Mike McIndoe has met a lot of great kids.
He was a public school teacher and administrator for 34 years — working as principal at Salmo secondary, Trafalgar middle and L.V. Rogers secondary schools — prior to his retirement. And he raised three children of his own.
Now he’s self-published his first book titled Great Kids: The Traits they Share, which he describes as “a relations book, about how to listen, how to value, and how to help kids reach their potential.”
The book combines research from experts like Gordon Neufeld and Barbara Coloroso with McIndoe’s own observations from his years working with kids.
“I remember early on in my teaching career, when my kids were young, I would look at the really cool kids I was teaching and think, I hope my kids can turn out like Blare or Miles or Shannon,” McIndoe said.
His definition of a great kid isn’t based on academic or athletic achievements, but rather, “they’re kids who are socially conscious, have lots of self esteem and feel good about themselves, and are basically just productive, good citizens.”
He started to pay attention to what these type of kids have in common. He found the most important factor to be a parent or set of parents who nurture these desirable characteristics in their child.
“Parents of the great kids I identified were intuitively doing what experts were saying they should do,” McIndoe said.
But he also noticed that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a parent that guides a child in the right direction.
“Sometimes I’ve seen kids who have really struggled and there’s been one person in their life who has really made a difference, maybe a coach or teacher,” McIndoe said.
That’s why he says his book isn’t just for parents but for anyone who works with young people. He’s been selling copies at his Rotary Club meetings, local swim meets and during his Parenting Today workshops, which he’s hoping to offer more of.
“I have a number of different workshops, from a quick 20 minute presentation to a full course with six, three-hour sessions,” McIndoe said.
During these workshops, he sells his book for $15 with $5 from each sale going to a charity chosen by the organizer. For example, when he sells books at his Rotary Club, he gives a portion of sales to the skatepark fundraiser.
“Because I self-published this book, I have a bit more flexibility in marketing than somebody who sells it through a publisher,” McIndoe said.
To buy a copy of Great Kids: The Traits they Share or for information on McIndoe’s Parenting Today workshops, visit mikemcindoe.com. The book is also for sale at Otter Books.