A Guide to Self-Care For Breastfeeding Moms

Today’s blog was written by Leslie Campos at Wellparents.com.

Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com

Breastfeeding is meant to be a positive experience for both mother and baby. However, in my years of working with families, I’ve seen that the physical and emotional exhaustion of breastfeeding can interfere with what should be a joyful experience. It’s important, therefore, for nursing moms to invest in their own self-care. Here are some simple yet effective ways to do so.

Make your comfort a priority.

Whether you’re pregnant or already nursing, comfort can be hard to come by. This is why you need to take extra measures to allow yourself this kindness. Case in point, as you get ready to give birth, you want to be sure that you come prepared with a comfy delivery gown and a robe. Nursing pajamas and nursing bras will especially come in handy as you and your baby get into the groove of nursing. You’ll be surprised at just how much these simple pieces of clothing can ease the process. 

As you nurse, you will find that breast care is a must. Again, wearing a breathable and supportive nursing bra is necessary, as is the use of breast pads. Good hygiene is definitely a given. Above all, make sure that your baby latches on properly as this will help prevent pain on your breasts and, in turn, keep you less stressed and more comfortable.

Focus on nutrition.

For the first few months of your baby’s life, you are their main source of nutrients when you breastfeed. Needless to say, you need to watch what you eat, drink, and take for your baby to receive the nutrients they need to grow and develop. The good news is, breastfeeding nutrition is also just as good for you, too, as you work on getting your health back, going back in shape, losing weight, etc. 

Fundamentally, it’s ideal to consume around 300 to 400 more calories a day. But before you reach for that candy bar, it’s only smart to make the most of this by choosing nutrient-rich food items. Foods that are rich in fiber, protein, and other minerals are highly recommended. Meanwhile, sugar should be minimized, while it’s best to avoid caffeine altogether.

Staying hydrated when breastfeeding is also crucial. Essentially, you need to replace the fluid (milk) that your baby consumes, so drink a bit more water than you need to quench your thirst. And while a bit of lemon or lime in your water is fine, fruit juices are highly discouraged for the sugar content, which can contribute to weight gain.

Get some sleep.

A new baby comes with a multitude of demands, which leaves moms exhausted and overwhelmed. You need to rest more than ever. However, this is often easier said than done, but the reality is, sleep deprivation can affect both your physical and mental health negatively.

It’s important, therefore, to grab every possible opportunity to rest when you can. If the baby is sleeping, for instance, you will be better served by skipping the laundry and taking a nap instead. 

Be kind to yourself. 

Yes, the pressure of taking care of a little human being can be great. Know that you will need to work hard at not expecting perfection and avoiding self-blame when things don’t go as planned. Live in the moment with your baby. Instead of being frustrated after being woken up in the middle of the night or having your ‘me’ time disturbed, touch, breathe in, and look at your baby to remind yourself of this miracle. It helps to let go of some control, too, so accept help from your partner and loved ones. You also don’t need to do everything by the book.

Ultimately, there is joy in breastfeeding, which you’ll find far outweighs the pain, frustration, and exhaustion. I invite you to ask me questions and follow my blog for more Practical Parenting Advice.

How to Fight about Your Children: Quarantine Edition

Quarantine is hard.

We are locked in with the same people all the time. Eternally. 86,400 seconds every. single. day.

Time for a remix of the blog on how to fight in a productive way, particularly about those small, ever-present, demanding, bored aliens in your home. So:

Conflict Resolution Basics:

The first, most important, and absolutely non-negotiable concrete foundation of conflict resolution between parents is that parents are equal partners, and have to respect each other as such. You chose to have a child together. It is the privilege and responsibility of both of you to parent. It does not matter if you are married, partners, or single, or if one parent is taller, stronger, richer, smarter, more talented…. That child belongs to both of you and needs both of you.

I once saw a child in the post office with a parent on either side holding onto an arm and pulling. Don’t do that. Your child is not a rope in a tug of war.

Conflicts can only be resolved by compromise. If one side wholly wins, the other has no choice but to keep fighting. Both sides have to give a little; both have to feel that they have won something.

None of us is always right; we can afford to be flexible.

In the end it is far more important that your children see that their parents respect each other, can listen to each other and discuss problems, and are able to compromise, than whether or not their bedtime can be changed or if they have to get their chores done.

If parents cannot respect each other as equals, that is the lesson their child will absorb, and someday he or she might accept something less than respect from their partner.

