Can We ‘Henry Ford’ This?

Have you ever had a great thought or a wonderful idea, and it seemed to get too complicated when you tried to execute it? Have you ever had dreams for your children that kept slipping through your fingers?  Perhaps you have encountered a parenting issue that was so frustrating that you wanted to just give up. It is normal to doubt your own ability to accomplish your goals or to inspire your children to reach their goals. It is also normal to think that there is just NO WAY to overcome.  When you begin to feel a loss of hope, I have a simple little question that I often use when I am challenged that I would like to share. I ask myself, “How can I ‘Henry Ford’ what lies before me?”

Henry Ford had so many great quotes, and one of my favorites is this: “Whether you think you can or you cannot, you are right.” WOW! I first have to believe in myself. I first have to teach my child to believe that she can do whatever she chooses to do. Another great quote is: “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” So that means I have to get started. “Don’t find fault, find a remedy. Anyone can complain.” I have to keep working to find a solution, or I am just one in the crowd. “There is no man living that isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.” I can do better, and my child can do better. I will not give up.

Several years ago, Children’s Choice began focusing on the value of gardening with the children at our centers. There has been so much research on how deprived children are of nature (join me next week for Back to Nature…It’s what’s great for adults and children!). Many centers had obstacles to overcome, but one center had to “Henry Ford” this initiative, and the results are amazing.

Operating in Washington D.C. bears the question: “How do we garden when we have nothing but concrete around us?” The preschool program is housed on the second floor of a multi-story building, and it certainly seemed that gardening wasn’t an option. The team of educators believed that they could make this happen and that their program was capable of doing more than it was doing. This great team applied the “Henry Ford” philosophy to the idea of gardening. Today, you will find a strawberry patch surrounded by beautiful sunflowers two blocks away that is planted and nurtured by 3-, 4-, and 5-year- old students.

So next time you hit a tough spot or your children are challenging you or you hear those horrible words “I can’t” flowing from your child’s whining tongue…just think: “Let’s ‘Henry Ford’ that and grow some strawberries anyway. We can do this!”

Congratulations to Director Sharleen Smith and the entire team of educators at DOT Children’s Choice for their commitment to excellence. They run an incredible NAEYC accredited program in the heart of Washington, D.C. They have had to “Henry Ford” some circumstances; but they do it with passion, heart, and excellence every single day. We salute you all!

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