1 Blindingly Simple Way Your Child Can Selfishly Waste The Future

I have to admit, I truly love my guardian angel sometimes….because the most brilliant lessons are gleaned from the utterly horrible experiences through which I go. 

With that as a spine-tinglingly enticing way to start today's post, let me explain.

As I had mentioned yesterday, I happily failed more spectacularly than the blazing sons of over-indulged Hollywood children….and I was earlobe deep into reinventing how I do business online.

This morning, I dashed myself awake at 4am (yay!  Getting back into effective working, woot!) and continued my overall planning and actions.  At 6am, it was time to rouse my clan of Magnificent Ling Kids, and start their day as well.

Well!  And what did I spy with my little eye?

Yes indeed, it was the laundry room existing in a state more disaster-prone than NJ baseball fields after Hurricane Irene.

ie, something like….this.

Imagine that in your laundry room….and you'll comprehend a wee bit of the emotions that flooded thru my very being.

But!  Instead of screaming my head off, which I never do…I instead spoke very quietly to my children about their lack of wisdom.

And afterwards, I idly commented to HS1,

You know, it would be soo much easier if I was the kind of parent who screamed my head off.

He responded,

Yep, it would be so much easier too if I was the kind of kid who screamed my head off in response, too!

I had to smile!

My husband came up shortly afterwards, and we all indulged in a rather awesome breakfast:

Husband breakfast!

I explained to my Better Half the discussion that had erupted earlier, and he….told…me…..

THIS.

"The thing about getting and staying mad at yourself is that you're depriving yourself of the ability to move ahead

When you dwell, you root yourself in the past, but the thing is, you can never change that!  It's over, it's done, and all you can ask yourself is, "Sure it's a painful experience, but what have I learned?" 

He then returned to eating while our son and I looked at each other.

Now, true, his philosophy is very similar to mine (I always view making mistakes as our guardian angels' way of bashing us in the head and saying, "Yo!  Learn this lesson!") but I will confess…

I never really did consider the "rooted in the past" aspect.

Apply this now to your children, aye?

Have you ever seen them so focused on regret or anger or what have you….that they become immobilized and unable to move forward?

That's not good *at all!*

When we as parents allow our kids to imitate The Dreaded Sunken Mushroom Of Doom and Despair for more than a few minutes, we're witnessing them wasting their future.

True, every person should have the ability to mourn their loss…but…. (and stay with me here, this is critical), they also need to learn how to "let go."

In other words,

  • Do *your* kids know how to let go?
  • Do your kids witness you letting go?
  • Do your kids understand how the excessive beating of oneself up can really do massive damage to their future self-confidence?

If not, that's one lesson you truly *want* to embed into your kids so indelibly that when they dream about their failures, they dream of the future successes that will come from them.

Always model the way you want your children to grow!

It will greatly help their self-confidence indeed.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about self-confidence, have you seen:

RANT – 5 Methodical Ways To Horrifyingly Obliterate Your Child’s Self-Confidence

Self-confidence.

It rocks.

Unless, of course, you possess less of it than the inoperative tear-duct of a microscopic dwarf ant, that is.

If so, ever wonder just from where your lack of self-confidence arose?

Yep….chances are, it has a huge heapin' amount to do with your upbringing.

And now that *you're* a parent, you probably want to ensure your child exude self-confidence instead of apologizing for the stray air molecules they waste, aye?

oOo what I said.

With that as a dramatically luscious introduction, let me now delve deep, deep deep into the horrifying ways *you* can destroy your child's self-confidence….and then make a promise to yourself you'll never fall prey to them.


Way #1.)  Never listen to your kid.

When your child approaches you to talk, ensue you act as though you'd far prefer watching mold sprout on your left toenail compared to actually listening to the issue at hand.

It helps if you pull out your cell phone so you can constantly check the time as well.

After all, you do want to communicate how important the child's ideas are!


Way #2.)  Never apologize when you're obviously wrong.

This way, you can ensure your kid immediately takes ownership of guilt guilt guilt, even if there's no reason for such a blatantly incorrect feeling.

Do this often enough, and guaranteed, self-confidence will seep out faster than Hurricane Irene ate NJ.

And then some.


Way #3.)  Focus solely on what your kid does wrong, and *never* show approval when your kid does right.

