Friendship: Qualities of good friends

word of month character

If you have a good friend, especially one that has been around for a long time, that is a very special feeling and privilege. For some they may have a friend that they had from some of their schooling days – whether it is primary or college days. As the one saying goes “To have a good friend, you must be a good friend.”

So we want our children to develop those sort of friendships that last a long time. In fact it is with those sort of friendships that middle and high school are going to be easier to navigate. It is not about just being popular, it is about healthy relationships between two individuals.

Developing friends and keeping them does not come easily for all children or adults. So what should you do if your child is having trouble making or keeping friends? We will spend some time this month looking at ways we can be a good friend and how others are good friends to us. Continue reading “Friendship: Qualities of good friends”

Self control: yields consequences

word of month character

Every decision or choice we make results in a consequence.  Now that can be a good or a bad consequence.  If our choice results in a good consequence we get rewards, and if our choice that we make results in a bad consequence then the results can vary.  It may be a punishment, or a bad feeling within ourselves or a loss of a privilege.  Just to take the time to examine the possible results will help us many times to make a decision that we will be pleased with in the long run. 

If we choose to work hard in school or at an activity, this will result in us feeling good about ourselves and some form of success in that activity.  We may improve in a skill, better our grades in a class, be chosen to help others.   If we choose to give our time or money to a charity, this will result in our feeling good about being of help and we may see the results of our efforts.  For instance recently I heard of an organization called Shelter Box.  This is a box that is sent to disaster areas like Haiti and in the box is a tent for ten people and all sorts of supplies needed for living including 6 months supply of water purification tablets.  This organization allows you to track the box that you contributed toward so you can follow where it has been sent and is being used. 

If on the other hand we choose to lie to our parents, workmates, spouse or if we choose to cheat or steal in some manner then we will most likely be found out and will suffer some form of punishment.  But lets say for some reason we are not found out and not punished in a public way.  The hurt and damage done to ourselves, the way we feel about ourselves is long lasting.  Every time we make a choice like that we damage our ability to be true to ourselves and others. 

So how do we make good choices and practice self control?  One way is to get into the habit of asking ourselves 3 questions:  (1) Is the choice I make going to work?  (2) Is this a safe solution?  (3) Is this fair to myself and to others?  Then evaluate them as compared to all the options and make a choice – not just doing the first thing that pops into our head!

BLS families take part in the suicide prevention walk

word of month character

Early on Saturday morning we met on Rowe Blvd. Balanced Life Skills had been invited to have a table at the event as it was felt that the type of program that we teach would have a positive impact on the life of those who are a part of our program.  What a privilege! 

I was personally moved as I met so many who had lost loved ones to this tragedy.  So many shared with me their own stories, and as I heard them I am even more convinced that we must take steps to be sure that we learn to recognize the warning signs, what increases the risks, and how we can help.

In addition what can we do to help our children to know how to deal with the stresses that they feel.  When they feel the stress what should they do and they need to feel the confidence to be able to speak to others about their feelings.

Our Balanced Life Skills team so far has raised over $800 for the awareness campaign.  In addition I personally have made a commitment to create some teaching tools for our young students.  I will be enlisting the help of professionals in the community.  I am looking for assistance from anyone in our BLS community who would like to help with this project.  In the meantime enjoy a couple of pictures of the event and some of those who joined on our walk.

Rain Barrel awareness at Leadership AA

word of month character

Yesterday afternoon I had the privilege of sharing a few minutes with Leadership Anne Arundel Flagship class of 2009 at their Environmental Day.  It was being held at Arlington Echo with the wonderful staff there helping out and some great speakers.  One of the artist who has participated in our Rain Barrel event from the very beginning had provided us with a beautiful painted barrel that we auctioned off.
We were able to announce the following:

  • In 2009 we are expanding our program to involve more schools including Rolling Knolls Elementary.

  • Our auction and awareness day will be held at Arlington Echo.

  • All of the proceeds of the auction will benefit Arlington Echo and their education efforts.

One more note on this project.  Recently we were able to assist the Children’s Museum of Washington DC to do some painted barrels that were part of the Green Expo on November 8,9 at the convention center in DC.   They have offered to partner with us on creating barrels in 2009 and we will be working together on bringing this program to Prince George’s County Schools.