Giving and kindness during the holidays

A Prince Albert business owner is looking to spread some Christmas cheer with a community-wide toy drive. -- Stock photo.

Prince Albert Early Childhood Council

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around”.

This quote, taken from Leo Buscaglia, begins an edition of the RIRO newsletter. RIRO stands for Reaching In…Reaching Out, a training and parenting site that promotes the importance of building resiliency in children. Research has shown that resilience is one of the most important qualities you can instill in your children. It is the ability to “bounce back” from life’s inevitable pressures and hard times. It helps us handle stress, overcome childhood disadvantages, recover from trauma and reach out to others.

As anyone who spends time with kids knows, little children are mimics. They learn by watching us. Research shows that children as young as two copy the coping and thinking styles of adults around them. Whether we are aware of it or not, we become role models for kids when we deal with life’s stresses.  When we cope well, children learn valuable skills like calming down more easily, being more empathetic and helping others, being more confident and persevering and finding alternative ways to deal with problems.

Opinions expressed by adults are often repeated, even, as we know, by very young children. Showing our children the value of giving, of serving and supporting others, especially those who have less than we do, will prepare their thoughts and opinions for the future, providing them with the empathy necessary to see the world as it is and recognize their place in it.

We can offer resiliency to our children as yet another gift and model for them acts of charity that bring hope to others.

For more information on RIRO go to

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the members of the Prince Albert Early Childhood Council.