Kids learn and practice skills that will serve them for life

Our two features this month really work well together. One, by Lynn Nichols, is about 5 ways your kids can learn to get along with other kids; call it diplomacy. The other, by Kim Sharpe, is about fostering creativity through exploring outdoors on their own. Letting kids just play together is the perfect laboratory for them to experiment with how to get along with others. 

When we kick kids outdoors and say, “play,” a whole process occurs. They might be bored. They have to figure out what to do together. They have to come up with a plan. Or maybe they just decide to wander around and see what pops up. And then they have to decide what to engage and what to pass on. And as they make, or choose not to make, all these decisions, they’re communicating…they’re practicing all the skills of diplomacy, as Lynn points out: respect, tolerance, empathy, communication, humility, politeness and tact. 

Not to go on and on, but if you’re sitting at home in front of a screen, none of that really happens too much. You have to get outside and practice those diplomacy skills…and have fun! 

We have some other great suggestions for how to have some fun together this year starting with our extensive calendar of events and programs. So much is happening around the area that you’re sure to find something to interest you and your clan. Next, check out Katie Harris’ story about pools and swim beaches in the area. Maybe you want to find one near you. Maybe you want to go to a different place each week. Go explore and have fun. Turn the kids loose to splish-splash their afternoon away!

And as long as we’re talking about water, how about sailing? Kim Sharpe fills us in on the local opportunities to try out capturing the breeze, such as where to get good instruction and contacts for local sailing clubs. She also makes a case for what sailing teaches kids, as Gibb Charles says in the story: self-reliance, teamwork, perseverance, focus and a respect for the power of nature. 

So plan some time for the summer to get out, explore and try something new. And find a way to turn the kids loose for little while anyway, here and there. They can practice those diplomatic skills you’ll be helping them with after you read that story.

I’ve noticed that we live more in a debate culture than a dialog culture and that has contributed to the difficulty we sometimes have in listening to each other and trying to understand where another person or group might be coming from.

So let’s give our kids some practice at dialog and maybe the debate culture will not be so prevalent. I think we’ll accomplish more and have more fun!

Thanks for reading,