Will Smith has become famous almost as much for his parenting and relationships with his children as he has with his music and films. And Will has offered this advice: “Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward.”
The Difficulty in Watching Your Child Fail
As much as we may hate to fail, you have to admit that it’s one of the best ways to learn. This makes total sense to anyone, but to a parent, it can be one of the hardest pieces of advice to take. That’s because it is so hard to see your child fail.
I’m still trying to figure it all out. What I do agree with, though, is that it’s one of the best life lessons that we can give to our kids. Learning at a young age that part of life is to live and learn will be invaluable to them later on.
Failing in a Safe Environment
If you’re still hesitant about letting your child fail, here’s something else to think about: By allowing them to make mistakes now and fail at things while they’re young, you’re letting them do all of this in a “controlled environment.”
You will have them under direct supervision so you can intervene before anything gets out of hand. It also gives you an opportunity after they fail to talk with them about the experience. They need to see this as a learning opportunity, and the best way to do that is to talk with them.
There Are Limits to What You Can Allow Your Kids to Fail
I’m not talking about letting them do anything crazy like allowing them to carry on with activities that will cause them injury. You aren’t going to watch your kid, about to touch a hot stove, and let him do it just to prove a point. I’m talking about things where it’s not critical to rush to their side to save them from having to experience the consequences of their choices.
Let me explain this a little better with an example with my daughter. She had a bad habit of forgetting her school lunch. It used to be that I would always come to her rescue and “save her” by bringing her lunch to her.
My Personal Example of Allowing My Child to Fail
I eventually got really fed up with doing this ALL THE TIME. So, I told her that I was no longer going to bring lunch to her. Now, if she forgets her lunch at home, she will have to eat the school’s “Emergency Lunch” and pay the $6-$7 for the lunch out of her own money.
One day, on the way out, I saw her lunch bag on the counter. I had to resist the urge to just tell her about it. But let’s just say that after she had to pay for her own lunch that day, she has not forgotten her lunch again.
The Lesson Learned from Failure Stays With Your Child
This may be more on the trivial side when you compare it to other things they will ultimately be faced with. But one thing is certain: they’re learning and are aware they have to deal with the consequences of their actions. The results of their choices (both those they make and those they fail to make) have costs they have to pay.
Part of growing up is experiencing things for yourself, both the good and the bad. If you keep them in a bubble and protect them from the realities of the world, it’s going to be much harder on them when they have to face reality later in life. They have to develop the skills to cope with this now, so they’ll be ready later on.
Today, there’s not much we can all agree on it seems if you look at social media or the news.
Well, there’s something that 100% of the moms we asked said they ALL want for their Mother’s Day. Can you guess what it is?
First, we reached out to moms with little ones at home. They were kind enough to take time out of their busy day to give us their responses.
We asked: What do you most want for your Mother’s Day?
Below we share their actual responses, but it is unanimous that each mom wants one thing: TIME.
That precious commodity that we never get enough of as moms (and really anyone these days, but especially moms). Our time is not our own. We do for others and make sure the lives of our loved ones are easier and consistent by the daily actions we take to keep things going.
There were variations of each moms answer as to what they would do with the time given but each one asked for time not on the mom clock so they can spend it how they like for just one day.
So, for the husbands and kids out there, here are a few tips from our mom poll on how you can make your mom feel special and appreciated on Mother’s Day:
Offer to cook breakfast for your wife/mom (be sure to let her sleep in first!)
Do the dishes, take out the trash and any other chores she typically does
Does she like massages or getting her nails done? Schedule a pamper session for her!
Make a homemade card with your heartfelt thoughts about how wonderful your mom/wife is.
Know something special your mom really appreciates? Whatever it is – do it!
It’s not hard and it isn’t costly to show the mom in your life just how amazing she really is. Want to know exactly what our moms said they want for their Mother’s Day? Watch the video below:
If you’re like me, then you probably like to limit screen time for your kids. Spending time with your kids can be a healthy activity getting everyone off the couch and active outdoors. If your children know that you value activity, they’re more likely to value it themselves.
Here’s a couple fun outdoor activities that our family likes and can get your whole family spending an active time together:
This is a simple one when you don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing or having to do a lot of serious physical activity. Keep a supply of sidewalk chalk in your supply closet!
Let your child’s inner artist come out and when the rain washes it away you can start all over. If you really want to get jumping, sketch out a hopscotch grid and go to town.
Our family enjoys biking our neighborhood trail whenever we get the chance. It brings a calm to our hectic schedules. Sometimes if time and weather permit, we’ll go to the beach and ride our bikes along the trails there. I realize not everyone lives close to the beach but it can be fun riding along a canal or other body of water in your city!
Here are a few ideas that we haven’t tried ourselves but look really fun. We are adding them to our list and hope to do them really soon!
