Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Parent Leadership, One of Our Most Valuable Resources

One of the most valuable resources our society has at our disposable is parent leadership.  February is National Parent Leadership month. Created by Parents Anonymous ® Inc. in 2004, February is set aside to recognize, honor and celebrate parents for their invaluable leadership roles in their homes and communities, as well as state, national and international arenas. This annual event acknowledges the strengths of parents as leaders and promotes awareness about the important roles parents can play in shaping the lives of their families and communities.
The state of Colorado has a variety of Parent Leadership trainings and opportunities.  The opportunities in parent leadership are as diverse as the parents who participate.  Families First has parent leadership opportunities to include participating in our Circle of Parents Support Group or volunteer opportunities to help other parents. 
Organizations, such as Families First, cannot do the work needed in the state without the help of parent leaders.  One of our current volunteers completed a program called the Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI) and has used the skills she learned to benefit Families First, by helping at events and setting up a parent seminar for the community.  FLTI describes the program as “a first-of-its-kind family civics program”.  This same volunteer is involved in a program called National Charity League (NCL), which has mothers and their children grades 7th-12th serve in a charitable capacity to make a tangible difference in their own communities.  Families First has benefited numerous times over the years from NCL projects.  NCL is not only developing today’s parent leaders, but is helping those leaders develop their children into the next generation of leaders.
Often, as parents, we discount the influence we have on our own children.  We fail to remember our children learn more from what they see us doing then from all the things we tell them to do.  If you want your child to be a leader, they need to see leadership modeled for them.  Children look up to their own parents more than they do any other adult in their lives.  Give them something positive to look up to, get involved as a parent leadership. 
Figure out what your passion as a parent is and find ways to share your passion with other parents and families.  Not only will you be modeling for your children, but you will be helping to make a difference to your relatives, neighbors, communities, state, nation and world.  You will be helping change one family at a time, which in turn changes the future.
For more suggestions on ways to become involved in parent leadership, volunteer at Families First,  additional ways to support your family and for other great parenting tips call the Family Support Line at 1-877-695-7996 OR 1-866-Las-Familias (866-527-3264) for Spanish speakers. You can also e-mail with questions or concerns. Check us out on Facebook at Families First Colorado.  The Family Support Line offers parenting tips, resources and information only and does not serve as legal or mental health advice. We believe you are the paramount person to decide what is best for your family. Comments provided by non-Families First individuals are not the opinion of Families First.

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