Unleashing Parent Power


As parents, we may underestimate the power we have to bring about positive changes.

The Fialco family makes me wonder if there isn’t a lot more untapped parent power out there, just waiting to surface.

Their multimedia project, Starabella, features an unconventional heroine, a kindergartner with autism, who connects with her peers through her gift of music.  The trailer is a good watch for both parents and kids—especially since there’s a story behind the story.  The books were inspired by the experiences of Sharon Fialco’s daughter, Tara, who has autism.  The story behind the story gets even better: Tara composed and performed 17 of the 22 songs on the CDs.

I like the message of this project—one of acceptance—but I also like that it reminds us that, as parents, we can do more than just wish that something might be different for our kids. We may actually have the power to bring about positive change.

And, no, it doesn’t have to be some huge project.  For example, if we don’t like that kids are running “wild” at recess, maybe we can organize a group of parents to lead some activities for those kids who would benefit from a more structured recess.  Or, if we’re upset that the school bathrooms do not have soap (true example), we can offer to approach concerned parents to see if they might collectively donate a year’s supply.

When my kids were young, I wanted them to have a sense of school community, yet there wasn’t one school-wide program on their site to bring the students together.  So with the blessing of the staff and a crew of enthusiastic parents, we brought an amazing hands-on ocean program to their school.  Almost two decades later, all of the students still engage in this program each year.

So what are other examples of positive parent action? Share your experiences with us!  As parents, the more examples we learn about, the more we may be inspired to act on our own.

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