Tag Archives: leadership

Friendship Challenges

HeartThis summer, some of my girls’ friends decided it would be fun to have a club – an American Girl club. The plan was to meet once a week for a few hours of fun activities: making crafts for their dolls, watching some of the American Girl movies, or discussing one of the books. The group of 7-12 year olds was going to plan and conduct the meetings themselves, and the club was going to be their own, without any moms being involved.

The first meeting began with the election of officers, and some of the girls had their feelings hurt in the process. The next two meetings resulted in even more disagreements, and friendships were becoming strained. Last week the girls came to a cross roads:  should the club continue as is, or should the parents become more involved? 

Perhaps the girls should be allowed to work out the problems themselves, since figuring out relationships is a part of life. But these are young girls, many of whom haven’t had to deal with these types of issues. Because homeschooling allows us to choose who our children socialize with, we’ve been able to find friends who share the same values, and consequently they haven’t had very much to work out — that is, until the club started. 

But I’m convinced they need direction. They need a parent to sit in on the meetings and monitor what is said and how it is said. The girls can still come up with their own ideas – they just need someone there to teach them how to conduct a meeting, how to respond kindly to each other, and how to compromise when necessary.    

The moms are now working out a plan so the club will benefit all involved. Hopefully the girls will learn more than leadership; they’ll learn a lot about friendship as well.

4-H

This is the first year in many years that we haven’t been part of a 4-H club, and I do miss it. But I liked it better when someone else was in charge.

Last year, our 4-H clubs met once a month at a local church. The girls were all set to join a sewing club, so we needed another topic that the boys would be interested in.  One of the dads worked second shift, and since our club met in the morning, he would be available to teach them about small motors. My oldest son was so excited.

But the dad’s work schedule changed, and we soon found out he wouldn’t be able to teach after all. Because many of the boys were also in scouts, a couple of us moms decided to pick an activity they could use towards a merit badge. Woodworking sounded ideal – that is, until I became the leader. I didn’t know anything about woodworking.

To make things even tougher, our club of boys ranged in ages from 5 – 14. So once a month, I had to come up a do-able project for all, the supply list, and the instructions.

We had an hour and a half to put each project together. And we did!  Before each meeting, I made a prototype of the project, getting help from my husband or neighbor. Most of the projects worked out, and I think many of the boys learned some things. I know I learned a lot – and I’m much more confident using power tools!

We’ll probably look into 4-H again next year, though if I’m a leader, I’m going to pick a subject I know.  4-H offers so many different areas of learning, that I’m sure I can find one. It’s not just about woodworking or farming or raising cows; it’s about entomology, photography, fashion design, biology, painting, baking, leadership, citizenship, community service, public speaking, pet care,  and so much more.