This is a great activity that’s been going on since 2000. Currently, there are millions of geocaches hidden around the world.
You can download the app and then follow your GPS on an outdoor adventure to locate this “hidden treasure.” Once you find it, you sign the log and know that you’ve accomplished something and had a chance to bond along the way.
Many local communities have weekend farmer’s markets. You can walk around outdoors and check out the incredible produce the local farmers have to offer. It’s a good way to introduce your kids to fresh fruits and veggies and instill in them a belief in supporting local businesses and independent growers.
This one caught on with college students years ago, but it’s one that the whole family can really enjoy. Some people buy all kinds of frisbees to play with, but you really only need a few that you can pick up at the dollar store. You can even make your own “course” in your backyard by designating a goal and having everyone see who can get the closest to it with their frisbee.
That’s just a few things you can do to get your kids moving and involved in the outdoors. Sure, they may complain about bug bites, the heat, or a few cuts and scrapes along the way, but those can be taken care of easily and everyone will enjoy spending time together.
It’s an ongoing debate that ultimately just boils down to family preference so…
You either fall into the “Santa Claus brings out the magic and fun for kids” or the “We don’t believe in lying to our kids” group.
I’d have to say that from what I’ve seen and heard, this debate is pretty much even on both sides. And I completely understand the viewpoints from both sides
Personally, I never grew up believing that there was a Santa. I knew exactly what was under the Christmas for me because I picked it out myself. Because we didn’t have much money and what was purchased were things of necessity, like clothes and shoes.
But now with 2 kids of my own, I bought into the tradition of creating the fun and magical moments for my kids that I never experienced. I enjoy seeing them wake up on xmas morning excited to know that Santa came to visit them and left them something special.
At 10 and 8 years old, my kids still believe I think, but I know the time is coming where I’ll need to decide whether to continue to try and keep them believing or tell them what really is going on.
So previously, I’ve been able to get away with their questions with these responses…
“What do you think?”
“How do you think the presents get there?”
It’s usually not confirming or denying but reflecting the question back to them. My kids never pressed the issue but if you have very inquisitive kids, you might not get away with it so easily.
Some moms have used these responses to continue the tradition…
“I guess you have to figure that out for yourself”
“Santa is only real if you believe and if they don’t, then he isn’t real to them”
“He has a special key that unlocks any door for houses without a chimney”
“If you don’t believe, you don’t receive!”
If your kids stop believing, here are some responses that may help you explain why you been telling them about Santa all these years…
“Santa is a part of the spirit of Christmas”
“Santa may not be real but the magic of Santa is”
“The spirit of Santa was real”
“St Nicholas was real and Santa was a fun story that makes Christmas magical.” You can even go on the internet together to read up on the history of St. Nicholas.
And if you have kids that take it really hard, I absolutely love this letter that I came across the internet somewhere to help explain the spirit of Santa Claus. There are many versions of this but I really like this one. (And if this belongs to you, please let me know so that I can give you the proper credit for it)
If you have younger siblings, you could even convince your older child who now knows what really happens that they can help continue on the spirit of Santa to continue making it fun for their younger siblings.
Kids love being a part of something that the adults plan and especially if it means they know something that their siblings don’t.
So I think that is definitely what I will do when the time comes. I have my canned responses but I will also use a response similar to what’s in the letter. It captures exactly what we all aim for when introducing Santa into our kids lives.
“Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness.”
At the end of the day, it really is about enjoying quality time with family and friends, the spirit of giving and creating family traditions and memories.
A lot of moms nowadays identify as a helicopter parent because they want to keep their kids safe. You may sometimes restrict your kids’ movement to ensure their safety, but this doesn’t always equate to helicopter parenting. In my opinion, there’s a big difference between being a helicopter parent and making sure that your kids are safe.
Worrying for your child’s safety is what any responsible parent would do, but going to extreme measures is another story.
Being overprotective and overbearing like any other helicopter parent may be detrimental in the long run. You need to identify the difference between what is a helicopter parent from that of a responsible one.
By doing so, you are letting your child grow, but what is a helicopter parent, exactly?
What is a Helicopter Parent?
Learning the traits of what a helicopter parent is can be helpful in avoiding becoming/being one. Here is a list of what I think a helicopter parent does:
Doing things for your kids even if they are capable of doing it on their own.
Setting impossibly high standards on your kids.
Not allowing your kids to do what they want even if they are in a perfectly safe environment.
Stopping your kids from experiencing new things because of your irrational fear of the outcomes.
Making decisions for your kids as much as you can.
Do any of the items in the list resonate to you?
I get it, a lot of us can relate to some items on the list, and it’s perfectly normal. We want to make sure our kids have everything they need since It’s our motherly instinct kicking in!
While these feelings are normal, acting on them by being overbearing and overprotective to your kids isn’t gonna help.
