Parenting in the 21st Century is not easy. The pace of life today is faster than it has ever been before, it is a time of political and economic uncertainty, parents are working longer hours and commuting greater distances, and technology that was developed to improve quality of life in fact just seems to take its toll on family life. We all want to give our children the best opportunities in life, but faced with such pressures the amount of quality time parents and children spend together is bound to suffer, right?
Not according to author and educator Lorraine Allman, who argues that in fact, even everyday situations can provide opportunities for parents and children to create Engagement, Enterprise and Enjoyment, and nurture what she has coined a ‘Can-Do Child’. Her new book, Can-Do Child: Enriching the Everyday the Easy Way, shows how parents can use unique can-do principles in daily life to make family time more enjoyable and help every child fulfil their can-do potential both in the short-term, and in later life. It contains fun family activities – none of which involve screen time!
This isn’t a book designed to put parents under more pressure – the ethos behind Can-Do Child is about recognising and using shared day-to-day moments to create an environment where children flourish and family life becomes less stressed and more enjoyable.
The philosophy underpinning Can-Do Child has been developed following more than 15 years of research and practical work with young people and is supported by top parenting, child development and early years experts. It uses a tried and tested play-based approach that helps parents and educators to nurture the characteristics, skills and innovative behaviours necessary for children to succeed in a world that has changed dramatically since the last century. Every child and every family is unique, so it creates a universally applicable, non-prescriptive, flexible model that can be adapted for any circumstances.
The Can-Do approach is built around the memorable “Three Es” principles – Engagement, Enterprise and Enjoyment. A can-do attitude develops a multitude of skills and abilities in children, including creative and critical thinking, problem solving, working well with others, social skills, and developing emotional resilience.
As well as exploring the thought-provoking ideas behind each of the Three Es in detail, the book also explains how Engagement, Enterprise and Enjoyment can be put into practice. It includes examples of everyday family situations and gives practical activities, suitable for different age groups that can be incorporated to support these principles, such as conversation starters, planning a family trip or event or exploring what happens when a toy breaks.
The Can-Do Child: Enriching the Everyday the Easy Way by Lorraine Allman is out now, published by Re-Think Press, priced £9.99.