Parenting is not easy. It is the biggest job and everyday you are faced with ups and downs of navigating your child through life. As my children are getting older their challenges are changing. From learning to walk to gaining independence, each stage has been a learning process for them as well as me. I’ve learned to be the person that is always there for them no matter what. As I continue to grow and learn with my child I have learned to celebrate every moment with them-the good ones and the not so good ones, to help teach my kids to persevere no matter what challenges they face.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dosh. All opinions and ideas are my own.
A few weeks ago my kids took swimming lessons. At the end of the lessons they find out if they move on to the next level. This year one of my kids moved on and one did not. As a mom it was a challenge to be excited for my child who moved on and also support my child that didn’t. I wanted them both to feel proud of themselves for the work and effort they put in. It made me reflect on myself as a parent and how to celebrate my children not only for the wins but for trying their best and putting their all in.
As I thought about it I came up with a few ways to help my kids persevere as they face wins and failures.
Did you child push themselves? Were they brave and did something even though they were afraid? Celebrate the act of doing. If your child got out there and tried something new, tell them how proud you are of them. Let them make mistakes and pursue things they want to do without the fear of having to win or be the best. Talk about how important it is that your child tried something. They took a risk and put themselves out there.
Sometimes the win isn’t the end goal. Sometimes the act of doing it and accomplishing something is when they really learn.
My daughter and I ran in a 5k in the spring. We were not the first to the finish line, but when we crossed it hand in hand I had tears hidden behind my sunglasses because I was so proud of my daughter. It was an amazing moment and when we finished her smile and sense of accomplishment made it incredible. At the end of the day it didn’t matter if we won the race, it mattered that we ran the race.
Take a break from your regular scheduled activities and plan a night out. The night of the swim lessons we went out for a family night at Chuck E. Cheese. It was a simple night out that the kids loved. At dinner we did a “cheers” to everyone for doing their best at swim lessons and how proud we were of them for trying.
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Often my kids just need to vent. They need to get all the emotions out and then they can move on. So often as parents we want to help or fix the situation without allowing our kids to come up with their own solution. Stop and really listen to what your kids are saying. Allow for moments of silence and let your kids solve their problems. Listening can be one of the best things you can do to help your kid work out their problems.
If they don’t make the cut at try outs or they don’t move on for swim lessons, don’t let it define them. It may shake their confidence but focus on what they do well. With swimming I had to help my child work through the fact that moving on didn’t mean they were not a good swimmer. They are actually great swimmers and have grown so much through the lessons. Help them to not be defined by their “fails” and to see their growth.
Parenting can be hard work. Being there for your children and supporting them through all the ups and downs can make all the difference. It will strengthen your relationship and bring you closer. It also helped my kids get back in the pool and get their confidence back.
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