What a proud mum am I, child 3 has been voted by her peers to be one of the school council representatives for her class. Tomorrow she will receive her badge and attend her first meeting.
Our three oldest children have each been a school council rep and it has been a wonderful experience for each of them. They have learned how to cooperate, compromise and persuade. They can debate, which can make conversation at the dinner table entertaining, they can problem solve and they have learnt the benefits of working in a team. Child 1 and 2 now take an interest in world matters and are confident enough to speak about their views. School council meetings give children the opportunity to speak, present and learn to listen. Not only have they have learned that they have a voice and the right to be heard but also that with this voice there is also an obligation to behave with dignity and responsibly.
This self confidence was shown by child 2 during a social worker visit. Our social worker had come over to spend some time with the children to talk to them about our adoption. We hade been filling a jar with questions for the social worker to answer. (Really grown up questions like "will the adopted sibling love us, will mum and dad still have time for us and do adopted children fart?" Yes the children did put the fart question in the jar - funny but very embarrassing. I offered to go and tidy up some where else in the house so they could talk without me being there. Child 2 wanted me to stay and then went on to explain why he didn't want us to adopt, he was articulate and forthright and I was really impressed as was the social worker. Of course she listened to him, teasing out what his actual concerns were and then answered all his worries.
Child 2 is excited about our forthcoming addition, pleased to be a big brother already planning how he is going to be a role model for his younger brother and of course to train child 4 to join the his army in the quest of the destruction of the evil sisters!!