Yesterday I took Ashton on a little "mommy date" to the grocery store. In the car on the way home, I asked him about the best and worst parts of his life right now (best= "how awesome I am - just kidding - training to be on safety patrol next year" and worst= "that my cherry fritter is gone" - I'd just bought him a cherry fritter as his mommy date treat).
I told Ashton how much I appreciate what a great job he's doing as the oldest kid in our family. I told him that he's such a good example to his younger siblings and that a lot of what he's doing now in our family is really shaping what our family is and will be. I remember my parents having similar talks with me when I was about Ashton's age and feeling so glad that the efforts I was making were being recognized. I think my parents did a great job of really treating me and my sister Shawni (the two oldest in our family) as their partners and allies in the job of raising the younger children and helping things run smoothly in our family.
Then an idea popped into my head. "Ashton, do you think maybe you and Isaac would want to run your own little website or blog to help kids see what they can to help their families be strong? I mean, Power of Moms is helping lots of moms be what they want to be, but I don't think there are really any websites out there to help kids be the kind of kids and siblings that they want to be."
Ashton got all excited about the idea and we came right home and shared the idea with Isaac (who was even more excited) and started a new blog. The boys did most of the work to design a blog header and design and dictated exactly what they wanted the blog title and description to be. Then they started brainstorming ideas for posts. Between yesterday and today, they've written (or dictated, in Isaac's case) quite a few posts that I think are pretty good (I may be just a tad biased).
Kids really can make a huge difference in their families and communities. They have real power that can truly bring about wonderful things. I've always loved this quote by Emma Goldman: “No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education [or upbringing] should be to unlock that treasure.”
It's been so fun to see the light in my boys' eyes as they've felt excited about sharing their ideas with others. Isaac said a few times today, while we were doing other things, "It's so cool that we have our own blog now!" Ashton keeps telling me new ideas for posts. I'm so glad they're so into this. And it's been so interesting to see what information they feel is important to share with other kids out there.
So check out The Power of Kids - and share it with your kids - and have them share their ideas with my boys. Ashton and Isaac are so excited to hear all the good ideas your kids come up with and great things that they do to make a difference in their families and beyond. We'll see where this goes!