Posts tagged #mom of girls

American Girl: Summer Camp, Friends for Life Movie!

Have you seen it?

American Girl came out with a new movie! Summer Camp, Friends for Life! I was so excited to watch this with my girls. We've watched all of the other American Girl movies but this one in particular touched our hearts as we love CAMP! Summer Camp would make the perfect movie night for your Girl Scout troop!  It's full of summer fun, mystery, and making friends! I see an outdoor movie night on the deck with the troop in the near future!

How to Encourage Your Girls to Embrace Failure as an Opportunity

Hello Mamas!

Today I wanted to talk to you all about something that is so close to my heart and important for young girls. 


First off, do you all remember that book Men are From Mars and Women are from Venus? It wasn't that long ago when I actually did a thesis paper on that book in college. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for equal rights and girls can do anything boys can do, but when it comes to our physiological make up we are just wired differently. Failure is something we need to learn from and use as a stepping stone towards success. After all, the greatest minds and inventors did not get where they are today without experiencing many setbacks along the way.

Girls experience failure differently than boys. They view failure as a shortcoming or lack of ability and that often prevents them from trying again. Like all things, this is a generalization and not necessarily the case with every girl but what I have witnessed out of my own little darling is when she can't do something she tends to take it too personal. Add her massive need for perfection and it can sometimes be disastrous!

Looking back now, I can relate to my daughter and many other girls. I never handled failure very well, at least internally. The negative talk that teenagers give themselves was something I fell victim to and started assuming anything I set out to undertake would be a failure all the same. Although I've really managed to change my outlook today, this perception leaked into my early and mid 20's and is something that still creeps into my mind set occasionally.

That being said, I'm often clueless as to how to prevent this from becoming a serious issue down the line for my little girls. So I did a little further digging and through some of my own methods I've come up with some ideas you can incorporate to help your daughters deal with failure better.

Teach them that there is more than one way and one answer.

Encourage them to think outside of the box with problem solving and understand that there is more than one way to accomplish the same goal. There are a ton of games and toys out there that can help accomplish this. I love building blocks and legos. Have them create a house or a castle with just their imagination and follow along side of them and create your own version.

Encourage curiosity and the million questions

When they get to that age, where it seems like everything is an interrogation or an interview, let them ask the questions. Put down your phone and spend some time with her and ignite that curiosity. Turn the questions around on her and ask her what she thinks. You will be amazed at what she comes up with!

Encourage and help facilitate creative and imaginative play.

When our little girls often play pretend through role playing it helps them overcome obstacles without them even realizing through a safe and fun environment. My little girls love to play in their kitchen and often create a pretend restaurant. Sometimes they will bring out a dish that is not so good and I ask the chef to make me something

Let them be!

Try not to over correct and let them make mistakes from the very beginning. I know it's often hard and tests our patience when they are just starting to learn a new skill and we are so pulled to do it for them. Or, when we're rushing out the door and we just need them to put on their shoes and not take 10 minutes to practice tying them. It starts with those moments and I can a test that myself is not always patient.

Reward the Effort and the Finished Product.

It's just as important to award the effort they put into all they do. No, I'm not talking about a participation trophy. Participation and effort are two different things. Also, encourage them to finish what they start even if it's not exactly their best work. Finishing what they set out to do will be a major skill they will need all throughout their life.

Allow Her to figure out who She is

...and not who WE want her to be. I struggle with this so much being the control freak that I am. We start envisioning plans for our children and forget that they are their own person and need to figure stuff out for themselves. Over this past summer we were searching through the park district catalog to look for a program for my oldest daughter. We came across cheerleading and I was kinda surprised that they started the girls at 6 years old! Anyways, my daughter got super excited and my husband immediately put the kibosh on the idea. You see, he has this idea in his head about cheerleaders... not that it's at all true, so don't get all bent out of shape if your daughter is a cheerleader. In fact, I convinced him that it wasn't about us and it would be fine. Low and behold, our shy and reserved daughter gained a ton of self confidence and learned how to project her voice with that program! She finished off the cheer camp and decided that it wasn't for her but the point is she tried something new and wasn't afraid to take a chance and because of that she was able to challenge herself and grow! Let them figure out what they are meant to do by trying new things!

Here is a fun video of what happens when you give the girls a video recorder.... Excuse the mess in the background, that's their "play area". Don't judge me.. no judging!

