Back-to-School “VALUES” for SMART Success

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“They’re going back!”  This is the musical theme or jingle for a popular TV commercial by Staples office supply store that promotes sales and price values on back-to-school products.  The ad features a dad skipping happily down the store aisle, pushing a shopping cart filled with school supplies.
During the pre-return to school season (much of August)  we are bombarded by similar commercial brand messages offering competitive pricing on chic clothing, stylish shoes and fashionista accessories for “must have” back-to-school outfits.  These ads speak loudly to our children’s often fragile, developing sense of image and identity. They sell the overblown importance of returning to school wearing the look of cool, chic and hip.
CoolStudent
For pre-teens and teens who often struggle with self image and identity, self expression and looking good play a big part in feeling good about themselves and bonding with peers. This is important to children and almost a rite of passage.  I vividly remember my own struggles during this phase of my life. And as a parent,  I have been down this path – three times.  Our children’s  image and identity are being shaped by social/cultural environments, family values, peer influence and pop icons. Parents, educators, caregivers and family members can play a valuable role by giving  gentle guidance and teaching about identity, self love and the values that support making smart choices inside and outside of school.

These are the values that really matter to our children’s success in school.  Success that can be achieved with SMART principles.  SMART success is all about being  Socially Savvy, Motivated, Assertive, Respected and Trusted by teaches and peers.   SMART embraces values that help prepare them for the new world of work and serving as leaders in government and community. Values that help build a strong sense of identity and self worth. Values that have more to do with building character, doing good and being beautiful on the inside and less to do with looking good or cute. Values education should begin at home from the earliest age and reinforced in school and community.  With this foundation, our children can go back to school with an understanding of the time-proven standards of behavior that are sure to help them flourish.  Values like respect, integrity, honesty, kindness, courtesy, service, leadership and civility.

I am reminded of the words in a timeless song by Whitney Houston (lyrics by Andy Abraham), I Believe the children are our future  “….Teach the children well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.  Give them a sense of pride to make it easier…”

Let each one, teach one. It takes a village to raise a child!

How do you handle the pressures of the media and teaching values to your children?

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About Yasmin Anderson-Smith

Yasmin Anderson-Smith is a certified image management and personal branding coach, trainer, speaker and author with global exposure and a focus on civility. Yasmin empowers and inspires business women, young professionals and college students to achieve career success and build respect and trust.

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