It was such a privilege to get to know Teresa Swanstrom Anderson during our Let Her Be A Kid Again photoshoot! Talk about a super mom who is so down-to-earth and welcoming. Teresa and her husband have two biological children and 4 adopted children from Ethiopia. Her story is so dynamic, so full of life and love, and so real. We asked Teresa if she would write a post for us as a resource for this #partyforher kit and her words are so worth reading:
The reality of how much of the world lives changed my entire frame of reference. Now that I have children myself, I want that very same thing for our kids.
Having global conversations as a family is so important to us, so when Healing Waters and The Her Initiative approached me about their Let Her Be a Kid Again campaign, I was all over it.
Our Ezekiel was a Water-Walk kid, meaning even at a very young age, he walked many miles every day to a water source and carried home enough so his family could cook, drink, and wash.
(These old yellow Jerry Cans are typically used in carrying water. Obviously, they don’t typically look so pretty!)
A few years ago, one of our biological boys traveled with us to Ethiopia and as he saw firsthand how grueling and exhausting a Water Walk was, the stories his older brother had shared came to life. In fact, even at six-years-old, he understood the impact that because these women and children needed to bring water home for their families, they didn’t have an opportunity to go to school.
THAT WAS NOT OK WITH HIM. AND IT’S NOT OK WITH US, EITHER.
That’s what this campaign is all about. Even if you’re not in a season that allows you to hop on a plane with your children, these globally-minded conversations can still happen.
The borders of their minds can expand, and frame of reference can grow because you took the time to have the conversation.
BECAUSE WE WANT TO GROW WORLD-CHANGERS, RIGHT? RIGHT.
These Pajama Parties are the perfect way to start conversations. Invite friends over, or keep it intimate with solely your family…do whatever your heart is leading you to do.
By using the kit provided by The Her Initiative, the stress and confusion on how to do this well are tucked away. Simplicity and ease all the way!
Customizable invitations, themed conversation cards, printable decor, four coloring sheets, a themed Spotify playlist link, online menu ideas and recipes, an online DIY guide, and a step-by-step Host Guide to help you through the process.
I mean, truly. Could they have made it easier?? We also read my dear friend Lindsay’s book, I Walk for Water because it seemed to fit just so perfectly with our goal of building awareness in the hearts of our little ones.
We took silly photos, had a dance party (using the Spotify playlist provided), then went downstairs to work on the coloring pages (created by my sweet friend Jocquillin, here in the purple!).
While the girls colored, I began asking questions using the conversation cards. They span from “What’s your favorite snack” (which gave us the opportunity to discuss what kids in other countries may also munch on and our acess to things, versus theirs), to more thought-provoking questions like,
“What can we do to empower the next generation of Her?” and “Tell about a woman you look up to.”
Though they were sweet and thoughtful in their answers, there was a lot of giggling. It was so fun having a discussion that opened eyes and expanded the borders of their little hearts, without making it feel too heavy.
We weren’t talking at them, we were instead speaking with our daughters, allowing them to enter into dialogue that even adults often shy away from.
As I wiped up the Shirley Temple her little sister spilled on the table, I explained that she doesn’t have to wait to be a grown-up to help and make a difference.
EVEN KIDS CAN HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE GLOBAL WATER CRISIS.
“Guess what, sweet love,” I said. “Each time someone purchases the kit to have their own party, they provide clean water for one person! Tell your friends about this…maybe they’ll have a pajama party, too!”
Talking more about how children can take part in changing lives, we brainstormed ways that they, as kids, could be part of the #25for25 campaign and raise $25 per month:
Lemonade stands, garage sales, car washes, bake sales, shoveling snow in the winter and pulling weeds in the summer, the list goes on and on.
I never want my kids to feel they’re not enough. I never want them to think they are too young to do something, make an impact, and change the world.
By having conversations like this party facilitated, our girls understand more about what’s going on in the world. It resonated with them and they now want to step up and make a change.
AS MOMS, WE HAVE THE CHANCE TO NOT ONLY GROW LITTLE PEOPLE UP TO BE ADULTS…BUT TO ALSO TO RAISE UP WORLD CHANGERS.
Let’s embrace it now while they’re young. If we encourage the hearts of our children to take a stand in global issues, there’s no doubt we can change the world together.
If they can make an impact as kids, just think of all they can do as adults.
To get your own Let Her Be A Kid Again kit, click here!