 

The Framework:

The structure we build on that respect is agreement on common goals. It seems, going into parenting, that we should all have the same obvious goals. We want our child alive, healthy, happy, self-confident…

Obvious, yes?

It’s amazing how much variation there is within these bounds.

Ideally, parents discuss and agree on goals for their children before they actually have any. In reality, many parents discuss religion and that they want kids, but not much else.

So, ten things to talk about with your partner before things go ka-BOOM:

  1. Where you will live: Having a child is a lifetime commitment, so this means 20 years of where you will live, not just right now. Talk about location, type of home, whether you want to be near family, if you will move for a better job…  whatever is important to you. Things change, and it is nice to know where your partner stands on the subject ahead of time.
  2. Finance: Children need security to feel safe enough to explore and grow. Financial worries can plant their lives on shifting sands. Sit down together and figure out how much money you make, what you will spend it on, and how you will save for an emergency and the future. Make a budget. Your child does not want to loose a parent over the electric bill.
  3. Diet: You want them to be healthy, right? Not to have diabetes at 12, back pain at 15, and heart disease at 40? That means agreeing on what to feed them, and on being a good example yourself. It also includes not using food for emotional support or rewards. And don’t get me started on using food so that your child will like you better than the other parent.
  4. Routines and schedules: How obsessive are you going to be about homework, meal times, and bedtime routines? Routines can be incredibly helpful: kids don’t argue over something (like bedtime) that is a habit. On the other hand, routines can become rigid and squash all random opportunities and creativity. Where do you stand on that line? Routines work only if both parents are in agreement on them, so talk.
  5. Sleeping arrangements: I have seen more than a few marriages end in an ugly divorce over this one. There is really no moral right or wrong on it, but you must both agree. Just don’t co-sleep with a baby under 6 months. I’ve lost two small patients that way, and never want to lose another. Just don’t.
  6. Education: How important is school? Are some subjects more important than others? Do actual grades and the particular school matter, or is it learning and inspiration that is important? How about learning technical skills versus book learning? How about “useful” skills versus not so obviously useful? (I have an a degree in anthropology that I’ve never used, and I am married to a very practical engineer. We have discussions.)
  7. Careers: Which career choices are acceptable, and which are not? You might want to write these down and then switch lists – surprise! When I was a child, my options were nurse, teacher, or housewife. My mother had crossed “nun” off the list and not replaced it with anything. I was a big surprise.
  8. Athletics: How important are sports? Life ending? Or just done to be well rounded and get exercise? Any particular sport in mind?
  9. Criminal behavior: This is a biggie. Children start out as small barbarians, travel through self-involved, and wander into insecure before they become adults. They will try out hitting, biting, lying and stealing along the way. How will you react? What will you do to discourage this behavior?
  10. Privacy: Children have no legal right to privacy. They have what you give them, and they deserve your protection from their own … lack of insight, so their privacy cannot be absolute. Where is that line? How much do you trust before you verify?

So, I have managed to write a blog on conflict resolution without ever discussing how to resolve a conflict.  First and foremost: respect your partner and set common goals. Once you have that foundation and framework, everything else falls into place more easily. With a little nudge. Or two.

Build that foundation. If parents endlessly argue and fight, marriages self destruct; if parents cannot treat each other with respect and decide on common goals, children self destruct.

Have that conversation before you need it.

And check out last week’s How to Fight like a Parent for practical advice.

How to Fight Like a Parent: Quarantine Edition

Lost and alone

Children thrive in a home where they feel secure: security that is based in large part on their parents being sane and reliable.

It can be terrifying when parents argue. If Mom or Dad act crazy when they fight then their daughter, watching from around the corner, or son, lying in bed with a pillow over his head, will believe their world is falling apart.

As a result, an important part of parenting is learning how to discuss and resolve differences of opinion without devolving into screaming insults and accusations.

The goal of any parental conflict is to reach a compromise where both parties feel they won something, and both parties feel that they have given up something. If one party wins everything the compromise will not last because the other will have nothing to loose – their only options are to either keep fighting, or just give up. We are looking for a win-win.

Parents are individuals first, with unique histories and priorities. There are bound to be disagreements over the decades it takes to raise a child. (Check out common areas of disagreement; and how to fight with a child.) Since these disagreements happen between two people, the personalities of those people will impact the process. A little self examination is in order before we begin.