Does your child look out for others….but is also less neat than an explosion in a spaghetti factory?

If so, concentrate on the mess she makes, and stay utterly silent on how her friends know they can always count on her. 

This will ensure she starts to look down on herself with no help from you!


Way #4.)  Never give 100% approval.

After all, there's *always* something your child could have done a fraction of a millimeter of a nanosecond earlier, wouldn't you agree?

He brings home an A?

  • Why not 3 As? 

She is inducted into National Honor Society?

  • Whatever happened to the Rhodes Scholarship?

No matter what, you can always find something to complain about…something that could have been done better.

Do this often enough, and Bobs your uncle your child will eventually stop even trying to succeed.  Lack of success equals increase lack of self-confidence – bingo!


Way #5.) Never smile at your child.

A smile indicates approval.

Which obviously, you never want your child to feel.

Thus, always make certain your interactions are laden with as much negative emotion as possible!

When your child feels worthless, any self-confidence left will run screaming for the hills.

Success!

* * * * *

Obviously, the above article is a wee bit tongue in cheek…being an adult with zero self-confidence just plain sucks, y'know?

Always make sure you provide the ultimate of affirmation in your child's greatness.

It will be the springboard from which their future success will emerge.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about confidence, have you seen:

RANT – The #1 Stupidest Parenting Fail… Are YOU Guilty of This?

Sometimes…I confess.

MamaBear just utterly despises namby-pamby, wimpy pathetic parents who lack the brass-plated balls to inspire their kids….in the *right* way.

Let me explain.  I now decree the following.

Children can scientifically be divided into 3 easy-to-generalize categories.

Leaders, Followers and Independents.

  • Leaders are those kids around whom their peers gather.  They say "jump", the other kids say, "How high?  And while I'm in the air, might I massage your feet at the same time, pretty please?"

Yep, I'm sayin'.

  • Followers are those sad pathetic excuses for carbon-based life-forms who waste oxygen and who blindly follow others without thinking.  They live to be told what to do, when to do it, and how to then worship the leaders at the completion of it.

    Blech.

  • Independents are kids who think for themselves and both refuse to be led by the leaders or craven lemmingize with the followers.  Their attitude is to live life as they see fit; whomever likes them is welcome to be friends, and whomever doesn't….hell, it's their loss indeed.

In my family, HD1 and HD2 and HS1 and HS2 are all independents.

True, there was a time when HD2 showed a tendency to be a follower; luckily I recognized that when she was in 2nd grade and crushed that tendency dramatically (it was easily done, actually; I merely spent a huge amount of time figuratively beating into her her own personal greatness and magnificence, and how if someone doesn't like her, that someone is a damned fool idjut.  It worked beautifully; HD2, as you already know from reading my blog, is my bonafide space alien who lives life to the fullest and makes no apologies for herself).

But I digress.  🙂

With the above as an introduction, let me now regale you with the #1 stupidest parenting fail.

And it's this.

Parents who dismally *fail* to lead by example.

  • It's truly nauseating. 

Contrary to what some parenting gurus would like you to believe, kids are *not* born with an innate sense of right and wrong.

Kids are *not* born knowing how to think about others if that means they themselves might get hurt in the process.

Kids are *not* born understanding empathy!

Kids need to be taught.

They need to be led by example.

And who's the biggest example in their lives?

You are.

The all-powerful parent.

Tell me now, and tell me seriously.

How are you leading your child by example?

If you see an injustice happening while walking with your child outside, do you….act?

  • Or do you ignore it, tell your kid, that's not *my* problem, and walk away?

If you see a friend treating another like moose feces, do you get up in that friends' face and say, "HEY!  That's just *not* right!"

  • Or do you shrug your shoulders and say, well, they're adults, what can I do?

Well?

The very worst thing you as a parent can do is fail to guide your child, lead by example, and walk the walk you talk.

After all, they're the ones who make up our next generation…and they're also the ones who will take care of *you* when you become 'way elderly in the future!

You see….

You *always* want to ensure your kids not only know right from wrong, but also have the backbone to take a stand and make a difference.

It only takes one small example to inspire others.

