One week before students head back to classes, parents learned a few lessons Monday from inspirational speaker and comedian Phil Callaway.
During a Clearview School Division gathering in Stettler, parents were drawn to Callaway’s direction to be humorous, compassionate and encouraging in raising children.
“What a great way to bring grace to your home,” said Liana Bohn of Stettler. “We’re always encouraging our children to be gracious and grateful.”
She agreed with Callaway’s observation that parents need to be role models and to lead from ahead — not from behind.
“Model to your children what we want our children to embrace,” said Callaway, an award-winning speaker and columnist from Three Hills who has authored more than 20 books.
He spoke with Clearview teachers and staff during the day, and encouraged parents Monday night.
He urged parents and teachers to laugh more as a way to relieve stress.
“Laughter won’t just save your life,” Callaway said. “It will save your family and relationships.
“Be real, laugh with your children and talk with them — and stay connected.”
Those words inspired parents and teachers.
“You have to be happy and laugh with your kids, and not get down on being a parent,” said Angela Weeks of Castor.
“We have to learn to laugh, listen to kids, and make time for kids and each other,” said Kim Poapst, a teacher at Stettler Elementary School.
Callaway shared that when his family and friends get together in their home, no social media devices are allowed.
He stressed that human connection is valuable and needed more than electronic communication.
“We will not be wealthy without friends,” Callaway said.
He encouraged parents to say, “I love you,” to their children and others, eat together at home at least three times a week, and make friends with their children’s teachers as partners on the same team.
“What can we do to make this the best year for our children?”
Supt. John Bailey welcomed parents to the gathering — and the new school year.
“We look forward to sharing your children — it’s an extension of the home,” he said.
The first day of classes for Clearview students is Tuesday, Sept. 4.