There are three common personality styles that can negatively affect – umm- discussions:

  • The avoider: this person will not bring up the problem, will change the subject when they can, try to make jokes, deny that there is a problem… The problem will not get solved unless they can be brought to ground. (My husband is nodding and pointing at me.)
  • The nice guy: this person will give until they can’t give any more and then they explode. They will yield all points and agree to whatever their partner wants. Said partner will be completely blindsided when the divorce papers come.
  • The competitor: this is the person who will argue for points they don’t even care about, because they just want to win. Sometimes they can go over the line and and get nasty, flinging insults and accusations.

Parenting is too important to allow personality style to impact decisions. Figure out how you and your partner argue, and realize that your child is important enough to force yourself out of your comfort zone and let go of whatever habits you have indulged in until now. Face whatever the issue is, stand up for what you think is right, but don’t steamroll over your partner. Discuss the issue with the goal of compromise and cooperation.

People smarter than me have studied how to resolve conflicts in politics and business. The same principles work for relationships and parenting. The process can be divided into steps:

  • Listen. This means not interrupting until your partner in life, that person whom you love most in the world, has made his or her point. So hush! If you have trouble staying quiet, place a timer prominently between you and give each person a few uninterrupted minutes. Listening also means hearing and trying to understand what their words actually mean – difficult to do when all you are thinking about is your own point of view and what you are going to say next. You need to know how your partner in life sees the problem in order to fix it.  Sometimes it helps to repeat back what you heard, because what one person says is not always what the other person hears. “I’m frustrated and angry because we can’t pay our bills” can sound like “I want out of this marriage” if you are not careful.
  • Communicate. Talk about the actual issue. We want the best education for our child, but we can’t agree  on priorities. Don’t detour over to how you feel, other issues, or past history. Don’t try to assign blame. We never should have moved, or You should have taken that other job, won’t help.
  • Summarize. After you’ve both had a chance to make your point, sum it up. Name the problem, list the points on each side. Write it down if it helps.
  • Start with agreement. In every discussion there are points of agreement. Start with those points, and work from there. We both value education, but we know we cannot afford the private school we love… You want to work more so we can come up with the money, I want you home more and think we can teach them by reading, traveling, going to the library.
  • Don’t make assumptions, or jump to conclusions. Slow down, give yourselves the time to fully understand. Don’t let emotions and the thrill of drama get the better of you.
  • Realize that you must come to an agreement, there is no other option. We can work a little more to pay for math camp during the summer, and carve out extra time to hit libraries and museums.

Both sides must give a little and both sides must win a little, because you are in this together. One partner cannot overpower the other, or the partnership will not last, and your children need your partnership to last more than they need whatever you are arguing about.

In a conflict between parents either both parents win or both, in the end, lose.

Financial Do’s and Don’ts When You’re Preparing for Twins 

Today’s blog is brought to you by Ted James, professional financial counsellor and coach with an MBA in Finance, who writes a financial blog at tedknowsmoney.com/category/blog/. Read on!

Preparing for a new baby can feel overwhelming, but preparing for two new babies at once can be even more challenging for parents. You know that you need to take care of steps around your home and you need to take care of your health, but do you know the steps you need to take to make sure your finances are ready for your new additions? If not, don’t stress! The financial tasks you need to check off your list are less complicated than you think.

Yes, You Do Need to Sign Up for Life Insurance 

As a parent to twins, you know that raising two children comes with higher costs. So, how can you ensure those expenses are covered even if you are no longer around to do so for your twins? You can start by signing up for life insurance. Note that some life insurance companies require a health exam in order to provide parents with coverage. The purpose of these exams is to evaluate the health of applicants to help determine your premiums. If, however, you’re not keen on a health exam, that doesn’t prevent you from being eligible for a policy. There are plenty of providers who don’t require an exam and instead turn to questionnaires and sophisticated algorithms to determine premiums. The only catch is that policy prices can be costlier without an exam.

No, You Don’t Need to Pay Off Every Single Debt

When people learn they are pregnant, especially with twins, they tend to immediately think about the steps they need to take to be financially prepared for any added costs. While you may think that paying off debts should be at the top of this list, you may be better off putting those funds to other uses. In fact, some debts can actually provide you with more financial cushion for the future. For instance, a mortgage allows you to keep building equity in your home, and many times mortgage payments are far less than rental rates. So, instead of focusing your efforts on paying off all debts, aim for the ones that carry the highest rates and save the rest.

