BY OPENING YOUR HOME TO AN EXCHANGE STUDENT EXPAND YOUR FAMILY’S HORIZONS Hosting an exchange student in your home may not be something you’ve considered before, but there are many reasons why adding an international member to your family is great for everyone involved. understanding of others. Learning about other countries and cultures offers an opportunity to be more receptive to the idea that, no matter how far apart people live or how much the languages we speak differ, at our core, we have a lot in common. Navigating life with this open mindset has far-reaching value that your entire family will benefit from. Cultivate Friendship Welcoming a new member into your home paves the way for new friendships to blossom. Even though the duration may often feel short, the friendships developed during an exchange are strong, and it’s not uncommon for host families and students to keep in touch for years after they’ve parted ways. Having friends in different parts of the world is also convenient when it comes to travel — you might get lucky enough to have a nice place to stay when you’re in their neck of the woods! Broaden Horizons It’s not just your family that will reap the benefits of opening your home to an exchange student; the student has much to gain as well. They’ll immerse themselves in your culture and get to see how your community lives harmoniously together. You’ll play an important role in showing them what life is like in your backyard while gleaning important perspectives on what life is like in theirs. Develop Understanding One of the most valuable traits we can learn is to be
HELP YOUR KIDS ACHIEVE MORE THIS YEAR WITH SIMPLE AND ACTIONABLE GOALS
With every new year comes an opportunity to reinvent ourselves or start down a new path toward self-improvement. Making resolutions is a big part of many families’ New Year’s traditions, and parents often have a desire for their kids to take part in that tradition when they’re old enough. Following through on resolutions is tough, especially for young children, but with your help, they can achieve their goals. Practice what you preach. You are your children’s role model for almost everything, including following through on New Year’s resolutions. So, ask yourself if you follow through on your own resolutions. When you proclaim that you will read more books or finally get a gym membership, do you actually try to do it? Your kids will assign as much importance to New Year’s resolutions as you do, so by sticking to your own commitments, you can help them stay on track too. Keep things simple and achievable. When your kids are forming their resolutions, their first attempts will probably be very broad. Statements like “I want to be more kind” or “I will try to help more around the house” incorporate good values but don’t include any actionable steps. Help your kids think of tangible ways to act on those goals. For example, if they want to be tidier, a good resolution might be for them to clean their room once a week or take responsibility for one household chore every day. Don’t do all the work for them. While it’s important for you to help your kids formulate their goals, be sure that you aren’t taking over. If they’re ultimately responsible for their resolutions, they’ll feel more compelled to keep them. Instead, suggest different goal areas they could improve, such as home, school, or sports, and let them elaborate. When it comes to creating habits, nobody is perfect, so even if your kids falter on their goals in the middle of February, don’t worry. The important thing is that you continue to encourage them every step of the way.
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