Caring, Common Sense, Confidence, Effort, Focus, Initiative, Motivation, Perseverance, Problem Solving, Responsibility,
Sharing Our Experiences
In the past, we never really had to think about our responsibility for the environment. We knew that litterbugs got fined, but that was about it.
Times have changed. One of the big differences is that we know a lot more than we used to. We know about dangers, acid rain, detergents that don´t biodegrade and plastic cups that will live forever.
We need this information and need to share it with our children. This is not to frighten them, but to build their awareness of what each of us can do to help. Check with your library and with environmental organizations directly to find out what you can do.
Sparking the Conversation
Ask your children for their ideas on how they can help right around your home: for example, recycling newspapers, moving lamps (away from air conditioners), keeping the refrigerator door closed more than open, using the back of sheets of paper to get more mileage from every sheet.
Children make excellent nags to keep parents responsible. For example, they can remind you not to keep the car motor idling, and to start the barbecue with paper and sticks rather than lighter fluid.
Because of increased awareness in the classroom about the environment, your children may know more than you do.
Responsibility Builder: Newspaper Activity
Ask children for ideas about activities they´d like to do during their holidays from school. Children can cut out articles from the newspapers and write notes, suggesting their ideas. Use large sheets of paper, leaving plenty of blank space for each day. Talk about what everyone wants to do. Make plans not just for outings, but for home projects, too. As children get ideas, they pencil them in. Keep these realistic, at no or low cost! This gives children practice in responsibility and in doing independent research. Share these ideas to see which ones are workable.
Moving to Bigger Questions
Because your children may have a head start in their knowledge about the environment, let them teach you and lead you in answering questions like these:
Can people get sick from pollution? What kinds of illnesses do they get?
When businesses move to recyclable packaging, how can we let them know we approve?
How can we make more people aware of their responsibility in taking care of the environment?
The strength of focus as a MegaSkill is that it connections so well to meeting goals. Goal setting has the remarkable ability to keep our minds and our thinking centered.
© Dorothy Rich, 2000. The nonprofit Home and School Institute, sponsor of the MegaSkills program, was founded by Dr. Dorothy Rich in 1964. For information about bringing MegaSkills books and programs to your school and community group, contact: The Home and School Insitute, MegaSkills Education Center; 1500 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington DC 20005. Phone: (202) 466-3633. Fax: (202) 833-1400. www.MegaSkillsHSI.org Reprinted with permission.