Yes, You Do Still Need to Save for Retirement 

Another financial mistake you should avoid is saving for college before you save for your own retirement. Too many parents choose college over retirement when it comes to saving for their family’s future, but that can be a serious mistake, especially for your children. The thing is, if you don’t save enough for your retirement, your loved ones will still need to find ways to pay for your care and your everyday expenses. Often, adult children end up footing the bill when their parents fail to prioritize retirement savings; plus, your children may not even want to attend college or they could end up with scholarships that will offset those tuition expenses. If you want to create the best future for your little ones, ensure that you’ll have enough for retirement.

No, You Don’t Have to Pay Full Price for Everything 

If you’re having twins, you are going to need double the gear to keep your new family safe and cared for, but that doesn’t mean you need to pay double the price. For new parents, finding savings on baby essentials can be fairly easy and can help you avoid excess expenses when it comes to stocking up on items for your twins. Start by checking around your community to see if free resources can save you some costs. You can also check local second-hand stores for deals on baby gear; honestly, there’s little advantage to buying brand new. Now, there are certain baby supplies you will want to purchase new, so try looking for discount clubs, rewards programs, and online coupons to save on those essentials.

Being financially prepared to take on twins isn’t stress-free, but it doesn’t have to be completely complicated either. So long as you take care of some basic financial planning steps, like setting up essential savings and trimming your budget, you will be more than ready for your babies!

How Using Mindfulness Can Help Your Kids Now

Mindfulness has become mainstream. The InnerKids Foundation in LA has been teaching mindfulness to inner city kids since 2001. The Goldie Hawn Foundation sponsors a program called MindUp that has trained thousands of teachers. In all likelihood, mindfulness is coming to a school near you, with very good reason. Mindfulness works.

MindUP has shown a 90% increase in children’s ability to get along with other children; an 80% increase in optimism; and a 75% improvement in planning, organizational skills, and  impulse control when kids practice. Several studies have shown that mindfulness practice brings a sense of well being and decrease in stress.

Our world has gone crazy, and our children are having problems with anxiety, stress, depression, and the resultant physical symptoms: stomach aches, headaches, and chronic tiredness. Anxious, stressed out kids build stories in their minds that circle, grow, and separate them from what is real and manageable. Mindfulness can help.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a meditation practice that we in the west have stolen from the Buddhists and warped to our own purposes. Through mindfulness practice a child can achieve a state of mind where they aware, focused on the present, and calmly accepting of  themselves and the world around them, without judgement.

Does this not sound like exactly what we want for our kids? Kids who learn to practice mindfulness have in their arsenal a tool that will help them deal with anxiety, stress, impulsiveness, and any number of damaging emotions–with no side effects and at the bargain price of free. No need to join a religion, and anyone can learn it.

How do we do it?

There are many internet sites that can lead you through mindfulness practice with your kids. I particularly like Renee Jain, MAPP, but there are many out there. There is even an iPhone app! The basics are really very simple:

  • First and most important, do it with your child.
  • Find a peaceful, quiet place, sit comfortably (the crossed leg/hands on knee thing is optional).
  • Focus on awareness of one thing.
  • Notice that thing–a sight, or sound, or feeling-any one thing.
  • Acknowledge that thing, then let the thought drift away, without judgement.

Babies are naturals at mindfulness. Stick mushed peaches in their mouths and they will taste them, look at them on their hands, rub them all over their faces, and smell them. They are in the moment and focused on those peaches. We can learn a lot from babies.

Older kids need to be brought back to that sort of focus. Sit with them in a quiet, comfortable place, and guide them to think about one thing. Use something they can hear (a bell or a shaker?) or taste, or smell. Teach them to notice that thing, then let that notice float away. Be aware and focused, but don’t try to conclude anything about what they are focused on and don’t pass judgement. Just hear, or see, or smell-and then let it go.

As kids get older, they can learn more traditional meditation techniques: breath coming into and going out, awareness of their bodies and of passing thoughts, and letting go so that they can be in the next moment, without attachment to what is passed and gone.

There is no one right way to meditate: the point is to be peaceful and live, for that time, in the present without attachment and without judgement. People meditate by arranging sand, by doing yoga, by coloring, by going fishing–whatever works for you and your child.

Why practice mindfulness?

Meditation can teach kids how to break the spiraling cycle of anxiety; how to develop a more positive and optimistic viewpoint; how to live without pronouncing judgement on everything they encounter, and on themselves. It can help them feel better about themselves and learn to regulate their emotions and impulses.

Imagine your child coming home stressed because someone was mean, they have too much homework, or they are last picked for a team. Imagine if they could find a quiet place, trace that stress to its origin, transform it into a color or a breeze in their minds– and let it go.