Our society recently saw this in action!  To wit:

Jennifer McKendrick, Pennsylvania Photographer, Refuses To Photograph Teen Bullies

…A Pennsylvania photographer has chosen not to photograph a group of high school girls for their senior portraits after she found evidence of the teens bullying other students on Facebook.

Jennifer McKendrick, from Indiana County, Pa., wrote on her own Facebook page earlier this week that she came across another Facebook page with nasty comments from four high school girls whose names matched her scheduled clients.

She emailed the girls and their parents to cancel their senior photo shoots, while including screenshots of their comments to explain why she was calling off the session.

McKendrick wrote more about her decision on her personal blog in a post titled "I Won't Photograph Ugly People." …MORE…

Think about this for a moment, okay?

This photographer saw a group of high school seniors bullying another on Facebook…and refused to have them as a client.

She blogged about it over at "I won't photograph ugly people".

Now *that*…..is admirable….beyond mortal comprehension.

There's been lots of talk about her already:

I especially like the comment at

to wit:

…Especially on the topic of bullying. We all love to wring our hands about mean behavior in kids, but few of us really do anything about it. And the fact is that grownups too often are setting the standard for dissing other people. That includes, for example, parents gossiping about neighbors in front of their kids. It also includes politicians. Our state legislators were extremely quick to pass the nation's sternest anti-bullying law for schools. But just listen to the language they use when talking to and about each other. It's easier to prescribe for others than to take responsibility for our own actions….MORE…

See that quote?

We all love to wring our hands about mean behavior in kids, but few of us really do anything about it.

So now…

You.  Tell.  Me.

Are *you* leading your child by example?

And if not….why the *hell* are you a parent in the first place?

It's something to think about…indeed.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about bullying, have you seen:

Steal This Trick – The #1 Secret Of Successful Parents Part 1, Attitude

>YAAAWWWNNNNN< >>>>STRETCH<<<<<<<

Why good morning to you, gentle reader, and how was your weekend?

Mine was an exhausting roller-coaster of goodness, tears, relaxation and more.

The sad, teary part was attending the memorial service for our Sensei's son, Lincoln High, down in MD.  I wrote about that over at In Memory of Lincoln High (8/24/93 – 8/13/11) – at only 17, he died in a freak tragic accident.  The memorial service was very tough for me; it reminded me how you just never know when your time is up on this planet. 

The goodness part was realizing that yes, I *could* do something for the family…and started creating a Memorial Site for him online.  Others might have thought, it's not your place to do this, MamaBear….but hey.  I figured the chances were, it would be received in the spirit I was giving it… and I'm so glad I did take that chance.

And the relaxing part was simply giving myself permission to shut down on Sunday late afternoon…. and watch TV, rest, hang out with the kids/husband etc.  I have to admit, I love simply doing nothing sometimes.  🙂

Which brings me to today!  It's a brand new week and it's time for me to amaze and astound you.

Here goes!

Ever wish you were privy to the very best secrets of successful parenting?

Well, on MamaBear, you certainly have bunches of them at your fingertips!

But let me zero in on the very best, #1 secret of successful parenting.

And it's this.

Focus on both *you* and your *child's* attitude, respect, imagination, and self-esteem.

In other words, ARISE! 

It's the basic fundamental core parenting philosophy of the Mama Bear Mother.

You see, so many parenting ideas focus on how the parent should guide and raise their children….but kinda sorta drop the ball when it comes to the parent listening to the child as well.

Successful parenting, like with any relationship on this planet, goes both ways.

Certainly, your child must respect you, and also certainly, it's not a question of, you have to *earn* that respect.

You're the parent, bam, you deserve respect.

But at the same time…*your* attitude…should *compel* respect too.

In other words, when your child disagrees with you, you should encourage an open dialogue.  Actively *listen* to your kids' feelings; they need to be validated that it's okay to have a differing viewpoint.  You don't have to change your final answer, of course, but a great attitude will foster profound communications between you and your children.

  • That makes life far, far more tolerable.

You see, we have *all* failed mind-reading 101.  It's very easy to *imagine* what your children are thinking and for them to make assumptions on what drives your parenting actions….but when you both actively *talk* with one another……

It results in *understanding*.

Communication rocks!

Remember, it's *not* just your child's attitude towards you that makes parenting an adventure, it's also the attitude you project to your children that fosters an environment of growth.

