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A PARENTING LECTURE OR NOT?

Acton Academy Mesilla Valley

A PARENTING LECTURE OR NOT?

Laura Sandefer

October 29, 2014

My parenting quandary:

My child is deeply stressed about the deadlines in school.

I’m in the mood to lecture because it’s easy and time efficient.

BUT… I’m an Acton parent and, intellectually, I understand this does not work.

SO… I dig deeper into myself and come up with one of two things:

1) A question phrased with two options for answers knowing this will open up the conversation for me to learn more about his experience;

Or,

2) A story – hopefully one from my childhood that makes me the vulnerable protagonist.

The power of storytelling isn’t just that it is fun.

The power is rooted in the human body’s chemistry.

I like to take this article about storytelling and substitute the words “organization” and “business” with “family.” http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/10/why-your-brain-loves-good-storytelling/?utm_source=Socialflow&utm_medium=Tweet&utm_campaign=Socialflow

Because isn’t Family the human organization needing this kind of transformation the most? I know ours is.

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WHAT IF EVERY CHILD HAD A CHEERLEADER?

Acton Academy Mesilla Valley

WHAT IF EVERY CHILD HAD A CHEERLEADER?

Laura Sandefer

October 10, 2014

I wrote, “Hi, my name is Laura” across the front of my race shirt with a sharpie. It was my first marathon and I was taking all the advice I could get.

The advice was simple: People will cheer you by name and you’ll feel fueled by their energy just when you need it most.

I’ll never forget rounding mile 16 and hearing a stranger yell, “GO Laura! You can do it!” She even looked me right in the eye. Every mile after that someone called my name and cheered me on.

These strangers – my angel cheerleaders – lifted me up and even today bring tears of gratitude as I remember them.

Since then, I’ve wished everyone had a cheerleader.

Imagine if a child – when right when finishing a Khan skill seemed impossible –heard from over her shoulder, “You can do it! Don’t give up!”

Or at the moment she is afraid to choose the challenging book over the comfortable one hears from the sidelines of the bookshelves, “You can read the tough one! I know you! Go for it!”

Or just before stepping up to give a speech with shaking knees she hears a whisper from a friend, “You’ve got this! You’ve done the hard work! I’m with you.”

Even if a cheer takes the form of a knowing wink and two thumbs up, wouldn’t it be wonderful in those moments?

As our Eagles hunker down to tackle their Learning Badges, they may not see high kicks and pom pons, but I believe we do have a cheering squad lurking in the corners of our community. We just don’t recognized it in those terms.

It takes one knowing person at the right time to say, “You are one of the special ones.” “I know you can do this.” “I trust you to work it out.” “You’ve got this.”

These words can come from a friend, a peer, an Eagle buddy, a parent, a mentor, a guide. It is the authentic human connection that counts: I see you. I know you. I care.

These simple things do matter when the road looks brutally long and you want to give up.

But then you don’t.

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