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Help Your Kids Thrive With Challenges

kids learning through challenges

March 9, 2024

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Crunchy mom of two, married to my favorite boy for life, and lover of the dark chocolate peanut butter cups!
I went from nearly losing my mind and business to an intentional, successful woman all because of systems.
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Let’s talk about cracking the code and embracing a new approach to parenting together while helping our kids thrive with challenges. Something has shifted in our household recently, sparking a deeper commitment within me to focus on this journey we’re all on.

I believe we all share a powerful vision for our families. We’re aware that our time with our children under our roof is fleeting, and this realization brings a sense of urgency to the changes we make. When we’re knee-deep in the chaos of diapers and spilled Cheerios, it’s easy to think we have all the time in the world. But as my oldest daughter transitions into a new phase of her life, it’s hit me hard.

Every stage of our children’s lives offers a unique opportunity that we’ll never have again. Whether it’s listening to the sweet voice of my six-year-old or holding the hand of my older daughter, each moment is precious. With my youngest now six and our family complete, I’ve come to cherish motherhood in a whole new light, feeling a sense of urgency like never before.

The future we envision for our children begins with the groundwork we lay today. So let’s buckle down, embrace this journey, and build a foundation that sets our kids up for success. Together, we can nurture growth and create a meaningful impact on our children’s lives.

Listen Below For The Entire Episode On The Systemize Your Life Podcast

My Childhood Struggles Defined Who I Am Today

We’ve all got these amazing intentions for our lives and our families, but let’s face it, life gets in the way. We juggle debts, bills, relationships and endless to-do lists. We’re also trying to find fulfillment in everything we do. It’s easy to lose sight of what really matters.

The idea for this series struck me when I reflected on my own upbringing. I realized that everything I’m able to do in my life now, I learned because I had to do things I didn’t necessarily want to do as a kid. From enduring long road trips and hikes to tackling chores like cleaning and organizing, I thrived with challenges. My parents made sure I was well-rounded. Sure, we hit up second-hand stores and they did so many things right. They certainly helped me thrive through challenges, thanks Mom and Dad! But looking back, I also see that they tried to shield me from some of life’s toughest lessons.

I’ve dove deep into the research and it supports that kids need challenges. Sheltering them from discomfort might seem like the loving thing to do, but it comes at a cost. Without facing hardships, they miss out on the chance to build confidence and resilience. We’ve got to let our kids struggle a bit so they can navigate life’s ups and downs on their own. It’s time to step back and give them the space to grow into happy, successful individuals.

“Don’t deprive your child of the experiences they were meant to have. Children thrive through challenges.”

Understanding Your Parenting Motivations

I’ve been knee-deep in research lately, sifting through heaps of data to bring you something tangible. And let me tell you, what I’ve found might just make you pause and reflect on your parenting journey.

Ever caught yourself thinking, “Gee, maybe I’m doing too much for my kids”? If you’ve ever felt like there’s a lack of respect or boundaries in your household, it’s time to dig deeper. Why do we, as parents, have this incessant need to provide for our kids, sometimes to the point of overcompensation?

Let’s explore some possible reasons:

  1. Deep Love and Care: Perhaps it stems from a genuine desire to shield our kids from hurt.
  2. Fear of Failure: Are we afraid to let our kids experience failure and hardship because it feels unbearable? We forget that is how our kids learn! In thriving through challenges.
  3. Cultural or Societal Expectations: Are we pressured by external influences to conform to certain standards?
  4. Unfulfilled Dreams: Do we project our own unachieved aspirations onto our kids, pushing them too hard to succeed?
  5. Guilt or Overcompensation: Are we overcompensating for our own shortcomings or past mistakes?
  6. Anxiety about the Future: Are we consumed by worries about our kids’ future, leading us to micromanage their lives?
  7. Lack of Confidence in Their Abilities: Do we doubt our children’s capabilities and feel the need to intervene constantly?

It’s crucial to take a moment to jot down these reasons and reflect on them. Understanding your “why” is key to moving forward in your parenting journey. So, let’s unravel the overcompensation trap together! Let’s pave the way for a more balanced and fulfilling relationship with our children.

How Over-Parenting Damages Our Children In Three Key Ways

We’re stripping away these fundamental, core elements from their growth, and it’s such a disservice to everything they could become. Kids absolutely need the space to stumble and learn from their mistakes. It’s crucial to let them try, explore, and yes, make mistakes through challenges.

Ask yourself: Are you shielding your kids from experiencing natural consequences? By constantly swooping in to rescue them and not allowing them to face the repercussions of their actions, you’re depriving them of valuable life lessons. Take, for instance, the scenario where you remind your child twice to grab their jacket before leaving the house. Instead of letting them freeze their bum off at school, you rush back inside to fetch it for them. This is a classic case of nullifying natural consequences. As a result, they miss out on the opportunity to learn responsibility.