Better than sitting, stewing in the stress, and letting it spiral and grow until it takes over their evening, yes?

Create a habit of daily meditation.

Take a few minutes every evening and make meditation a routine–maybe right before homework or bed? Reward them for practicing with a hug or a few minutes more of your time, as you reward any behavior of which you want to see more.

Mindfulness is a skill, like riding a bike. If your child practices every day, when he or she needs it they won’t have to think about how to get their feet onto the pedals and make the bike roll forward. It will just be there for them.

Mindfulness works. Mindfulness practice has been shown to improve kids’ coping skills and their sense of well being. It can improve memory and learning by teaching them to pay attention and focus. It can teach them to be aware of their feelings, accept them, and then let them go, so that they can make wise decisions with their minds rather than poor ones based on overwhelming emotions. They can learn to self regulate and control their own emotions and actions.

Give it a try. Everyone can use a few minutes of peace in their day.

FREE Fun & Educational Activities for Kids Stuck at Home

Coronavirus got you stuck at home with the kids out of school? I have an idea for you!

You can find challenging and creative educational activities at Education.com. The site was built with the contributions of thousands of teachers, and they have FREE activities for kids from preschool through 6th grade–activities that help them succeed in science, math, reading, writing, and social studies.

They teach with games, songs, worksheets, interactive exercises, hands-on activities, and more.

For example, Education.com let me use the printable word search below to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. Doing word searches helps kids with reading and writing skills, which are at the heart of learning–they apply to all other aspects of education whether that be understanding analytical math texts or practicing creative expression through poetry. Kids learn while they think they are just playing a game.

Check out Education.com while you’re stuck at home for great resources for every age child, from helping kindergarteners create stories to geography challenges for sixth graders.

And no, they are not paying me to write this–it’s just a great site.

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Childhood Obesity: Consequences, Causes, and Prevention

This week I am happily building trellises in my new garden and I am feeling very lazy. Thankfully Kids Car Donations sent me this really cool infografic on childhood obesity, so I can pretend I did some work on the blog.

You can also check out Child Obesity: Why it Happens and How to Have an Impact for more information.

If you’d also like to join me in the garden, check out last week’s How to get Kids to Eat their Vegetables: Time to Garden!

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How to Get Kids to Eat Their Vegetables: Time to Garden!

little baby gardener lost in the moment with the sun shinning in

In Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy wrote “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” Plans and projects keep children out of trouble!

Not to mention that one of the best ways to coax kids into eating what is good for them is to involve them in its preparation. They are far more likely to eat the lunch they prepared with their own two hands than one you slaved over. If they help you peel and cut up carrots for dinner they will try them, and brag about their contribution while chewing.

Extend this a bit and you reap the miracle of children eating their vegetables because they grew them in their very own garden. They planted the seeds, watched over them, watered them, and cared for them. They will proudly eat the fruits of their labor and proclaim their tastiness.

Children need a variety of vitamins and minerals in order to function and grow, and the best place to get those nutrients, along with carbs for energy and fiber for bowel function, is in fruits and vegetables. Some, like beans and peas, are even excellent sources of protein. Many of them can be grown in small plots or in containers on a porch.

  • Carrots can be grown easily from seeds bought in your local garden store, and are very high in Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps with eyesight–especially night vision–which is why your mom always told you to eat lots. Watermelon, peas, peppers, beans, and tomatoes also have bunches of Vitamin A.
  • Tomatoes, peppers, and beans are high in B complex vitamins. B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamine and folic acid are tiny machines that allow your body to function. They help with everything from making blood cells, to generating energy from carbohydrates, to scavenging free radicles and protecting you from cancer.
  • Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are high in Vitamin C, which is necessary for collagen synthesis and wound healing and is an effective antioxidant. Without Vitamin C, people get scurvy.

Minerals are also easily come by on the plant side of your plate.

  • Calcium to build strong bones can be found in beans.
  • Potatoes, beans, corn, and mushrooms are high in iron, which helps carry oxygen around your body.
  • Potassium, necessary for muscle contraction and to maintain your heart rhythm, is present in potatoes, berries, peas, beans, and peppers.
  • Essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc are all available in fruits and vegetables.

I’ve never seen a child turn down a pea fresh from the pod, or a strawberry plucked from the plant. Find a plant catalogue, pour through it with your child, pay attention to what will grow in your area and how much room the plants need to grow, and choose. Consider what you have room for: will these be container plants on the porch, or can you spare a patch of yard? Do you have space for a tree, or are we looking at a mushroom kit in the closet?

