parenting and mentoring they need to grow into productive adults, to experience the life they deserve, and pass these positive qualities on to the children in their lives.

Mark Murphy                                                                                                  Executive Director of Mid-Columbia Parenting

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Bledsoe “Parenting with Dignity” 12-hour Workshop

Want to learn how to bring out the full potential in your children, and solve behavioral issues?

Mid-Columbia Parenting is presenting their full 12-hour Bledsoe “Parenting with Dignity” video series in January. This parenting workshop features Mac and Barbara Bledsoe (parents of pro quarterback Drew Bledsoe), and has been featured on the TODAY Show, ABC’s 20/20, CBN, and other national and local radio and television programs.  Scholarly research shows that comprehensive workshops like these, which include role-play (and customized follow-up for each parent if desired), is the format that effectively builds your child and creates happy households.

These workshops cover every aspect of parenting for ages 1-18, and typically include a live Skype session with the Bledsoe’s.  Parents, grandparents, teachers and childcare providers will learn are how to raise children to:

▪   Build a strong self-concept/character
▪   Make the right decisions about behavior
▪   Withstand peer pressure
▪   Overcome today’s culture of sex, drugs, violence and apathy
▪   Become the best they can be, in every aspect of their lives (behaviorally, emotionally, socially, and academically)

As well as obtain the tools to be able to:
▪   Get children to obey without you having to demand obedience
▪   Communicate well with your teenager
▪   Have an effective discipline program and still maintain strong and loving relationships with your children
▪    Have a household free of arguing and conflict

Dates and Location:

Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6:30-8:00 pm starting Tuesday January 14th and ending February 13th at White Bluffs Elementary School in Richland.  Free 45 minute preview of workshop available January 7th at 6:30 PM at same location. Childcare available for age 5 through 5th grade for main workshop.  $40 donation suggested for entire series, and can be paid at workshop.  Register by calling Mark at 845-2092 or send your name and phone# to the info@midcolumbiaparenting.org email address (see link at bottom of this page). Include whether you desire childcare and for what ages.

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