Effects of Helicopter Parents to their Kids
We have the tendency to overlook what the effects of helicopter parents to their kids are and become one, ourselves.
Now that we’ve clarified what is a helicopter parent, learning on the effects of helicopter parents to kids comes next.
Commonly, the effects of helicopter parents to their kids include:
Their kids become indecisive and helpless.
Their kids have low self-esteem
Their kids finding it difficult to cope
Their kids become too dependent on others and,
Their kids become entitled
These traits may be common in younger children, but these shouldn’t persist as they grow into their adult lives. Hence, it is important to identify early on if you are a helicopter parent or not to prevent these effects.
Are you a Helicopter Parent, or not?
There is no perfect parenting style in the world, so we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. More so, we shouldn’t be too hard on our kids as well.
I believe we should assess our parenting styles frequently to come up with an effective style that best fits our kids. By learning what a helicopter parent is and the effects of helicopter parents to their kids, you can adjust accordingly.
We want our kids to grow holistically and become successful, and these things can only be achieved through experience. As Julius Cesar once said, “experience is a great teacher..” and we shouldn’t be afraid to let our kids learn.
If we let them learn, we are giving them the opportunity to grow into the best citizens that they can be.
Are you a helicopter parent, or not? What are your thoughts on it?
I’d love to hear them; just leave me a message or make a comment below.
Who in the world would be crazy enough to charge their wedding expenses on credit cards?
Who in the world thought they could afford anything and everything just because we could still afford to make the monthly payments?
And who got themselves in $120K in debt AND got themselves out of it?
This is a personal story I have decided to share because I know there are many families who are currently in debt like we were and if sharing this means it inspires just one family to start taking action, it is well worth it.
I won’t go into all the details on how we accumulated so much debt but I will say that it was pretty much anything and everything we could charge on a credit card.
In our minds, since we made enough to be able to cover the minimal monthly payments, that meant we could afford those things.
Before you know it, we were maxing out credit card after credit card and what was our solution to now having multiple monthly minimum payments?
We applied for new cards and played the whole “transfer all our balances” to this new card game so that we would have less number of payments to deal with.
On top of all that, we purchased a house on an interest only loan that now I keep thinking to myself, “What in the world were we thinking?
We started finding ourselves living paycheck to paycheck.
Barely making the payments.
Barely any money left over to do anything.
Still continuing to charge for basic necessities because the money we got paid that week was already spoken for with last months credit card charges!
The interest we were paying alone was eating up a big chunk of our income.
It was a never ending cycle.
On the outside, you wouldn’t have been able to tell we were struggling. But boy were we struggling.
I was not happy. Always stressed about not having enough money to pay the bills. Daily arguments with my husband.
It was a mess!
The final straw was when I logged into our bank account and saw that we barely had $10 in it.
That was it! I was sick and tired of being sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck.
We went through a short sale of our home and moved in with family to start getting our life back together.
I’m not going to say it was an easy thing to do. It was the opposite. It was one of the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do.
Maybe even harder than childbirth!
Preston, my second child was about 1 month old when we moved in with my older brother.
It was the longest 3 years ever.
Three years of working extra shifts, my husband getting a second job, not eating out as much, barely going out, saying no to family/friend’s invitations, saying no to temptations of buying new “toys” and tracking our spending like a hawk.
It took lots of hard work, discipline, many frustrating moments, and nights of despair where I wanted to just give up because it felt like we weren’t making a dent in our debt at all.
But we stayed focused.
My husband and I supported and encouraged each other and stayed the course.
If there was any one thing that I can attribute to our success, it was that we were on the same page with our goals and vision for the life we wanted to build with our kids.
This is SO IMPORTANT.
And that vision did not include a life living in debt. We made plenty of bad financial decisions and we wanted to make darn sure that our kids do not follow in our footsteps.
I’m here to say that it can be done.
It starts with a decision to change your family’s lifestyle.
Make a plan to help you take massive action.
Be disciplined. Practice saying “No”.
Get creative with increasing income. Have a garage sale.
Track your spending.
And throw every single penny towards your debt.
Yes, it’s definitely easier said than done. But complaining about how much debt you are in is not going to take you any closer into living a financially stress free life,
Trust me, the hard work and effort to get there is going to be so worth it.
The life I can now provide for my kids is priceless. The life and financial lessons I can impart to them will be invaluable.
If being in debt has taught me anything, it is that with hard work, determination, discipline and some perseverance, you can make anything happen.
If you’ve read this far, that means you know what you need to do.
There’s so much more life to enjoy than to constantly worry about whether or not next month’s bills will be paid.
It’s time. Get sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Let’s do this!
If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more on the actual step by step actions we took for those 3 years to get out of debt, comment below and I’ll add a Part 2 to the story.