Some of my favorite kid friendly plants are peas, beans, peppers, tomatoes, and the ever popular carrot. Melons, pumpkins, and cucumbers are great if you have a little more room. Berries come in all sizes, from tiny strawberry plants fit for containers with pockets down the side, to raspberry vines best grown on trellises, to fat thorny blackberry bushes. Tires can be stacked up and filled with dirt in a tower as potato plants grow, then harvested by taking off one tire at a time.

Growing a few plants allows you to spend time with your children, get some exercise, and build some vitamin D of your own from all that sunshine. Have a conversation about science and nutrition while you are digging in the dirt. Money can be earned and financial lessons taught by naming the watering and weeding of those plants “chores.” Other lessons can be taught without any conversation: responsibility for life, the fruitfulness of hard work, and pride of accomplishment. Don’t miss this opportunity for spring plans and projects!

Doc’s Top Ten Reasons to Let Your Child Fail

boy with baloon2-01In honor of the start of a new and sometimes painful school year, here are my top 10 reasons why standing by and watching your child fail, without offering help, can be a good thing.

Even the possibility of failure is anxiety provoking.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could just do everything right the first time?

Need me to do that radio interview? No problem–bring it on! I’m not scared of that microphone, and the questions for which I might not know the answers, and the fact that I might sound like an idiot or give someone the wrong information… cue the heart racing, chest clutching, palm dampening anxiety.

If you haven’t experienced the fear of failure you haven’t pushed past your known limits and tried, and without trying you will leave possibilities on the table.

We want our children to catch their dreams, so when it is safe, and when failure does not have lifelong consequences, we need to let them try.

It is hard to sit back and watch our children fail–yet failure is good, and essential to success. Below are ten things to think about as you stand aside and watch your child drop that ball, and learn lessons the hard way–through personal experience with bruised knees and lost friendships:

  1. Failure is on the job training–a learning experience in what does not work and what not to do. Fail that test? Next time they will study.
  2. Failure is an arrogance tamer. Arrogance will not attract true friends.
  3. Failure teaches empathy. Empathy does attract true friends.
  4. Failure is proof that your child is trying. Good to know they got off that couch, right?
  5. Failure gives us direction. If we are lost, we look at a map; failure draws the route on that map. If our child was terrible at hitting or catching a ball, but loved running the bases? Maybe we should sign him or her up for track. Failure gives us a better idea of who we are and what we are actually good at.
  6. Projects are more likely to succeed if preceded by a series of failures. All those errors make us more careful, so we pay attention and catch mistakes before they happen instead of pushing through and assuming all will go well.
  7. Life’s hardest, most important lessons can only be learned through failure. People truly do “not know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”
  8. Lessons learned through failure stick. We joke about how our children always have to learn things the hard way, but such is human nature. We can give them our knowledge and experience, but it will never be as memorable as a moment of abject embarrassment in front of their classmates.
  9. Success feels so much better after failures. ‘Nuf said.
  10. Experience teaches that failure is not fatal. John Sinclair said “failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.” It’s good to have learned in childhood that you really can try again, and perhaps succeed. Failure is not permanent until you give up and shut that door.

It is better that they learn these lessons in childhood while you are still there to catch them when they fall. Break out your box of bandaids, security, and absolute love and acceptance. Even though they might not make the team, they know that you will love them anyway and they will be secure enough to try again.

Every single time your children fail, they have overcome fear to try, and how amazing is that? Even if they have not succeeded at acing that interview, they have succeeded at beating fear to give it their best. Their dreams await.

Limitless Learners Contest! Prizes!

Astronaut child

Child daydreams and plays to be astronaut

Education.com is my personal favorite site for kid’s learning opportunities.

The site was built with the contributions of thousands of teachers, and they have FREE activities for kids from preschool through 6th grade–activities that help them succeed in science, math, reading, writing, and social studies.

They teach with games, songs, worksheets, interactive exercises, hands-on activities, and more.

And now they have a brand-new program: they are offering $9,000 in prizes as part of their Limitless Learners Contest!

The contest encourages kids in/entering K-5th grade to think creatively about what education means to them and use their art, writing, and language skills to express their ideas. A winner will be chosen from each grade level to receive $500 for college and a free lifetime membership to Education.com for their parent or educator! The winning child can also choose to nominate their school or local library to win a $1,000 donation as well.

Here is the link to the contest details page.