May 8, 2012 Happy Children’s Book Week all! (May 7-13 2012)
No secret I prefer media that has a social enterprise tie-in or a deeper message than the vapid values of commercialism circulating in the mainstream, so was thrilled to see this Surfrider Foundation “protect the oceans” message wrapped in a girls empowerment, active how-to book for kids, called My Mommy Taught Me To Surf.
Amidst a blitz of glitz and appearance-based tripe showcasing girls instead of role modeling hands-on actions, smarts and ‘let’s do this’ attitude, it’s refreshing to see this new sequel from Taught Me2 Books place females in the role of wave mentor and tribal guide to a secret society of water rats like me, bonded by their profound respect of nature’s power.
I wrote about their first edition, “My Daddy Taught Me To Surf” for Father’s Day awhile back, pointing to some of the other eco-conservation messages surrounding habitat and our planet to ‘teach our children well’ through media…
…But this new sequel is even more important to me for its girl empowerment self-esteem jolt when research is showing media tearing down rather than building up children’s worldview, and boxing in their opportunities with finite limitations and self-perceptions served up as identity norms. (See prior post on brain plasticity and Lego Friends neuroscience, and an upbeat outcome to the Lego/Spark change meeting when youth took the helm to have a corporate tete a tete sending a clear ‘don’t fence me in’ message for the greater good of all)
My Mommy Taught Me To Surf captured the lump in the throat excitement of a child trying something new, with the soothing, trusted family bonds of “I’m here” familiarity that some kids simply don’t have…It made me wistful and proactive thinking ‘Every child should have this experience of one-on-one learning, whether it’s through a peer, a camp counselor, a scout troop or a neighbor if they don’t have a parent that can step into this mentoring leadership role.’
“My mommy says we must show our gratitude for our gift so we walk along the beach picking up trash left behind by those that do not know.
My mommy says that I am part of a clan now, a tribe of those that do know. Those that know the feeling, those that know the gift must cherish it and protect it, she says.”
Rather than preach and teach, he invites us into a special world of “those who know” adding coolness cache and exclusivity to an eco cause, camraderie of surfer spirit and accomplishment of doing rather than being.
It’s a Children and Nature Network style, Richard Louv type of antidotefor nature deficit disorder, actively engaging kids in a show and tell fun fest of ‘get out there and go’ challenge versus observing through a screen, a lens, an app, or clicktivism to experience and share. As many have said before, ‘we can’t protect what we don’t know’ and the further kids get away from tangible nature experiences in daily life (new study in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows nearly half of preschoolers are NOT even getting outside for daily play!)
All the more imperative to surf this “active vs passive” play point into the media mix to churn up some change and start to use media to bridge online to offline experiential child development too.
My mommy didn’t teach me how to surf (she was from Nebraska!) but she did teach me how to survive, thrive, and stay alive through life’s whitewater waves crashing, tumbling surf, and even face-pounding, sand-in-the-snout moments.
Best of all, she gave me the gift of resiliency teaching me how to get back in the line up and paddle right into the waves again, fearlessly.
What did your “mommy teach you?”
Leave a comment below or on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll do a drawing to send this book along to you in a freecycling pass through media moment, which is our policy here at Shaping Youth.
Think hard…what did you learn from mom? A skill, a character trait, a life lesson, a passion for a sport? Pass that heritage along and pay it forward.
Happy Mother’s Day to all moms and those who support them. Here’s to a smooth ride. Banzai!
Related Eco-Kids Msgs by Amy Jussel, Shaping Youth
More in Shaping Youth’s EcoKids/Environment Archives Here…
Related Reading for Mother’s Day Media on Shaping Youth
“Beth Jussel Wins Mother of the Year Award” (hey, m0m that’s quite a tat! Digital ditties from Mom’s Rising)
Elsewhere on the web: Mother’s Day Media
A Women’s Investment: Worldshapers (Inspiring FREE e-book coming soon from Aussie social media guru Jasmin Tragas featuring those of us struggling to make change in the world! She’s looking for sponsors to keep it a freebie, so tell all your industry gal pals)
Marine Mammal Center: Adopt Delta & Dawn (mother and calf humpback whales who veered off-course and won the hearts of Ca.)
Free Mother’s Day Poems For Non-Commercial Use (Better yet, write your own)
Moms Rising FREE e-card Viral Video: (Infant Aerial Stunt Team Onesie Jumping, to make a point with your Mom’s Day message)
“Beth Jussel Wins Mother of the Year Award” (hey, m0m that’s quite a tat!)