It’s Thursday. Which means it’s time for another Mommy Talk Thursday. This is when I chat with you and either give you encouragement about a single topic, affirmations that will help you to be a real happy mom or inspiration to help with this journey called motherhood. Today I’m talking to Shira about fostering the love of community with your child.
Shira is a high school senior and the founder of Planet Empower, a digital children’s magazine aimed at helping parents and children to thrive during these unprecedented times while encouraging youth to give back to their communities.
As a community service-oriented individual herself, she recognized the need to help one another at the outset of the pandemic and wanted to also support parents as their children learn from home.
Shira is excited to continue fostering kindness and empathy through Planet Empower’s educational and experiential activities.
Connect with Shira & Planet Empower
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Transcript of this episode
Real Happy Mom 0:00
is Thursday, which means it’s time for another mommy talk Thursday. And this Thursday, I have a special guest who I’ll be talking to. And I cannot wait for you to hear it. So let’s go ahead and jump on in. Alrighty, welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much. Yes, it is a fun to have you on. And I will say this, let me just put this disclaimer out there for for moms who are listening. I know all of my guests so far have been mothers, but you are the first one who is not a mom. I think this is so cool. Because you are actually a senior in high school, and you are doing some amazing things in, I’m really excited to have you on just because I feel like you’re gonna help us out with some things that I don’t think a lot of us have taken some time to think about, or maybe we have. But you’ll definitely get us thinking about some things here with our topics. So before we jump into our topic for today, I just want you to share a little bit about you and what you are up to these days.
Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate it. So I’m a high school senior, and I’m a community service loving individual. And so before pretend emic. And at the start of the pandemic, I’ve been extremely involved with my community, community and community service initiatives. And so I wanted to provide a resource that would help my fellow community members and especially parents, especially during these unprecedented times, to have a way to easily keep their children’s minds active, and to foster these community service values that I’ve come to love and to cherish so much from home. And so I’ve been what I’ve been up to is creating plan and empower, which is a children’s magazine resource. And I know we’ll talk more about that later. But that’s a little bit about me.
Real Happy Mom 1:57
Yes, yes, this is some good stuff. And I love how you are talking about fostering that sense of community and doing some community service and things like that. So I just want you to talk about why you think it’s important for kids to do community service, especially during the times that we’re in right now.
Absolutely. So I feel like right now, even as a high school student, it can feel like our communities are really disconnected being at home. And it can be really hard to find ways to engage with one another and to lift one another up. And so in teaching, and moreover empowering kids in our lives, and to show them that they can make a difference and be their own superhero from home and really make an impact and make people’s lives a little bit brighter. I found that, especially for the kids in my life, and you know, as a babysitter and just my younger cousins and family, that if the children realize that any small action can make a difference, they say to themselves, you know, I can be the change. And so, especially growing up myself, we would always mean my mom would always volunteer at local food shells. And so that really helped foster these values within me. And so I wanted moms to know that even though we are in a pandemic, and sometimes we can feel alone, there are ways to support from home and to foster these values. And so children can realize that even when so many people are hurting, and when there’s so much need right now, they can look at themselves and say, you know, I can make a difference in somebody’s lives today.
Real Happy Mom 3:30
Absolutely. And you for sure can make a difference. And I think that’s a big thing that kids need to hear. Because I think a lot of times I think like I’m not big enough, I’m not old enough. But it’s a lot easier to give back than we think. So I want you to give us some ideas on how kids in different age groups can give back. And we’ll start with some of the younger kids. Let’s start with the five to eight year olds, like give us some ideas on ways that they can guess. So
what I found is the most important is that the kids can see themselves making an impact. So with activities that are active and engaging, and part of planet empower is we offer suggestions for which age groups will get the most out of each activities, some of the things that I have found helpful. So for our like climate change section where they can learn about that are like a neighborhood cleanup, you know, seeing themselves. This is my neighborhood. I don’t like to see litter in my own neighborhood. What can I do? Well, if you go and you have a neighborhood cleanup with fun tasks and activities, this is a simple way for kids to see themselves in their own community helping and picking up trash and making an impact. So ways that kids can see themselves helping others is the most important and engaging with their community.
Real Happy Mom 4:44
Absolutely. And I have heard some moms say the magic age of eight like at eight years old. This is when kids can do a lot more and are a lot more independent. And so I’m just wondering for the next age group, The eight to 10 year olds who are capable of doing more, what are some things are some ideas that we can think about, as far as you know, some community service ideas for them?