Successful parents know…it goes both ways.

And that, of course, is a Very Good Thing indeed.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about Attitude, have you seen:

 

How To Proactively Fling Your Children OFF Of The Despair Tracks Before It’s Too Late

Parenting.

It's more of a hero's journey at times than conquering new galaxies, y'know?

And of course, it always happens when you yourself are dealing with adult issues and angst too.

But hey, it's….character-building!

Today's exciting episode deals with…giving your child the ability to *stop* the train wreck of despair that threatens to engulf them when their defenses are low.

Here's what happened.

Yesterday evening, I had just finished beating myself up about being there for a friend when it was pretty obvious, my help wasn't needed.  I made peace with myself by promising I'd back off and perhaps channel my feelings into a fantastic MamaBear post for the next day.

  • And then….it happened.

My husband discovered that HS1 and HS2, yet again, had left their bathroom in a state that would compel Godzilla to run screaming in terror.

And he brought the boys to the scene of said ickness and told them that for the rest of the evening, they'd clean everything they possibly could.

It was a logical reaction, after all.  No screaming, no ranting, merely, you *will* fix this.

Alas, logic is a miserable opponent when emotions wade their way into the fight!

HS2 took the attitude, "Dad is right, I'm really upset with myself, but I do deserve this rebuking; I will not cry but fix the problem."  (massive wootness there!)

But HS1…..

His reaction was, "OMG I'm an utterly worthless human being and I should just run far far away and never come back."  (actually, the feelings expressed were far stronger and more troublesome, but you get the idea).

Imagine the following, gentle reader.

Yours truly had *just* put herself thru the mental wringer about heartfelt emotions.

And then she realized one of her kids was in massive danger of beating himself up so much his self-confidence might never return (HS1 never does emotions half-assed, you see).

Both boys came to me after they had cleaned up the mess and shared with me all of their hurt feelings and despair and anger and the like.  HS1 in particular told me,

"Mom, whenever I realize I did something stupid, I just can't control myself; I hate myself and can't bear to see anyone because it's so embarrassing.  My little voice keeps telling me I'm a worthless human being!"

As he was explaining it to me, he started getting more and more agitated, so that's when I stepped in and said the following.

"HS1, I totally understand you wanting to run away and never come back; you just want the pain to *stop* and you're willing to do anything and everything to make that happen.

Heck, that happens to me too!  Even with me growing one year older next week, I *still* get hit by my little voice that mocks me for doing what I think is the right thing, or tells me how stupid I am for my actions and the like.

It's really horrible so guess what, you have every right to feel the way you do!

But.  Remember the following, HS1.  That little voice within it that focuses on your despair; it's like a big huge freight train that's barreling down on you while you're standing on the middle of the railroad tracks, staring at it.

You *do* have the ability to step *off* of the tracks and let it pass by, you know.

But that takes courage and strength and you know what?  It's really difficult to do sometime!

You have your benchmark that for the vast majority of time, you're a glorious person.  That's the rock-bottom data; you've proven time and time again that as a human being, you're pretty magnificent. 

Nobody can take that away from you!

So when the Despair Train comes rocketing at you, you *know* in your heart….the reality of those worthless feelings is false.  You have to give yourself permission to let the hero within you come out and tell the despairing boy within you, "You're *not* right!  I *have* bunches of worth!"

And yep, it's really hard to do that!"

While I was talking to my boys, they gradually got calmer and calmer and then HS2 piped up:

"Hey Mom!  Remember your idea about putting all of my anger into a suitcase and throwing it off a mountain?  It really worked!!"

And HS1 said,

"I like the idea of the hero within me; perhaps I can imagine him as part of a MMORPG and his teammates are my guardian angels and hey!  Remember that post you did from the hero site you made me?  I can add a helicopter and a mine to my weapons array too!"

And the situation was resolved, bringing me to the point of this post.

Sometimes the little voice within your kids….can figuratively kill them.

You *want* to proactively give them a benchmark of their personal greatness.

You *want* them to know *know* that sometimes…the little voice just plain lies.

That way, whenever they're crushed by their own feelings telling them how bad they are….they'll be able to draw upon the strength you gave them in the past.

Make no mistake about it – it's a tough thing to do!

But as I discovered last night…it's something that is extremely important for all parents to get done.

