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Challenge: Raising Kind Kids

Parenting for a world that doesn't exist

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I have some pretty awesome kids, if I do say so myself. They are kind and helpful, they are smart and they call their momma every day. They didn't receive phones or social media until their teens, they were never allowed to bring a piece of technology to the dinner table, they are independent, good cooks and I could go on. Every once in a while I have people ask me, "how I did it", heck, I ask myself sometimes. Of course - I didn’t do it alone. I have a village! I would say I’ve done a few things unconventionally, and I guess I got lucky. I was able to raise them in a window of time when technology was new and useful and hadn't gone totally bananas yet.

I never had the opportunity to ask for parenting advice from 1000 people on Facebook, I said NO a lot, regardless of what their friends parents said was ok. I never let someone tell me, It'll be fine, if my gut and my heart said something else.

There is no manual for raising children. We all know that. Which is why we do the best we can and pull from the only experience we have. Being a kid and how our parents raised us.

There is a human cycle where we raise our children for the world we grew up in and the challenges we faced. Our children face very different challenges and have very different resources. As fast as our world is changing, I believe not enough of what's important is. How we treat each other, our politics, our ways of running business, and if we continue to raise our children the same way we always have, it won't change.

I watch parents and schools focus too much on test scores and outcomes and not the journey to get there. On grades and goals instead of generosity and kindness. If we spent as many hours teaching gratitude and compassion, as we do algebra, could you imagine? We should be proud of a C if they worked their butt off to get it. Should we celebrate an A if no effort was put in to achieve it? We aren't all good at everything and it's important to teach that and accept that early on.

Raise your kids to focus less on what they are learning and more on who they are learning from. I wasn't a stellar student and I didn't go to college, but that has never held me back. The lessons I learned that made me successful weren't the ones in books. If I hadn't been paying attention to the people around me, I would be in a very different place in life.

I am successful because I had teachers who let me take tests over and over until I passed. They taught me that failure is ok and to try again.

I am successful because my mom lived in "Lorie World". She showed me I didn’t have to live in the “real” world but the one I chose to make for myself.

I am successful because my father taught me to ask for help when I needed it. To try on my own and exhaust my resources, but before I gave up - to say, I need help.

I am successful because someone ignored my lack of experience and education and gave me a shot in a job I probably wasn't qualified for. Now I do that for others.

I want my children to have that opportunity as well. I raised them to find those people in their life. I want them to know that a standardized test does not define them. I may not have taught them to make their bed everyday, but they know empathy and compassion. I raised them to show grace in competition. I want them to learn how to choose who should be in their life and let go of the rest. I raised them to accept nothing less from friends, family, significant others, coworkers and managers. I raised them to choose joy.

I didn't raise my kids for today's world. I am raising them for the world that doesn't exist yet, in hopes that they will create it.

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