December 8th International Children’s Day

There are numerous days throughout the year that we celebrate children, and well we should. We were once children ourselves, we should remember what we liked, wanted and needed and then give that back just as our parents did. Today was started by UNICEF and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to honor children and “Tune in to” the needs of children everywhere. It always falls on the 2nd Sunday of December, just before Christmas so that all religions can take part in celebrating the day with their children. We can never give too much to our children, they are the future and what we leave the world when we are no longer a part of it.

How to celebrate – Celebrate all children, everywhere. Take your children out to play. Share your childhood with your children.

August 12th National Middle Child’s Day

If you have ever been stuck in the middle of anything it’s often not very pleasant. To be the middle child is no exception. Parents are often very cautious with their first child, learning what to do and what not to do and doting on them when they really didn’t need to. When it comes to the second child, well they have learned and are less concerned with the daily activities, knowing better what worked the first time and what didn’t. By the time the third child has come along, generally speaking the parents have aged and the third child represents the end of the immediate family and are once again overly attentive. The middle child misses out on all that unintended lack of attention. It’s good and bad getting all those hand me downs and the lack of restrictions that are often seen as caring. It’s not true, but that is what is often makes the middle child feel less important.

How to celebrate – Make sure your middle child feels special today. If you have a daughter first, don;t hand down their old clothes to your second if hey are a boy. Reverse the order of your children from time to time, just for fun.

August 11th National Son’s And Daughter’s Day

No it’s not their birthdays, unless their birthday happens to be today, this is a day to celebrate that you have a son or daughter, or both, just because they are there. At first your children need you because well, someone has to take care of them, then they resent you because, well… someone has to take care of them. Then the day comes when hopefully, your children just want to spend time with you, not because you are cool (because we all know you aren’t) but just… because. Today is your chance to honor them for who they are, who they will be or even who they might become. Expect them to be different than you, and that may be a good thing.

How to celebrate – Take your children to lunch. Save photos of your children as they grow. Find some common interest to share with you children.

July 28th National Parent’s Day

Today we celebrate parents. Those who guide us and help us achieve our goals. Are they perfect? Is anyone perfect? Since no two people are the same it is impossible to take others experiences and say they have all the answers. Parents don’t either but they try, bending themselves to help us become the people we are. No one knows exactly who created today, some think it was a candy company to sell more products but it is not Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, it is a day to recognize all of what our parents do for us and as individuals themselves. Bill Clinton proclaimed the day in 1994, the 4th Sunday of July. It is a time to honor our parents for doing the best they could and recognizing that we are better for it.

How to celebrate – Take your parents to lunch if you are lucky enough to still have them. List all the things you can remember that you know your parents did for you. Do a family tree.

October 17th National Take Your Parents To Lunch Day

October 17th Take Your Parents To Lunch Day

download (1)

How many times in your life have your parents taken you to lunch? If you count back to when you were a child, it’s probably a lot! Well today is your chance to pay hem back a little. It’s also a chance to catch up a little and let them know you care. It doesn’t have to be fancy, in fact your parents would probably prefer something cheaper because they want you to save that money. And in the end, you may actually get more out of the lunch than they do.

yumega

How to celebrate – Take your parents to lunch today. Make a picnic lunch today for your parents. Make lunch a surprise, take your parents someplace they’ve never been to today.

August 12th Middle Child Day

Are you  middle child? Do you have “Middle Child Syndrome”? Do you care? I don’t, and I am the middle child. Yes, the older child is always considered the smartest (And they should be because they have more experience) and the youngest child is always the cutest (And probably should be because they are the youngest).

9c2ce0b52d01793fbe5d03df2d26603c--national-sibling-day-national-days

I am the middle child in my family and I never felt any animosity towards either the older or younger. Maybe my parents were different than others but they never treated any of us any differently then the other.

images (2)

Yes there are a lot of hand-me-downs, that’s economical, yes we tended to be served food the older child liked, again… why fix food they don’t like? The fact is, the older kid gets all the mistakes their parents make while the youngest benefits from them. That’s called experience.

36160642_283531625525940_6090341965931479040_n

I am sure their are families that have had issues, there have always been and always will be. But speaking as the middle child in my family, I never suffered once from the so called “Middle Child Syndrome”. I am sorry for those that have because they are missing wonderful relationships with their brothers and sisters that they might otherwise have.

images (3)

How to celebrate – Enjoy your family instead of finding fault in them. Find the benefits of being the middle child instead of the disadvantages. Enjoy who you are instead of who you might be.

June 17th Father’s Day

Well, we’ve already had Mother’s Day so we might as well move on to Father’s Day. It seems like a lot of us celebrate the day because we are expected to. We give Dad a tie or a golf club, fix his favorite meal or let him sleep in but that means we are missing the point. Dad’s, however, are people too.

32390-father-and-son-2-1200.1200w.tn

We may not show it as much, we may not fix all the boo-boos and prepare the every night meals but it does not mean we love our kids any less, it’s just in a different way. Dad’s are supposed to show strength, temperance and logic, even if they are none of those things themselves.

dad-advice

Dad’s are often quiet when it comes to raise children. It’s not because they don’t care, it’s because they seem to think others know better. But they are there, supportive and doing the best they know how to do. (Of course there are exceptions) The day was created in Spokane, Washington on May 18th, 1910. Somehow it got moved to June (And Dad was okay with that) and became the third Sunday in June.

hero-dad-on-fathers-day

I know in my case, my Dad tried to teach things he thought were important, things that interested him and things he knew I would benefit from. Some took, other things didn’t but I do remember the Christmas that he first gave me a gift from him. I think I was thirty or so and the gift was a hammer. It meant more to me than any other gift I had gotten to that point and I still have it today.

baby-203048_1280

No, Dad’s aren’t perfect. They make a lot of mistakes and sometime even say, or do, the wrong things. But you know what, it doesn’t matter. They are your father and all they want is your love.

