It is sensational to know that you can advocate for your children and to get the tools to do it. Before I began working as a writer and a blogger I worked as an attorney. It was wonderful work. I loved fighting for my clients. It was thrilling to be their advocate. I loved doing all I could to help them achieve their goals. I took my role as an advocate for others seriously. So, it was only natural that I see one of my primary roles as a mother to be an advocate for my children.
Each day I am called upon to advocate for my children in a variety of circumstances. These circumstances range from things as simple as getting the exact toy a child wants from the toy store to making sure my daughter gets the opportunities she wants at college. In school, I advocate making sure my children get the classes they need. When there are disputes with teachers or authority figures, I must step in and do what I can to get the best possible outcomes. This range of experiences is common to mothers the world over.
There are times when my children need me to advocate for them, with them. My children, like many children, want to avoid chores, early bedtimes, and dinners they do not like. As a parent, I must help them understand the importance of chores. It is my job to make sure they go to bed at a decent hour. I even have to make sure they understand that they can eat the dinner I prepared, period.
I started advocating as an attorney, but you don’t have to be one.
It is not easy to advocate on behalf of your children. Each day you may be called upon to advocate for your children with people outside the family, inside the family, or with your children themselves. No matter with whom you are advocating, you must be able to put forth your best efforts.
You do not have to be trained as an attorney to be successful as an advocate. While it is true that attorneys are trained to advocate for their clients, anyone can be trained as an advocate. The more you care about the thing or person for whom you must advocate, the more zealous you will be. The more you care, the harder you will work. When you add some good ideas to that hard work, you are more likely to achieve your desired outcome.
Sometimes books start with the strangest of circumstances.
Several years ago, I was invited to talk with parents, teachers, and administrators at my children’s school. The subject of the talk was finding ways to help your children to succeed. I was asked to talk about this topic because I was always pushing for my children at school. I advocated for:
- gifted classes for my son
- special education classes for one of my daughters
- recognition of the right to self defense for another of my daughters
- for classes and activities based on cultural proficiency
The list went on and on. As a result, I was invited to talk with the group to help other parents worth with the school teachers and administrators to advocate for their children. That presentation lasted approximately 45 minutes and then there were another 45 minutes of questions and answers. The evening was a success. Because of this evening, I realized there are a lot of parents who want to be advocates, but they don’t know how or are not confident they will do a good job. The PowerPoint presentation from that evening became my book “How to Advocate for Your Children to Succeed.”
Check out my book and learn to do it for yourself.
The book is divided into four chapters. The first chapter is all about preparation. You will read about what it means to be an advocate for your children. Next, I share my three-part plan for preparing to act:
- Speak for your children
- Support your children
- Teach Your children to advocate for themselves
With this foundation in place, we move to chapter two which is all about the work of advocating. In this chapter you read about:
- Knowing what you want
- How not to be a lazy advocate
- Keep moving after a mess up
- Advocting when the worse happens
In chapter three you read about the power of teams. This chapter focuses on:
- How to find a team to help you advocate
- How to teach your children to find a tem to help them advocate
Chapter four shares some resources that will help you become a better advocate.
Want more help to become the best advocate you can be?
This article is the first of a series of articles exploring the ideas discussed in the book. These articles are designed to help you learn how to so become a successful advocate. Read the articles and click here to get a copy of the book for yourself.
Here are links to all the articles in the series:
- How to Advocate for Your Children – My Book Tells You How
- Getting Started as an Advocate for Your Children
- Support Your Children – That is Great Advocacy
- Use Your Work Skills at Home – Advocate for Your Children
- Your Children Need to Learn to Advocate for Themselves – Teach Them
- Be Your Children’s Best Advocate
- Preparing to Speak for Your Children
One of the most important things to remember is that you can be a good advocate for your children. This is not a role you should take lightly. As an advocate, you must work to help your children achieve their goals. When your children are young, that means you advocate for their interests at school. As they age, you must teach your children to advocate for themselves. This is important because children who learn to advocate for themselves as children are more successful advocating for themselves when they become adults.
So, the question for you on this sensational day is what do you do to help your children succeed?