Mm hmm. I think it’s really important, especially for eight to 10 year old to have a higher level of understanding when it comes to community service is to interact with those who were serving. So for example, one activity that we have on the education gap would be writing notes and packing snacks and donating them to a local school for kids who are just like them, but who face different obstacles that make it harder for them to learn because they don’t have food. So when an eight to 10 year old can understand food is so important to me to my learning, it is what helps me to learn. And if there are kids who are just like me, but who can’t learn as well, because they have these certain obstacles, then they can connect with them by writing these notes, you know, fostering empathy. The and then packing snacks is something that helps them directly with this issue. So I think connecting to the people who we serve, meeting the people who we serve, even if it’s just something as simple as a note, can really make a difference and help eight to 10 year olds to really understand the meaning of their work.
Real Happy Mom 6:12
Yes, I like that one, I didn’t even think about doing something as simple as that. And, and you and you definitely brought it down. Like it doesn’t have to be this big shopping event. Like it can really be something small, that can really make a difference. So I like that one. Now, I know there’s some moms that have some of the teens and tweens. So let’s talk about that age group, because I feel like at that age, like they can do a whole lot more. So give us some ideas there.
Yeah, so as a teenager, myself, I know that you know, every action we take our daily actions can even make a difference. So one of my favorite activities, also pertaining to climate change, there is called an activity that helps teenagers to identify their carbon footprint. So in this activity, they go through steps that help them realize how their everyday actions, what they can do to contribute less to global warming. So activities like these, you can find sites online to do things like this, but also activities that help them see the root of what their own actions are, and identify what they’re doing and the changes they can make. And simply a day can help them to have these goals that provide opportunities to not only learn about different causes, but you know, how can I change my actions to make a difference?
Real Happy Mom 7:26
Absolutely, I really like that. And you know what, I didn’t really talk to you too much about this before, I was just thinking about how like, a lot of times I feel like in that teenagers, like we get kind of selfish and we think the world revolves around. So it’s really good to step away and to really see like, you know, there’s so much going on in the world and like how, you know, again, doing something simple can really make a huge difference in and I’m seeing that just with you and how you produce planet empower, like how something that, you know, it seems like it’s no, oh, it’s just my little magazine? No, no, no, this is huge. It’s like making a real huge impact. So I want you to talk to us about planning, empower, because this is something that I’m super proud of you about. And I want other moms to know about it. So tell us about it, and where we can find it.
Thank you so much. First of all, I appreciate the kind words. So planning power has, I like to think about it in three parts. So first is kind of these learning activities. So how do we break down the more challenging topics and causes into ways that kids can more easily comprehend but also things that help them identify, you know, where can I step in? Where can I find my place? The second is with smaller activities. So what are the things that I can do around my own house within my own community to help and make a difference. And then the third is activities that might be a little bit larger, take a little bit more organizing, but that are still very community oriented and to help them understand larger topics to make a difference. So that said, planet empower can be found at our website, which is planet empowered dot square site. Sorry, planet empowered dot square dot site. And so yes, and so also another thing that I think is super important to me, is that along with trying to make a difference from afar, during the pandemic, all profits are donated to an organization called crisis nursery, which helps to prevent child abuse and neglect. So another organization that is very close to my heart, and I think really speaks to the kids and to help them understand that even when they are at home, they can help they can help causes in their neighborhood, they can help organizations that they feel connected to. And additionally, you can also find us on social media at planet dot empower and we’re really excited to be launching our social media more and providing additional tips to help support parents and to really help keep it interactive for the kids and videos and things like this. So we really want to make it So easy and efficient for kids to be involved.
Real Happy Mom 10:04
Absolutely. And I’ll be sure to include all of those links in the show notes. This is really good. And I really want mom to listen to just go check it out. Because, you know, a lot of times, I feel like as a mom, like, Oh, I can’t think of like any activities, but you like put it all together for us. Like, we don’t have to think it’s all there. So, like I said, those links will be in the show notes. Thank you so much for sharing this and giving us some ideas on some ways that we can help our kids but community service, this has been awesome.
Absolutely, yes. And our hope is that parents kids can find that this is an easy way to also keep their minds active and learning and to get involved.
Real Happy Mom 10:42
Definitely. Now, before we sign off, I asked all of my guests to give us either a motivational quote, or words of encouragement for us Real Happy Mom,
of course. So I want to say remember that you are a superhero, while the pandemic has made it really hard and difficult, especially for parents to feel like they’re meeting the pressures of parenthood, leading by example, at all times, recognize that you are a light in the lives of your children, and that all the little things you do make their lives a little bit brighter. And so when you support them, you’re being their superhero, no matter how hard the times can be.
Real Happy Mom 11:18
That was so awesome. I needed that. Because it’s been hard. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing this with us. This has been awesome. I appreciate it. Thank you
so much for having me. I appreciate it.