My name is Gretchen Burman, wife, mother of two children and super excited to start my blog. My mission is to help boys and girls learn The 12 Cs: 12 essential life tools that boys and girls will benefit from being exposed to, learning, and living during the influential childhood years before social pressures and outside influences take over. I do this through my book, The Adventures of Ooga and Zeeta and the Life Skills for Kids Workshops I developed after comprehensive research and collaboration. My program is designed for either: parent-child, summer camps, elementary schools, author visits, speaking engagements, etc. Both the book and workshops provide a safe environment that initiates discussions with children to discuss life’s anxieties, obstacles and the struggles of growing up.
Why did this become my passion? When I was pregnant on vacation with my first child I witnessed a disturbing scene which made me think...how in the heck do I make sure my daughter doesn't do that!! I couldn't let it go and stayed awake all night worrying about my daughter in my tummy. Is there a "that" you want to make sure your child doesn't do? What keeps you up at night?
The next day laying at the pool I was still thinking about it and searching for solutions...what was most important for me to teach her so she wouldn't do "that"? I racked my brain and thought if she is confident then she wouldn't do "that." Then I thought I want her to have guts and go for what she wants so I also need to teach her how to be courageous. Then I thought she also needs to be safe so I need to teach her to be careful. Then I kept thinking of what else was critical for me to teach her so she would have a successful and fulfilled life. This is how The 12 Cs’ were born! My husband and I use The 12 Cs as our consistent vocabulary to proactively and reactively teach our children these essential life tools. This common language allows us to be better prepared and respond more effectively when challenges arise.
After successfully living The 12 Cs with my family, I wrote The Adventures of Ooga and Zeeta, to bring The 12 Cs to life with relatable stories, activities and lessons. My goal is to help others looking for fresh ideas to teach these important life tools in an engaging and simple format.
After the book, I created the Life Skills for Kids Workshop which include stories from my book, interactive lessons and tons of fun activities to keep participants engaged so they will remember these life helpers and use them as needed. We are busy and the playshops provide dedicated, uninterrupted time learning and discussing these 12 life tools so they become part of the child’s life toolbox and are better equipped to handle future obstacles, make better choices, improve their behavior and live a happier and more fulfilled life.
Through fun characters children also learn the power of positive thinking, how to keep their negative inner voice quiet while being self-compassionate. Everyone has ups and downs in life because that is part of growing up, but the goal of The 12 Cs is to help children learn how to stay at their ups longer and get through their downs quicker and easier. To fill their life skills toolbox so they can successfully navigate life’s roller coaster.
I didn't realize when I created The 12 Cs that I too would benefit from them. I pull whatever "C" out of my toolbox and use them all the time to help me. I wish I had learned these life tools as a child because they would have helped me get through some of the tough times of growing up a little easier. I eventually figured them out with experience and age but how wonderful would it have been to know these essential life skills earlier in life.
If you are looking for new ideas for your family, school or organization, please contact me to discuss how I can help. My website is www.character-u.com for more information.
Thanks for reading! Gretchen