Personal Development Opportunities Ages 7-12

Poll number: 

Question-Week ending Sunday 05/18/03:

Regardless of your current age, take a moment "if you can" to reflect back when you were between the ages of 7 to 12 years old. How well would you say you took advantage of the Personal Development Opportunities (PDO's) that were within your reach during those years? Please read our Poll Commentary before taking this poll.

Pre-Poll Commentary:

As adults, we sometimes try to re-live our own childhoods as we watch our own children and grandchildren grow up. We want to present as many opportunities as possible to them, to help them grow into responsible and mature individuals. Today, there is an ever growing list of activities for children ages 7 to 12 years old, which can provide skills and character building for their future. Below is a partial list of Personal Development Opportunities that we would like you to consider, when voting in this week's poll.

If in fact these opportunities were available to you when you were 7 to 12 years old, how well did you take advantage of them? Keep in mind this is only a sampling. If you engaged in other similar activities, use them in place of this list when voting.

  • Family Guidance

  • Did you engage in Quality Talk Time with Parents or Grandparents?

  • Did you Watch and Learn from Parents or Grandparents?
  • Did you learn about Good Nutrition from Parents or Grandparents?
  • Did you learn about Financial Responsibility from Parents or Grandparents?
  • Did you watch and Learn from Aunts, Uncles or older cousins?
  • Family Activities
  • Did you have dinner together as a family?
  • Did you worship together as a family?
  • Did you willingly travel with your parents?
  • Did you willingly go to family events?
  • Sports Activities and Lessons
  • Did you play Little League Baseball?
  • Did you play Soccer?
  • Did you play Pop Warner Football?
  • Did you take Dance Lessons?
  • Did you take Skating Lessons?
  • Did you take Swimming Lessons?
  • Did you take Karate Lessons?
  • Did you take Golf Lessons?
  • Did you take Tennis Lessons?
  • Did you take Bowling Lessons?
  • Music Education
  • Did you take Music Lessons on any instrument?
  • Other Educational Activities
  • Did you learn a second or third language?
  • Did you attend Religious Educational Classes?
  • Did you read a lot for fun and education?

As you can see from this partial list, there are many opportunities to learn from others and develop new skills during the ages of 7 to 12. These are very important years in a child's life. I am sure you know a friend or two from your childhood that took advantage of every opportunity that came his or her way. However, you probably know scores of people that passed on EVERY opportunity that came their way. Why is that so?

Let us know in this week's poll, how well you took advantage of those Personal Development Opportunities (PDO's) presented to you when you were between the ages of 7 to 12 years old.

This poll will end on Sunday 05/18/03, when the results will be displayed.


  1. 35% voted taking advantage of 7-12 PDO's Good=85%
  2. 23% voted taking advantage of 7-12 PDO's Fair=75%
  3. 20% voted taking advantage of 7-12 PDO's Very Good=90%
  4. 13% voted taking advantage of 7-12 PDO's Poor=65%
  5. 09% voted taking advantage of 7-12 PDO's Excellent=95%

Post-Poll Commentary:

Like last week's poll, Excellent was still the choice with the fewest number of votes. I must say that I did not vote Excellent. Looking back on my own life, I did not take full advantage of PDO's between ages 7 to 12. To this day I regret not taking piano lessons during this stage in life. Not that anyone was coaxing me to do so, but I believe that if I had a will to play piano, I would have had the opportunity.

Learning from my own experience, when I became a parent, I made sure that all of my children had the opportunity to play musical instruments. They all took piano lessons as well as some other musical instruments. One of three of my children really embraced his opportunity and is a highly skilled pianist today, who thoroughly loves composing music. He took advantage of his early lessons and plays daily now, loving his music.

As mature adults, we can't go back in time to correct our past decisions. But we can influence future generations, by inspiring them to take advantage of the many opportunities available during these early stages of life. We don't have to reach professional status in all we do. However, I believe it's important to expose ourselves to as many activities, skills and educational activities that time and resources will allow. Only then will we be able to discover our hidden talents to excel and develop a lifetime love for activities throughout our lives.