Show by example

Yes, that means you. Show them that you make mistakes and that it's okay. This is hard! Admitting when we are wrong, especially to our kids, seems like we might loose respect but that really isn't the case. It actually shows them that we are human and more relatable. 

And there you have it! Those are my tips on how we can teach our girls to embrace and learn from their failures. I'm excited to get this years Girl Scouts troop started and we'll soon have our first meeting. I can't wait to share with you all the exciting things I have in store for them this year!

XOXO, Katie

Posted on September 8, 2015 and filed under Raising Girls.

An Old Fashioned Childhood and the Helicopter Mom

When I think back at the childhood I had, it was filled with outside play and sometimes hours of boredom. I didn't have the endless hours of searching the internet or the fast pace of social media. If I wanted to communicate with my friends it was a phone call on the house line or a bike ride (or roller blade) to their house to see if they were home. Those were the days of simplicity. Those were the days that kids played outside all day long until the sun came home and Mothers were not accused of neglect if the kids were unsupervised at the playground. This post is probably going to be a bit more serious than most of what I usually post. This is something that weighs heavy on my heart and I'm not holding back from showing you my biggest fears and a little bit of anxiety craziness that perhaps I have kept under wraps.

There is so much going on in our world today and I want my kids to have the opportunity to slow down. I don't want them glued to their phones checking Facebook statuses every hour. I want them to find ways to occupy themselves that forces them to become creative and think outside the box.

I don't want my children to be influenced by the age of information and social media.
Hypocritical I know, coming from a communications and emerging media major.

At the same time I want my kids to have an old fashioned childhood, our society and the dangers are more present than they were 30 years ago. Human trafficking is much more of a thing and not just international but here in the U.S. It's a big business with little risk and huge income. Did you know that nearly 80% of sex-trafficking victims are American born U.S. Citizens? I truly feel this is an issue that doesn't get enough attention today and I'm not exactly sure why. Is it because we don't want to believe this kind of thing goes on, we don't want to visualize the horror of young children being kidnapped for this purpose? It's hard to swallow as a parent of 2, soon to be 3, little girls. So how do we balance shelter and space with our children?

My sitter watches my youngest once a week while I make the trek into the weekly office visit to let everyone know I still work there. I usually drop off my littlest after I take the oldest to school. The babysitter is a school mom and has three kids, including one in my daughter's grade. I nearly had a heart attack when I dropped my kids off at the babysitters early and she had to take one of my kids to school instead of myself. My daughter is in Kindergarten. My fear was that she wouldn't walk my child directly to the school door. I know, helicopter mom. I was afraid she would just let my daughter walk with her kids, two of which my daughter has never met... What would be the dangers of that? My anxiety and over reaction kicked in as I thought of all the possibilities of my daughter not arriving to school that day. I would not be able to visually verify her walking through those school doors. I was a crazy wreck because of the dangers our society presents. Not because I didn't trust this Mom. I didn't trust the world around us.

She did end up walking them all that day and even if she didn't I'm sure it would all be fine. But still, I just want to shelter and protect my child. What is ironic is that growing up I lived only 4 house down from a known and convicted child molester, who was a repeat offender. Still, I was allowed to play outside and run between each neighbor's yards as if the danger was not present. Perhaps my children can still live the carefree old fashioned childhood, just under the loving shelter of our home.

I recently read this article about why a parent does not allow sleepovers for their children. Not even with family members. At first, I thought this idea was a bit extreme but then after really thinking about it I'm never really at ease when my children are away from the home. They often sleep over at their Nana and Papa's house and I'm very comfortable with that. As a person who usually leaves her phone at the bottom of her purse and can hardly be reached on the weekends because I just like to unplug, I always have my phone by my side when the children are a way.

The article does open a world of the possibilities and dangers that are present when a child is away from home during the overnight hours. They're much more vulnerable to these dangers at a sleepover. What I appreciate is the author points out the not so typically dangers that seem to be more than not, the situations we don't necessarily think of. Were these dangers present when I was a child, absolutely. Can these risks be possible even in the care of a child's own family, yes. The point is to minimize these risks and I think I will do the same.

I hope to shelter my children, so what little they do have left of a childhood they can enjoy the old fashion way. I hope to shelter them just enough to protect them but not hover... Maybe just a little. I want then to climb trees and scrape their knees. I want them to come home with dirt between their nails and an amazing adventure to tell.

What do you think about sleepovers? If you do allow them at what age is it okay?

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