Friday, September 2, 2011

Building Confidence through New Experiences by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Building Confidence through New Experiences by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

“It is that we do well that gives us confidence to embrace new challenges and endeavors (Mrs. Dorothy Barron).

Can you assist your child with building confidence through new experiences? Certainly!

I want to share three reasons how new experiences can assist in this area.

Ÿ  New experiences can provide your child the opportunity to obtain knowledge on different topics, think independently and engage others in conversation with confidence.

Ÿ  New experiences can assists your child with becoming more self-assured and confident. 

Ÿ  New experiences can give your child the confidence to seek and accomplish even greater challenges upon having mastered previous experiences.

How do you feel when you have accomplished or mastered a challenge through a new experience? You feel great and most often ready to take on the world!

During my sixteen years as a parent school volunteer (7-9 years full-time), one of my primary goals consisted of introducing students to new experiences with the approval of Parents and/or school administrators. Parents, there are any number of tools and resources at your disposal to help you assist your child with building his/her confidence. I now want to share three past experiences with you.

                                           What’s in Your Food?

Many years ago, I served as 4-H Leader at an elementary school wherein emphasis was placed on health and nutrition. With the assistance of the school principal, 4-H students were taken to the grocery store. Students read product labels, noted and compared the nutritional value of and between various products. Such also provided the opportunity to practice Math and Reading skills. A menu had been compiled and students shopped. Social skills were utilized as we all worked together in preparation and enjoyment of the meal. Students having been a part of a positive experience in which they participated and accomplished gave them a sense of worth and increased confidence.

                                             Acts of Gallantry

At Middle School level with the invitation to conduct an Etiquette Workshop, a room was utilized to conduct the workshop. A beautiful table was set and students taught and provided the opportunity to practice setting the table (proper placement of silverware, glasses and plates). The young gentlemen seated the young ladies who suddenly became very shy and embarrassed (smile). The workshop was over and done, but evidently not what had been taught. One day as I walked down the hall, I glanced over my shoulder to view a small male student a good distance behind me. As I approached a school hallway door, suddenly someone zipped by me. When I looked forward again, the young male student had raced by in order to open the door for me. The young gentleman gave me a slight nod which indicated I was to precede him. I returned his acknowledgement with a nod, smile and “thank you.” The student strolled off a bit taller and prouder and I, proud of the young man’s achievement which increased his confidence and his act of gallantry.

                        Not on Top of the World Yet, but on Top of Atlanta

Not only have I served as a substitute teacher in both the public and private education sectors, I have taught Bible Class. My favorite age group level consists of students in Grades 5th-7th. They are in transitioning mode and more inquisitive. As a reward for a class of young ladies grades 5th-7th for having done a very good job in their Bible studies, I elected to provide a unique experience for them. Limousine reservations were made and the young ladies were treated to a fine dining experience at Atlanta’s Sun Dial Restaurant Westin Plaza (website info below). *The Sun Dial Restaurant is a unique experience within itself; it sits 723 feet above ground or 73 stories high and slowly revolves. As the young ladies comfort level of their surroundings grew, so did their confidence.

A word of caution: Parents, do not fail to expose your child to experiences simply because you are of the opinion the child will never have need of such. You do not know the opportunities of which your child may be presented in the future or you.

                               An Etiquette Activity Assignment

Parents, got a fork, knife, spoon and napkin (paper towel/piece of cloth)? Put them on the table along with a glass and plate. Allow your child to set the table (basic setting). If you have more than one child, allow each child to set his/her own place setting. If they do not have the experience or remember how, make it fun and interesting. Have them research via the internet. For those who do not have Internet at home, but at school, send a brief note to the teacher explaining your objective (you are teaching parenting skills) and make a request of the teacher to allow your child to briefly look up the information on the Internet at school. Have fun!

Parents Taking Charge in Education wishes to thank Mr. Anuj Sood, General Manager of the Sun Dial Restaurant Westin Plaza (Atlanta, Georgia) for having granted permission to include information about the restaurant in today’s post.

*The Sun Dial Restaurant Westin Plaza website: Architect design by Mr. John Portman.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education

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