How to celebrate – Just tell your dad you love them… no ties, no golf club… give them your own hammer.

National Parents Day

One of the toughest jobs in the world is being a parent. There are a lot of people who have children but that does not make them a parent. A parent is always someone who puts themselves second to their children, who see to the needs of their children even beyond their own, and is willing to teach, nurture and love unconditionally.

ParentsCorner

But a parent must also be able to see the flaws in their children and dish out discipline when required. A child that gets everything they want, when they want it, without having to do anything to earn it, is not being a good parent and will lead to issues both now, and later.

parents-630x315

I have seen so many parents that want to be their kids best friend. That is not being a parent either. The children of parents that are “friends” with their children are more likely to let them get away with things they shouldn’t and not learn that to get respect, you have to give respect.

Parents Love (58)

And when it’s time to let go, a parent will know instinctively, a friend won’t. In the animal word the adult animal protects, feeds, and teaches their young until it is time for the young to move on. Then they  say goodbye and are likely never to see each other again. Fortunately as humans, we do not have to suffer the same fate but there is still something we need to learn from it. While we should always want to keep our children safe and secure, there are times when they will have to choose for themselves and we will not always be there when they have to make choices.

animal-parents-2

So yes it is a job. Today was probably created by some group to sell more cards and gifts but that idea never caught on. It is simply a day, recognized by President Clinton, as day for children to honor their parents by spending a little time with them. For the true parent, there is no better gift.

How to celebrate – Thank your parents for all they have done for you. If your parents are no longer living, remember the good times with them and all the things they did for you. Take your parents to lunch or dinner or do a cookout for them.

March 18th Supreme Sacrifice Day

Today is the day we pay homage to those who have given their lives for the rest of us making the ultimate supreme sacrifice. You may know someone personally, you may have suffered through that loss, you may never have known someone who gave their all but we all know who they are.

download (1)

The police offer up their lives everyday just by putting on the uniform and taking to the street. It seems as though lately we have little respect for them but we need to. We need to get back to the day where we honor these heroes, not jeer them.

fireman

Few of us would ever walk into a burning building but firemen do. We run out, while they run into the flames rescuing people, animals, and saving whatever they can. Many pay the ultimate price for their efforts. They too should be remembered.

fallen+soldier+generic+mgn

Obviously the soldier is among those who sacrifice their lives so that we can live free. Sometimes this is hard to see when they fight overseas but be thankful they do, since we probably would have to be fighting in our homes for that same freedom.

images

Even Mothers and Fathers often offer up their lives for their children, sometimes literally, most of the time by giving up the things they had hoped to do or hoped to be. They willing place themselves between danger and their offspring, hoping to give their children things they did not have themselves.

download (4)

And to me, the ultimate sacrifice was paid by Jesus Christ. Now you may not be of the same faith and I understand that and honor your beliefs. However, I know of no other name in history that offered up their life in order to pay for the sins we humans commit.

How to celebrate – Honor those who serve you, risking their lives daily. List all the heroes that you owe something to. Pay it forward by doing something nice for those who protect you every day.

October 5th Walk To School Day

When I was a child I had to walk seven miles every morning to catch a bus that drove me another fifty miles to get to my school. It didn’t matter if it was snowing, raining, or hailing outside. The saddest part of all was the fact that the school was only about five miles away to start with.

Seriously though, I did have to walk, with my sister, about 2 miles and pretty much enjoyed every minute of it. Of course, we lived on a farm so we had to get to the highway where the bus could pick us up. We were very fortunate to have had that experience because nowadays most of our kids have to walk past the potential of drugs deals, street violence, and sexual offenders. It is more important now than ever before that we take our cities, and our children’s paths to school, back. Supporting Walk To School Day is a large step forward in doing that.

walking-school-bus_

Walk To School Day came out of Safe Kids Walk supported by FedEx. Over 8.2 million children have participated since it started in 1999. 16,000 FedEx employees have been involved with 10,000 schools making the program work. In fact, I have had some 23 years of experience with schools and know there is a place for this, and it serves a good purpose. We do need to make the paths to our schools safe again. No government, no school board, no policeman, is going to be able to do that, only we can make that change happen.

Now I know, we adults deserve our own time, work is important and we have all that shopping to do… but what’s most dear to us… all that stuff, or our children. This is not a day to hand them lunch and send them on their way, this is a day to walk with them, see what they see every day and what they have to contend with. In short, it should be what our parents did for us and what we expect of our children when they become parents.

Remember when Halloween use to be safe? Why isn’t it anymore? Is it because there are so many crazy people out there, in part… yes… but it’s also because we allow them to be out there and it’s something we need to be more aware of.

images

How to celebrate – Walk your kids to school today, or walk them home tonight, or better yet… both! Learn what school programs are in place and if there aren’t any, get them started! Don’t just suggest it to someone else like it is their job to do it, do it yourself! Help take our communities back from those who would use it for their ends, not ours!