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I just finished a must read book, “The World Needs Your Kid.” How to raise children who care and contribute. You may of heard of Marc & Craig Keilburger the two young men from Ottawa. They have become famous for their work with millions of youth who are helping children from all over the world.

Their parents were their finest teachers teaching them social skills when they were little children. The three C’s Compassion/Courage/Caring can be part and parcel of our daily lives. Children live what they learn from their home environment from a very young age.

Babies need to loved to be cuddled/kissed by both parents to become caring children. During the Second World War many English abandoned children living in orphanages died when they were denied love and affection by the staff.

Every child can be taught to become positive members of their families who want to make a difference. It takes time/effort for parents to teach their children. Too often many dads are absent from home busy with yet another meeting. Please remember that making a life is not the same as making a living.

You can start very early teaching your children to be part of your family. Children at the age of two can be taught to put away their toys after they have played with them. Helping dad/mom to put away the pajamas and tiding up their bedroom. Children of three-four can help set the table with napkins and unbreakable breakfast dishes.

Please remember to appreciate their efforts and not their mistakes.

Take the time to involve your children with the needs of the less-well-off. Craig and Marc’s parents encouraged them to help street people who needed a coin or two to buy a coffee to ward off the cold. Asking the panhandler their first name and looking them in the eye showed the less fortunate that they too have value. One has to be taught that there is humanity in every individual.

There is the constant question if you should give your youngster an allowance for household jobs done. If you decide to give your children money please make sure that they understand that part is to be saved, some to be set aside for charity and some to be spent.

The book emphasizes the need to teach your children to share. A positive social conscience has to be taught by example within the family. The gift of volunteering your time for a good cause can be more precious then simply writing out a check.

Encourage your children to get involved with the community to bring forth change. Student council, United Way, Cancer campaigns, Food Banks are great learning experiences.

Craig and Marc Kleiburger reminds us: “Of course your child is gifted: Every kid is. As a parent your challenge and joy is to help them discover their talents. Tell your children that you have faith in them and believe that they succeed. Parents are our greatest teachers.”

I believe that a parent’s greatest gift to their children is to teach them to be involved; to speak out when it is a matter of right and wrong.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com