This fall, my daughter will join soccer and Girls on the Run, and my son will start kindergarten and join a T-Ball league. I’ll be their strong mama, always. Thank you to Hefty® for sponsoring this post and aligning with our family values/lifestyle.
I was talking to a fellow school parent recently at the library’s summer reading raffle drawing (Scarlet totally won one of the prizes!) and we were chatting about anything school-related under the sun. People we both knew, school haircuts, school schedules, new (to us) teachers, after school classes, after school activities, and the kinds of teachers we dream about our kids having. After all, I think many of us can pinpoint one teacher or two – who set the course of our lives on new paths.
I can tell you about my fourth grade teacher who told me I had a gift for expressing myself. I can tell you about my fifth grade English teacher who told me if I didn’t become a writer one day, she’d eat her own arm! Then there was my 6th grade teacher, a gifted man, who saw something in me that I didn’t yet see. It was strength. He thought I was Ultra Strong!
The thing is, it’s natural to want the best for your kids, because we can all remember the best we’ve had. They’re going to forge their own paths no matter what, though. And while school is a big part of life, home life takes up a larger expanse of time, effort, love, strength. And it’s not just what I say – it’s what I DO. My kids will tell me stories of things I did when they were three, that they considered strong or unique or fun. I love that! While building a family, I’m helping to shape their self-images, and their decision-making skills. This is so powerful, and so inspiring. I hope they like what they see and hear.
And this photo doesn’t even show the adorable cat, the 11 chickens, and that I work 2-4 jobs year-round, to help keep us surviving and thriving! There are a ton of indoor and outdoor chores on this homestead, and my husband always buys Hefty® Ultra Strong™ trash bags. And I think that’s great because Hefty® is celebrating strong moms, and my husband does too! Wait until you hear how special he made my birthday last week! Not only are we all celebrating strong moms, but John Cena is here to remind us that Hefty® has the best bags ever, at a lower price than the competition! Quadruple win!
I mean, life itself is a big job, and you’re going to want the reinforcements to tackle everyday life and strong everyday messes. Hefty® Ultra Strong™ trash bags have ARM & HAMMER™ patented odor neutralizer and active, tear-resistant technology for better puncture-resistance. (remember: we live in the woods and really need that puncture-resistance.) There’s also a break-resistant grip drawstring that prevents the bags from falling inside the trash can. Hefty® Ultra Strong™ trash bags also have fresh, invigorating scents. We are Citrus Twist™ fans ourselves! And there’s a 100% satisfaction guarantee here that Hefty® can handle all your trash bag needs, or you get your money back! How cool is that??
1 – I model strength for them. Cassidy and I model our individual selves as strong, as well our partnership. It’s not perfect but we’re trying. We do chores together. We take the trash out together. We have systems in place for a good life.
2 – Teach kindness, charity, good deeds. Scarlet likes to pay for cars behind us at the drive-through, and she keeps Hefty® Ultra Strong™ trash bags in the car to clean up places without trash cans. We also use them to gather toys/games/clothes and more for the local women’s shelter, as well as personal care products for our survival center in town.
3 – Help them develop a positive, but realistic self-image. When your kids make a drawing, instead of saying it’s the best drawing in the world, focus more on the efforts they put into their creation, and how they persevered through obstacles.
4 – Teach them that their uniqueness is their superhero power. It’s important that kids know from a young age that what makes them different, makes them special, and is an asset. Encourage them to take pride in it, and never stop dreaming.
5 – Make your home a safe, comforting and relaxing place. Remove drama, frustration, and chaos whenever possible. Add structure and consistency. Get rid of excess in their bedrooms, and playrooms too. Small changes lead to success.
6 – Don’t overbook their schedules. It’s important that your kid has time to be just that – a kid. Respect their wishes for downtime, and make it part of your routine. Encourage activities that encourage relaxation – free play, yoga, etc.
7 – Teach with positive reinforcement. Rewarding with praise leads to more positive behaviors and better future choices, while building their self-esteem. Treat them with kindness and respect. When there’s struggles, let them struggle. Although it can be difficult, it will teach them perseverance and growth through struggles, mistakes and disappointments.
*Bonus – Teach them to love, above all else. That is their greatest gift/ultra-strength for the world.