You never know what your kids are thinking unless they come to you and explain it.  Thus, you *want* to head off the despair train before it even leaves the station…and give your children the confidence to believe in themselves above everything else.

They'll thank you for it as they continue to mature.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

3 Fatals Beliefs That Kill Your Children’s Self-Confidence (and how to steadily defeat them)

One of the biggest challenges for MamaBear parents is ensuring their kids' confidence level is sturdy, powerful and impossible to destroy.

Alas, this requires a heck of a lot of long-term maintenance! 

I was reminded of this yesterday, when HS2 allowed his inner coward to destroy his inner hero.

Of course, this happened during the rare moments when MamaBear was supposedly off-duty and enjoying a well-deserved rest. 

Apparently, HS1 asked HS2 to keep a secret for him.

  • It's a logical request, you know.

Thing is, though….

Upon hearing about the existence of this secret, HD1 called over HS2 and said,

"C'mon, you can tell me!"

HS2 thought:

"Wow, HD1 is older than me, I *have* to tell her!  I'm going to tell her!  I HAVE TO TELL HER!!"

Luckily, HS1 stopped that before the damage was done, and HD1 alerted me to the, ahem, discussion.

Which resulted in the following conversation.

"HS2, when someone entrusts you with a secret, and it's a secret that doesn't hurt anyone else, and you *agree*…. you have a moral responsibility to *keep* that secret.

It doesn't matter who asks, you do *not* have to be afraid of what someone will say if you choose to let your inner hero rule and *stand* by your word.

But in this case…it was your inner coward that took control.  Your inner coward is weak and foolish and always takes the easy way out.

  • Everyone has an inner coward.
  • Everyone also has an inner hero!

You, however, are the only one who controls which aspect of you wins.

What would you have done differently?"

Which brings me to the point of this post.

Raising kids with self-confidence is one of the key foundations of the Mama Bear Parenting style.

But like everything else in life, it is fraught with challenges.

Here's three of the most damaging.


NOTE!Fatal Belief #1 – "I have to tell secrets to get people to like me"

It's natural – kids want to be accepted by the pack.  Thing is, if a child lacks self confidence, he will often be willing to sell out his friends if it makes other people like him more.

Cure this belief by: Turn the situation around and put your child in that particular place.  Ask him how it makes him feel to see his friend betray him.  Then show him that by standing his ground, he shows his strength to his so-called friends. 


 

NOTE!Fatal Belief #2 – "I don't deserve to believe in myself."

From childhood, we're often told how special we are or how valued we are.

Thing is, if we don't feel that way ourselves, those words go in one ear and scream out the other.  🙁

And if you don't believe in yourself, it's very difficult to stand tall with the self-confidence that your actions are right.

Cure this belief by: Don't just tell your children how wonderful they are…*show* them as well. 

Take them by the hand and walk them over to things they've made, remind them of times when they helped out others, engage them in conversation that details beyond any shadow of a doubt that they *do* make a difference.

It's very difficult to argue with reality.


NOTE!Fatal Belief #3 – "Nobody will care about my actions anyways."

When your child has zero self-confidence, it's easy to lull themselves into believing they can do anything because nobody really *cares* about them to begin with.

This is a very insidious belief and utterly defies reality (which makes it very difficult to deal with indeed!).  Approaching this with logic often fails because logic generally shows the immense amount of love that's out there.

Cure this belief by: Always expressing 110% confidence in your kids (but be prepared – it takes a *long* time to fix this).

This is something you have to repeat again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again before it really takes.

But never lose the faith…eventually thru sheer repetition, it does seep into their minds.

I always tell HS2 and HS1 that I will always believe in them, even when their actions are more clueless than 17 sheep trying to grab take-out veggies at a lion's convention.

I never falter from that, even when I am suffused by an insane desire to rip out my hair and take long running jump off of an extremely short teeny tiny pier.

Because if I don't proactively show I believe in them….who else will?

The same thing thing is applicable to virtually any child out there.

Kids need to know they're believed in….it refreshes their self-confidence and helps it blossom forever after.

And that, of course, is a Very Good Thing indeed.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

Boldly unleash your child’s inner hero

Courage.

It comes in many forms.

