10 Ways to Love Your Child Today

10 Ways to Love Your Child Today was originally written by actonacademy on http://www.actonacademyparents.com/feed/.

It seems silly to say. We all know our #1 job as parents is to love our children. We do love them. It’s as natural as breathing.

But are we living our lives so our children feel this love in their bones? Are we creating a home that is our children’s favorite place to be? Are we building hearts and spirits strong enough so we are no longer needed? Are we loving them well today?

Here are 10 little ideas that communicate love and respect. I thank Cyndi Hanes for her little book “2,002 Ways to Show Your Kids You Love Them” and how she helped me remember little things each day do matter.

  1. Give a milk “toast” to your child at dinner.
  2. Knock before entering your child’s room.
  3. Remember that tears are healing. Let them flow when your child is sad.
  4. Replace lectures with stories.
  5. Apologize if you embarrass your child.
  6. Have a suggestion box for your family.
  7. When your child is talking, don’t interrupt.
  8. Give yourself a time-out if you become angry, snippy or critical. Tell your child you will return when you feel better.
  9. Never let a day go by without saying, “I love you” and sharing a hug.
  10. Write your child a love letter with 50 things you love about her.

As Jane Austen said, “Ah! There’s nothing like staying home for real comfort.” What can you do today for your child to feel utterly comfortable upon walking in the door?

Competence or Prestige?

Competence or Prestige? was originally written by actonacademy on http://www.actonacademyparents.com/feed/.

The news breaking around us regarding college admissions scandals is beyond dispiriting. Sadly, it is likely the tip of the iceberg. The layers of corruption run deep.

These are stories of adults and parents doing terrible things to children. They are shocking because of their scale and criminality. One can only imagine what damage is done on the souls of the children in their midst.

All of this fuels my urgency to continue fighting for the small learning experience we call “Acton Academy.”

We built Acton as the antidote to robbing children of what they rightfully own. We named it after Lord John Alberg-Acton whose scholarly work focused on liberty and virtue. Lord Acton wondered if a free society could also be virtuous. He wrote, “Power tends to corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Acton Academy exists to free children to be richly competent in a world where others around them have parents who seek ease or prestige as the ultimate value; thereby refusing to let their children fail and continually making their paths easier.

With ingrained and hard-earned competence, the Acton graduates won’t sit idly by waiting for someone to fix their problems or get them a job. They’ll be excited to stand up and get to work, using their gifts for good.

To the parents at Acton Academy: Thank you for your courage. I know what we are doing together is very, very hard. Yet each day you say “yes” to the rare work of letting your children take real responsibility for their learning. You don’t resist the Acton tools such as our parent contract and the parent communication protocol. You know it is not there to protect us as school administrators. You know it is there for one reason: We believe in your children. We know they have to do big things on their own in order to claim their competence and giftedness. We believe they can do amazing things. We believe they will rightly earn their place in the world and make it better. Thank you for partnering with us and sharing these beliefs. I wish it could be easier, but it cannot by nature be so.

At Acton Academy, we are fueled by a deep love of freedom, of humanity and virtue. This isn’t a popularity contest. Not everyone wants the hard road of transformational learning. People do leave when it gets hard and we honor that choice, too.

But I do know that any school or person who promises a journey with no frustration, easy progression through grade levels and always-happy parents is either bluffing or just wants to get people through a system to count it as a success. There is no learning without frustration. There is no love without suffering.

Our children deserve honest struggle which builds deep, strong roots. And they are vastly capable of facing it with courage. The courage to grow.