One of the more interesting things about National Children’s Day is how many days it is celebrated around the world. Most accounts point to a local pastor’s sermon in Massachusetts on the second Sunday in June 1856 as the beginning. Yet, it first became a national holiday in Turkey in 1929 when the Turkish Republic set aside April 23 for the observance.

Since 1950, the International Day for the Protection of Children has been observed in many nations on June 1. Traditionally in America we keep the second Sunday of June as National Children’s Day, but President Clinton proclaimed it October 8th, and President George W. Bush said June 1. In Britain it takes place November 20th.

The lesson from this is not confusion, but rather the agreement that children – their protection and nurturing – are vital to the life of the world and its future.

“Every Day is Children’s Day”

Often this phrase is used to protest that kids don’t need a day because they get so much attention and have so much freedom to begin with. If we see it that way, then we are just fortunate to live in a nation, or a community, or even a neighborhood where that might appear to be true.

The fact that so many countries observe it, and that the United Nations used it as the occasion to adopt the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 indicates that taking children’s well being for granted is not a luxury that the world can afford.

Neglect from Prosperity

In the U.S., there are plenty of communities where having enough to eat or getting to a decent school or having somewhere to go while the folks are away at work is not assured by any means. Yet, so many of us here are far enough away from the immediacy of those concerns that the importance of Kids’ Day in our own families might not be obvious.

In fact, the distractions that come with prosperity can be a threat to children, too. When we take a moment – or a day – to think about the balance between the energy we direct outside the family to provide for them and the awareness we preserve within the family to assure that material security isn’t the only thing we’re providing, then we may be surprised at the room for improvement we see.

Knowing Their Importance in a Good Way

Self-importance is unattractive in anyone, including a child. And yet communicating their real importance to children is one way of celebrating Kid’s Day with healthy proportion. A supportive website for mothers offers tangible suggestions for raising the awareness you and your child hold for the role they play in life and the true importance of valuing it. Among them:

  • Preparing your child’s favorite meal.
  • Looking through photos that place your child in the family’s story.
  • Conversing with focus about their wants and needs. The idea is that they become less frivolous or selfish when children’s needs are considered together seriously.

Our purpose as a family practice calls for making children’s well being a built-in element of the family’s whole health. We’d be honored to assist in this perspective. Just call us at 843-815-6468 or email info@globalfamilymed.com