And MamaBear has recently internalized (kinda sorta like a neutron bomb can internalize a wee bit of devastating power) that quite often, people are afraid to give themselves permission to face reality….the way it really is.

It happened during this today's Camp Ling morning jog.  Every other day, I rouse the kids at 5:45am, we pack the moosies into the MooseMobile, and we venture to a town park where the kids jog the outfield 10 times, the mooses rocket all over the place, and yours truly contents herself with various kicks and other easy workout thingees.

Things like this happen!

Jogging!

Things like that happen!

Chase chase chase

But you'll notice…

There's no picture of HS2.

Why, I hear you ask?

Because HS2 believes he's lousy at running…and so, offered up an effort similar to that described by fossilized clams on a stationary bike.

3 of my kids threw themselves into their exercise with style and grace, but HS2 dragged his feet again and again and again.

I chose to simply watch…and plan my reaction.

When the 3 were done with the 10 laps, I called over HS2 and told him, he had to run 100% of another lap, and that if he stopped, he'd run again and again until he succeeded.

Amazingly, *that* lap was run….beautifully.

No problem at all!

So why couldn't he have done that with everyone else?

It was a mystery I was determined to solve.

After HS2 came back, I asked him the above.  And he said, "Mom, I'm really bad at running and I just feel embarrassed.  It's really hard for me!"

I had two choices for reactions.  My favorite one (which would have been me saying, "Man up, cupcake, and stop whining!"), alas, had to remain a fantasy for me.  🙂

This is what I told him instead.

"HS2, you just ran that last lap with no problems at all. 

But when you tell yourself, I can't do it, you lose hope and courage.  And you *do* have courage within you; we all do. 

'Matter of fact, everyone has their own:

  • Inner hero
  • Inner demons
  • Inner coward
  • Evil ideas
  • Good ideas

that live within them, every single moment of every single day! 

And only *you* can give yourself permission to let your inner hero out where he can shine. 

So when you say, I cannot do this!, you're letting your inner coward control you.  Is that what you want?  Don't you deserve better?  I sure think you do…and I think you should always give your inner hero a fighting chance to help you succeed."

The above was received very well indeed.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

Always encourage your children to recognize their inner heros too!

The plain fact is, we will not always be around to prop up our kids when they need it.  They might be besieged with doubts at school, with their friends….some place where us MamaBear parents are *not* able to give great verbal encouragement.

This is where letting one's inner hero shine….can make the difference between success and failure.

Every child is capable of greatness, and every child can glitter more brightly than the stars.

But only…if they allow their inner heros to shine.

Thus, sit your kids down the next time you see them, and have a talk about their inner heros.

  • And their inner cowards.
  • And their demons…
  • And their good thoughts…
  • And their evil thoughts….

And let them know the following.

You believe in their greatness.

It should definitely bolster their confidence beyond imagining.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

RANT – How to teach your children to take back their power

Ever wish your child was powerful beyond all imagining?

Ever want your children to be able to handle everything life throws at them…and more?

If so, MamaBear has the ultimate solution for them!

And it's this.

Teach your children that the only person she or he can rely upon (besides you)...are themselves.

It will save them from a whole huge heapin' amount of hurt in the future.

I was reminded of this yesterday when I encountered the Parenting Trauma from Obliterating Hell.  It's very rare (as in, perhaps only once or twice a year) when I get socked with a parenting challenge that utterly devastates me.

Very rare indeed….but I will admit, being only human, it does happen.

Now, I never rely on people except my husband and family.  It's been my experience that unless someone truly loves you, they value their own self more than you.  Which, I suppose, is quite natural.

Thing is, though…the issue yesterday involved the husband as well, and so I turned to one of my best friends.

However….

Life, alas, just plain happened, so that fell through.  🙁

In hindsight, I take ownership for letting myself be weak and giving myself permission to rely upon someone other than myself.

If I had stayed strong and independent and self-reliant, I would not have allowed myself to weaken …and ultimately been disappointed. 

Lesson learned.

I'm not mad at my friend of course; I chose to count on her, I take ownership of the results.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

It's very easy for children to give ownership of their successes, failures and feelings to *other* people.

When they count on others, they are effectively letting themselves blame others should things go bad.

