It’s natural to feel the need to protect your kids from any pain in their lives. I get it. Imagining all of the different trials my five children will face and all of the tears they will shed makes me feel a little apprehensive. I know I need to push aside my irrational desire to pick my family up and live off-grid, somewhere in the wilderness (not kidding), and I need to put the work in now to raise unstoppable kids. Unstoppable doesn’t necessarily mean “successful” in the way the world views success. I could care less if my kids become wealthy or choose prominent career paths. To me, unstoppable is pushing forward in spite of adversity, admitting and learning from mistakes, and being a kind and generous person no matter the circumstances.
6 Things You Need To Do To Raise Unstoppable Kids
- Sponsored by Uncrustables
- Cultivate Empathy – Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Children are born with the ability to empathize, but it needs to be nurtured throughout their lives. According to Making Caring Common Project, parents can cultivate empathy in their children by making caring for others a priority, provide opportunities for children to practice empathy and modeling empathy yourself.
- Celebrate Diversity – Rather then avoiding and not talking about differences, we can celebrate the differences of others and help children be comfortable with their own differences. Also according to Scientific American, “….being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working.”
- Teach Responsibilty – I don’t know many kids who will readily admit their mistakes. In my house, my kids still try to deny their wrong-doings. Instead of responding out of anger, it’s important for us to teach and respond with love and understanding (I know, this is SO hard in the moment). It is important for kids to admit their mistake, apologize and to learn from them.
- Provide Love & Encouragement – According to Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders, the three healthiest phrases that parents can say before a competition are: Have fun, play hard, I love you. And after: Did you have fun? I’m proud of you. I love you. Showing love and encouragement can be as simple as lunchbox notes. I remember trying to hide my mom’s lunch box notes during lunch at school, but I really did appreciate them.
- Prioritize Health – Not only is it important to instill the importance of healthy eating and exercise in children, but mental health is an important issue often not discussed with children. According to Sally Curtain, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics, suicide rates of girls between the ages 10-14 has experienced the largest increase in the past 15 years. It’s important to make sure your kids feel safe talking to you, especially if things become difficult so they aren’t afraid to ask for help.
- Lead by Example
Speaking of being unstoppable and pushing forward in spite of adversity, the Paralympics have started today in Rio and involve athletes with a wide range of disabilities. Uncrustables has partnered with Brad Snyder, a two-time Paralympics gold medalist swimmer. Brad Snyder lost his sight in 2011 while serving as a U.S. Navy lieutenant in Afghanistan from an encounter with a roadside bomb. One year later to the day, he won a Gold Medal in swimming at the Paralympic Games in London. Uncrustables is proud to support Brad and all #Unstoppable Team USA Paralympic athletes.