Quality Time and Positive Risk-Taking

Can I just say I love working on the weekend? I know most people would hate to come to work on the weekend, so I don’t want to make anyone jealous of my job.  But really– I LOVE WORKING ON THE WEEKEND! This is because weekends are full of quality time.  I find that, the more quality time we spend with the kids, the less conflict they have and the more positive their attitude is when they have to take care of their daily responsibilities.

This past weekend we were on duty in the Afra Home (1st – 3rd grade girls) and got to bond with our sweet Lakota girlies. We had SO much fun!  American Island Days was a little festival in Chamberlain at the American Creek Campground, which is just a few blocks from St. Joseph’s Indian School. We took advantage of all the events taking place. The best part is that they were FREE! With 12 kids, costs are always high when going out. It was such a blessing to have so much fun at no cost. The girls had a blast on the inflatables, zip line, and on the boat rides provided by the South Dakota National Guard.

It was interesting to see our girls’ little personalities. Leave any stereotypes at the door if you come to St. Joseph’s! Our kids are not all the same, that’s for sure. Although, one thing I have noticed since coming here is that many of them fear trying new things. In fact, research shows troubled or at-risk youth can be afraid of the unknown and the new.

Most of them had never been on a boat or had no idea what a zip line was. Jachin and I had our “encouragement switches” on the whole time. The girls needed lots of reassurance and were rather apprehensive. As we waited in line, I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone would back out at the last minute. I am delighted to tell you that all girls participated in the boat ride and all but two got on the zip line!

I’ve been doing some reading on positive risk taking.  Studies also reveal that young people who take positive risks are more likely to avoid destructive behaviors than are those who do not. They are also more likely to describe themselves in positive terms and to say they often feel happy. This is why this weekend I was especially proud of our girls. I was really proud that they were able to step outside of their comfort zones to take positive risks.

Here’s a video and some pictures highlighting some of the fun we had:

At dinner, we always go around the table and we each share what the best part of our day was as well as the worst part. On that day, nearly all the girls said their best part was the zip line and the boat ride (what they were originally most afraid of). Go figure! They also loved when Jachin was wearing a velcro suit (seen on the video) and he made us laugh.  I have to agree. I laughed obnoxiously hard.

P.S: the girls are so excited about our upcoming annual powwow! More on their dancing next time : )

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph’s Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

5 thoughts on “Quality Time and Positive Risk-Taking”

  1. I would never have imagined a working weekend could be so much fun! Thanks for sharing this delightful video and blog with us!

  2. Wow! You provided a safe environment to teach the girls that action cures fear! While 1st to 3rd graders are not always developmentally ready for some things, you showed them all that they are much more able than they believed.

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