I've seen it often enough with my kids when they're partnered with idjuts at school.  Said idjuts drop the ball, they neglect to complete their responsibilities….and then my kids tell me, "But Mom, I couldn't study more because the other students didn't complete their responsibilities and get me the materials!"

To which I say,

Moose by-products!

The plain fact is, the only person upon whom children can rely (besides their family), 100%, are themselves.

And if the other students fail to do their schoolwork, your kids *have* to take ownership and gain the knowledge themselves.

You see, it's very tempting, at young ages, to count on one's friends.  But when they fall through, all your kids are left with…

  • are hurt, painful feelings.

And that just plain sucks.

I now like to tell my kids,

"Hope for the best….but prepare for the worst."

That way, you're never disappointed.

It's funny – yesterday was the first time in years I actually broke down enough to reach out for help.  I had not a single doubt that help would come through.

And when it didn't, I cried a bit and then realized, hey.  Life.  It happens.  If I had chosen to stay strong, I wouldn't have been weakened.

My gosh, that's profound.  🙂

But 100% true.

Give your children the gift of self-reliance…and teach them *never* to count 100% on anyone except themselves….until they meet people who would go to the ends of the world for them.

It will help them greatly in life.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

How to give your children the gift of strength

Parenting….it's truly a hero's journey.

Indeed.

I was just reminded of this when HS2 attempted to tie on his hakama in preparation for Aikido class.   Due to mistakes, he ended up with a garment that was tied rather bizarre…and attempted to fix it himself.

Then he asked me, but as I don't hakamaize, I suggested he call HS1.

HS1 offered an alternative way to tie it (you can tell my life is filled with excitement by now, can't you?), but by then it was too late….

HS2 focused upon his perceived stupidity and ran out of the room to yell at himself in his office.

Sigh.

Drama kings, we haves 'em!

I figured that in this case, letting HS2 work out his frustrations made the most sense.  And after 5 minutes, he came back, asked to cuddle, and I told him the following.

"It sure is tough when you get frustrated, right?  But did the last 5 minutes of beating yourself up…help you in any way at all?

I don't think so!  Remember, HS2, you *have* the ability to succeed within you…but you choose to panic or give up or feel sad instead.

But when you do that, all you're doing is dishonoring your own inner strength.  You *can* do this, but you're not giving yourself permission to succeed.  Instead, you're focusing on your mistakes and sitting on them and just plain not moving forward.  You're letting your fears and frustrations conquer you, you're letting yourself be afraid of facing them.

Now, you tell me that you feel stupid?  That's okay, wrong, mind you, but okay.  Still though, no matter how much you try, you just cannot *change* the past, you cannot go back and act differently!

And when you keep dwelling on that, you're carrying that big huge load with you to the present.  It's like your anger and frustration are stuffed into humongous heavy bags…and you're dragging them around with you instead of letting them go.

So I want you now to imagine the following.  Take your anger and unhappiness from your past actions, and stuff 'em into those bags.  Carry them now to the curbside…and then….just let them go.  That way, you can give yourself permission to try again and this time…succeed."

And that's just what he did.

Sigh.

Well, actually, my sigh is not for him, because he is learning it's *okay* to choose to face his fears and frustrations instead of taking the cowards' way out and whining, poor me!

My sigh is for me, because I'm so spiritually drained by my own personal stupid actions earlier that rising to the occasion required energy I simply did not have…but manufactured quick!

And whenever that happens, I crash and burn.

Except I can't choose to enjoy that right now – I have to take HD1 to swords and HS2 to Aikido. 

So like every other MamaBear parent on the face of this planet…I'll just suck it up and continue to be there for the world.

Good news is, this lesson should really stay and help HS2 as he continues to mature, woot!

But to get back to the original point of this post:

To give your children the gift of inner strength, do the following.

  • Step 1.)  Validate their frustrations.
  • Step 2.)  Refuse to let them wallow in self-pity.
  • Step 3.)  Inform them you believe, heart and soul, in their abilities.
  • Step 4.)  Tell them they are *stronger* than their fears, *stronger* than their frustrations, and they *have* to *choose* to give themselves permission to face everything and try again.

Rinse and repeat as often as needed.

Yes, it's exhausting…but done right and done early, should really help your kids grow beautifully.

And that, of course, can only be described as a Very Good Thing indeed.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear