When Ed and Laura Sykora brought their daughter Maci home from Ethiopia, she was shy and timid. Now, she’s a confident and charming 7-year-old. Laura credits an unexpected friend for helping Maci discover her inner voice and feel empowered to handle life’s most difficult questions.
In my parenting journey, I have learned that I can’t always be there to speak for my children each time they are challenged. I have learned that my job as a parent is to support and encourage my children and help them develop their problem-solving skills so they are empowered to work through situations.
Three years ago, my husband and I brought home a sweet, sensitive and smiling 4-year-old girl named Maci.
In those first few weeks home, she struggled with her confidence. Quiet and soft-spoken, she didn’t inherently believe that her voice mattered or that what she said was important.
As a mom, I talked to her about how she could feel safe to ask for what she needed and wanted. She could tell her classmates and rowdy brother if they were treating her in a way she didn’t like.
But, though my words were many, I never could have guessed how they would pale in comparison to the power of bringing a new, special family member into our home. Continue reading “Confidence, empowerment and the unexpected lesson from a furry friend”