I received an email yesterday from our school asking if any parent wanted to attend a free conference whereby parents, students, policy makers, and educators will convene for a one day discussion on various topics: relationship between teacher and student, the textbook of the future, role of school councils and more. I am excited to hear what is being said. I am not a supporter of our current education system. I believe the one party missing in this equation are employers. For it is the employers that really know what their needs are for the next decade of two. Then education needs to tailor itself around this.

One thing I will bring up is more project work, team-work and life skills training. There is so much value for the children for their life and for our world.

These past two weeks I have seen two kids really shine. One is Dara from the Junior Masterchef competition and second my son.

First Dara. Last week she was paired with the youngest child in the competition, Sarah (I believe her name is – she is adorable!). I don’t know Dara’s thoughts working with the youngest however Sarah said that don’t underestimate her for she is a force to be reckoned with. And sure enough the two of them worked so well together as team mates to produce their version of the beef wellington (which by the way is not easy to make!). Even when Sara dropped the tray with the beef on it Dara just supported her team mate. In fact all the teams worked well together.

What I want Dara and Sarah and all the competitors to know is that these life skills that they are learning today can be carried throughout their life and applied to everything: teamwork, feedback, communication (not just words but body language and tone), being creative and thinking outside the box, collaboration — all of this can lead to a new world; a better world where we move away from the ME attitude and work towards the WE attitude.

As for my son. He is a 13 3/4 years and he plays football for the Markham Raiders. The fall season has seen only 15-18 kids commit due to school and school football teams. The other week the boys showed up to play and they only had 15 players while the other team had 38. This team thought that they would crush our team. Well that was not the case. In fact, until 4 seconds before the end our team was winning and unfortunately due to exhaustion the other team took the ball and got a touchdown and then a 2 point conversion to tie the game 28 all. The boys were surely disappointed however the coach was so proud of the boys. This is the letter he sent around to the players and their parents:

“I only have one word for the Oshawa game PRIDE. I had asked the boys before the game to play with heart and that is what they did.
Everyone was commenting on the game, and said that it was the most exciting game they had seen.
With the shortest bench we have had this year our boys dominated the game. The Oshawa team thought that they would have a cake walk with our few numbers but as we saw it wasn’t.
Our boys did not quit on each other and that is the true definition of TEAM work.
I have a quote that I think describes our boys perfectly.
“Football is the truest team sport. A brotherhood united on the field by one goal- To play together for each other.”
I truly believe that the rest of the season is going to be just as exciting and enjoyable to watch as this game was.”

Yours in Football
Coach Steve

I told my son that while he didn’t win the game what he gained in insight and experience from this far outweighs the outcome. Again team work, supporting and having your back for your team mate, perseverance, tenacity and never giving up.

I believe it is these younger kids who are really going to shake things up, say NO when needed and begin to make changes for our world. My purpose and work today is to work with the older millennial and give them the tools and knowledge so they too can remember what this freedom and creative outlet feels like. Our education system and life often deflates this and we become so rigid.

As parents our role is to guide and support and yes we do so from our own experiences. If your child has a dream don’t squash it, encourage it for you don’t know what part of that can be used in their life choices. Maybe their dream is so outrageous that you don’t want them disappointed. Who are we to tell our children they cannot do something. Let their journey unfold as it is meant to and when they fail be there to pick them up and learn from it.

When I was 14 years old I was an au pair in France for a summer. My French was minimal, I had no experience with children and the mother was so rigid that I really didn’t like her. I was used to a more liberal, free life. This experience was life altering for me for I stuck it out even though I wanted to quit. My grandfather offered to fly me to Paris and meet me and I said no because I have a responsibility. The only thing I would do different today is to speak my truth and to tell the mother that her tone is not appropriate and that she cannot speak to me that way. I didn’t know better. I am grateful for learning another language, to be accountable and responsible to my choices, and I made friends and got to shop.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend. This weekend see where you can encourage your children for something that is important to them. Don’t lie however support and encourage. I sat in a session this week where one mother said she has learned to hold back her opinion at times with her daughter and because of that he daughter shares so much more with her and they have a better relationship.

It is of course up to you.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

p.s. I am very proud of my new book. Check it out. It is a resource book to help you the parent guide and teach your children about life skills and for the youth to learn and embrace! Click on home and you will find it.

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