Kevin Patrick Law - July 2019

HIKING WITH YOUR KIDS

‘The 30 Love Laws’

A Look at Derrick T. Clark’s Powerful Book

Watch Their World Expand With Every Step

After the dissolution of his marriage, poet and Kevin Patrick Law client Derrick T. Clark started asking some tough questions about love. Why, he wondered, was the word “love” so problematic? How did some people attain it while others couldn’t? Those troubling thoughts kicked off a 15- year investigation and culminated in the book “The 30 Love Laws,” which hit shelves in 2016. “It was an interesting undertaking for me because when I started out on the

Hiking has many benefits as a family activity, such as mental health improvement, strengthening your relationships, and experiencing new sights and discoveries together. It’s also great exercise, and you get plenty of quality time, fresh air, and sunshine. Here are three guidelines to help you and your kids have fun on your next hike. ENCOURAGE THEIR CURIOSITY One of the best ways to have your children learn about the world is letting them explore it. Being there for your children and encouraging them to ask questions about flowers, bugs, or animals you see on the trail will help them expand their vocabulary and learn how things work. When they learn they can explore independently and ask about the world around them, they’re gaining the confidence to teach themselves. BRING ALONG SOME TOOLS OF DISCOVERY Getting your children to engage in nature while you’re out hiking can be as simple as bringing a magnifying glass along with you. Let your kids look at leaves, rocks, insects, or anything else you might come across on the trail. You can also bring binoculars to help them look at a bird that might be perched a little too high up. Another option is a bug holder to let your kids catch smaller insects, such as grasshoppers or pill bugs, and give them a close-up look. KEEP SAFETY IN MIND While you’re out on the trail, it's essential to make sure that both you and your family are safe. Wear breathable, noncotton material and sturdy shoes that don’t expose your toes. It’s important to dress according to the weather. For example, if the day is sunny, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and apply plenty of sunscreen on any exposed skin. Bring your kids’ favorite snacks and water bottles for everyone to stay hydrated. It’s crucial that you also bring a fully stocked first-aid kit in case someone is injured on the hike. Starting with one of your local hiking trails can be a rewarding way to spend the day with your kids. You can watch their excitement as they expand their world with new discoveries.

book, I didn’t know it was going to become a book,” Derrick said. “After a divorce, I started to examine that word, ‘love,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, it can’t be this hard for people who say they love each other to coexist.’” To find answers, Derrick started talking to people, asking happily married couples, therapists, divorcees, and faith leaders about their personal definitions of love. Each person had a different answer, and some even told him the word was impossible to define. Derrick saw the discrepancy as a major obstacle to successful long-term relationships. “If someone tells you to go to the car, but you don’t have any concept of what a car is, then you’re just out in the parking lot looking around,” he said, adding that the quest for love works the same way. In his book, Derrick breaks love down into three parts: the emotional element, the spiritual element, and the friendship element. Those elements provide context for the 30 love laws that give the book its name. Of those laws, the first 10 are geared toward the individual, the next 10 explain how to build a love connection with someone else, and the final 10 focus on maintaining that relationship. Three years after publishing “The 30 Love Laws,” Derrick is happily married to the love of his life and offers relationship counseling to other couples. He credits the process of writing the book with saving him from more heartbreak and said that although he wrote it for himself, he’s proud of its positive impact on others. When he has a break from book tours and speaking engagements on “The 30 Love Laws,” Derrick plans to start work on a second book.

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