They need to understand the sting of coming in last place. They need to feel the hurt of a disagreement with a friend. The consequences of whining instead of using big girl language. What happens when they blow all their money on junk instead of saving for essentials like gas to meet up with friends? Are you allowing them to experience the natural outcomes of their actions and feel the full spectrum of their emotions? It’s time to let them navigate these experiences and grow from them.

Independent Problem Solving

The second pillar of their foundation lies in independent problem-solving, and let me tell you, stripping away your child’s ability to think for themselves is one of the gravest mistakes you can make. Take a hard look at how screens are used to entertain them. If you’re constantly resorting to screens to keep them occupied, they’ll never develop the crucial skill of independent thinking. Instead, they’ll rely on screens for everything from finding connection to coping with stress, leading to a concerning rise in childhood depression rates.

When kids are empowered to think for themselves and tackle their own challenges, they become self-reliant. They take pride in their abilities. It starts from a young age. When your five-year-old accidentally cracks an egg on the counter, instead of jumping in to fix it, ask them, “What now?” When they grab an inadequate cloth to clean up a spill, gently suggest a better solution. By guiding them through independent problem-solving, we’re shaping them into resilient adults. Adults who can weather life’s storms and rely on their own capabilities. This is the epitome of thriving through challenges.

As a mom, it’s natural to want your kids to always need you, but there’s nothing more fulfilling than watching them gain confidence and take on new challenges. And guess what? Science backs this up, showing that even at a young age, their developing brains are capable of critical thinking. So, let’s give them the space to practice critical thinking, even if it means watching them struggle. When they come to you for help, resist the urge to do it for them. Instead, empower them to find their own solutions. This not only sets them up for success but also nurtures their mental and emotional well-being, which is what every parent wants for their child.

Fostering Self-Sufficiency With Independence

The final piece our kids absolutely need, and yet we often inadvertently rob them of, is independence. From the moment I held my children, I felt in my heart that they had a unique purpose and they needed to stand on their own, separate from me. Just as in pregnancy and birth, throughout their childhoods, we gradually release the reins of responsibility. It’s our role as parents to guide them to discover who they are meant to be, not to shelter them from it.

This one aspect is crucial. We must handle it with care because it holds the power to shape our children’s future in profound ways. Parents want their kids to embody qualities like gratitude, empathy and humility. Moms and Dads want to see creativity and confidence. We also want to see a realistic understanding of how the world operates. We don’t want them to develop a mindset of entitlement or fear, constantly expecting things to be handed to them without effort or understanding.

Have you ever heard the dreaded “Where’s my food?” at the dinner table? Don’t worry, my hand is raised as well! We want our children to be actively involved in their own lives, to use their hands and brains to navigate challenges independently, rather than relying solely on Mom or Dad.

I often observe this lack of independence in restaurants, with kids glued to their screens instead of engaging in the ordering process or helping out in any way. If this sounds familiar, I urge you to make a change. Don’t deprive your child of the experiences they were meant to have. We need to stop making things too easy for them. This is the opposite of thriving through challenges, there isn’t any challenge to overcome! Yes, I understand it might make life a bit tougher for you initially, but we have to allow our kids to live their lives, to face challenges head-on, even if it means spills at the dinner table or struggles with reading. It’s exhausting, I know, but it’s worth it for their growth and development.

Thriving Through Challenges In Laundry, Toy Tidying And Beyond

I’ve got a little challenge for you…watch yourself thrive! I’m inviting you to join me on this empowering journey. Here’s the scoop: my eleven-year-old is taking charge of her own laundry, and you know what? Your two-year-old can start putting away their toys too. It’s all about instilling a sense of responsibility and independence in our kids, no matter how young or old they may be.

I’m thrilled to have this platform to share a piece of my vision for my children with you all. It’s about empowering them to take on tasks and responsibilities that might seem daunting at first, but are totally achievable with a bit of guidance and encouragement.

By involving our kids in household chores and daily routines from a young age, we’re teaching them valuable life skills and instilling a sense of pride and accomplishment in their abilities. Plus, it’s a win-win for everyone – we get a little extra help around the house, and our kids gain confidence and independence.

So, are you ready to join me in this journey? Let’s empower our kids to take on new challenges and responsibilities, starting with something as simple as doing their own laundry or tidying up their toys. Together, we can raise a generation of capable, self-sufficient individuals who are ready to take on the world.

Let’s Continue This Conversation…

If you’re looking for more ways to get your kids to not only help around the house, but grow to be successful, happy contributors, please consider joining me inside of Systemize Your Life as a VIP student! If you’ve had any successes in this arena, share them within our vibrant Facebook community or come over and visit me on Instagram. For more actionable strategies to get your kids involved and build their self confidence, check out Empowering Children: Transforming Household Chores Into Growth Opportunities or How To Educate Your Children And Avoid Over-Stimulating.

Until next time….

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