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KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted: Oct 17, 2007 ה' בחשוון, תשס"ח           ב"ה                                   

 
 
 
   
 

Give Your Children Milliken's Five

 

Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author

Bill Milliken, the national founder of Communities In Schools (CIS), set out to create an organization that will find ways to make it easier for children to succeed at school. He worked with the premise that at-risk children turn out the way they do because they are lacking five basics in their lives.


I found his ideas interesting and intriguing.  I thought that it might be possible to take those same five ideas and use them, in our homes, where the real responsibility for the education of our children lies.

 

Bill Milliken's Five Basics are:

  • A personal, one-on-one relationship with a caring adult

  • A safe place to learn and grow

  • A healthy start for a healthy future

  • A marketable skill to use upon graduation

  • A chance to give back to their peers and community

We can take Bill's Five Basics and integrate them into our own lives to help our children as follows:

  • A personal, one-on-one relationship with a caring adult:

We can take the time to form this kind of a relationship with each of our children. We can become the caring adult that our children need.

 

If, as parents, we know that we cannot do it alone, i.e. single parent, two parents working full time, or we're just overwhelmed, we should then analyze the situation and see if change is possible.  

If change is not possible parents should try to pair their kids up with a mentor.  If we have to ask our children's school set up a mentor for our child, so be it, but as parents it is our responsibility. 

  • A safe place to learn and grow:

It is the responsibility of parents to assure that their children are in a safe and nurturing environment. Some children don't feel safe at home. Even if a child doesn't live with abuse and addiction they can be exposed to it through a sibling or neighbor making them feel insecure and fearful.

 

Fighting parents or intense sibling rivalry that is not dealt with, can also cause a child tremendous pressure and make children feel anxious in their own home. In either case, their home is not a safe haven.  

  • A healthy start for a healthy future:

The healthy start should begin at home. We should help our children by teaching them from when they are very young how to deal with and attend to their hygiene, exercise, and healthy diet.  As difficult as it is, our children should go to sleep on time so that they can wake up with enough time to eat breakfast and go to school with a parent there to send them off. That healthy start will help ensure a healthy future. 

  • A marketable skill to use upon graduation:

Building a child's self esteem will help insure that our children graduate from school with enough confidence to take on the world. All of us know people with degrees who didn't make it and people with almost no education that did. It seems that the education itself is not the be all and end all. Teaching your child to appreciate their talents and acknowledge their shortcomings - not emphasize them - will help them appreciate who they are.

 

Parents should make a real effort to encourage their children to develop a skill with extra curricular classes. A parent who helps their child get a part time job or Sunday job will give their child the gift of gaining appreciation of money and establishing a work ethic. This also builds self confidence.  

  • A chance to give back to their peers and community:

The lesson of Chesed - of giving selflessly to others - is learned at home. Children who see it in their homes will inevitably give back to the community. We can be proactive by taking our children to the local hospital, shelter or senior citizens home etc. to give food and gifts to the less fortunate. Hands-on experience allows children to personally feel great joy from giving.

 

According to their web site, "Communities In Schools attributes its success ... to the dedication of its students, partners, and staff ... that allow CIS to accomplish its mission which is: '... to help young people successfully learn, stay in school and prepare for life.'"  

 

Our goal as parents should be to give our children Milliken's Five in our own homes so our children can be successful and say the same about us! 

 

Read more articles by Rabbi Hecht 

Rabbi Hecht's Website:  www.sheahecht.com  

 

 
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