Act Like A Success · Resilience of Toddlers

Three Success Reminders from Kids Soccer

Happy Saturday!!

I am a soccer mom.

Both of my boys (age 4 & 8) play for a sports league which allowed them to begin this journey at age 3.

You did see I typed age 3 right?

I ask that because some coaches and parents are brutal. They take this very seriously and I have to wonder when they are yelling at my Win’s team of 5 & 6 year olds (he is the only 4 year old on the team – yeah Win) – why can’t we let kids be kids?

Is it wrong that I want children to be allowed to be children? I cringe when I hear chants like “crush them.” I don’t want my baby to be crushing anyone yet BUT I do want them to win.

Win’s coach teaches them various plays and positions he wants them to take on the field and at times it seems like we have as much to remember with soccer as with school. I understand the viewpoint of his coach and I see the improvement each week.

While there are things I am still getting accustomed to as a soccer mom of 2, the sport is changing my perspective on competition and winning. Its also reminded me of three things:

1. Practice = Improvement

I’m thankful for the competitive environment which teaches him that when he practices consistently, he improves. When he improves, his team improves.

2. Teamwork

It feels me with pride when he counts the number of assists he has in addition to the number of goals, this shows me he is learning the value of teamwork.

3. Don’t dwell on defeat

The excitement he shows when they win is nothing compared to the joy I felt when he realized they lost a game and then responded, “Oh well mom next week will win.” He’s four and he reminded me to not let one defeat get me down.

While I still am uncomfortable with the taunts from the adults in the crowd, I am pleased that Win remains excited to practice and to play. Who knows I may even learn what the dead ball means the next time I hear it.

Til next time,

“The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.” – Pele’

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Resilience of Toddlers

3 Life Lessons from Toddlers

Happy Monday!

Life is never boring or monotonous when you are the parents of toddlers.  Each day you have little reminders of resilience in action.  No matter what knocks them down they jump back up.  Along the way you may have to shield your ears as they succumb to screaming fits of frustration.  You may even have to watch a temper tantrum or two when they don’t get their way.  

But they always run to their trusted adult a few minutes later and ask for hugs, kisses and reassurance.  Oh to be a toddler again when resilience wasn’t a conscious thought but a natural reaction.

Toddlers teach us lessons by their acts of wisdom.  Yes I said acts of wisdom. Spend an hour with them and you will see them live out skills we wish some adults could understand.  Here are a few examples of their infinite wisdom:

1.  Knowledge of their client base/salesman:

Ok we know toddlers don’t have clients but bear with me. Children learn what each parent or caregiver will allow them to do and what they won’t be able to get away with.  They adapt their behaviors to meet the needs and expectations of the caregivers in their life. 

Teachers, parents, siblings, grandparents don’t often see the manipulation in action with them but it is easy to recognize when used on others.  “They don’t do that with me,” is often overhead when discussions are held about the child’s behavior and later after comparing notes, the adults learn then have been manipulated by a master salesman who may not as yet conquered potty training.

2.  Adaptable to new demands/change:

Either weekly, monthly or yearly children hit milestone which may require change to their environment.  They conquer solid foods and move away from breast milk/formula.  They conquer rolling over and then it is time to crawl and then before you realize it they have grown up and walking.  The behavioral expectations increase along with the child’s development.  While they may not like the new rules, they adapt and keep going.  They don’t let the change stop their momentum.

3.  Purpose Driven determination:

Advocating for what you want is sometimes a lost art form that children have mastered.  They make their mind up as to what they want and they go after it with single minded determination.  First it’s, “may I ____? Depending on your answer the next thing you will hear is either “thank you” or “why.”  The why question will continue until they either get what they want or you find a distraction.  But don’t think you won that round because once the distraction fades, they return to request a new goal which is often the original question.  They got distracted but they didn’t forget their goal. They picked the idea back up and pursued obtaining it.

As you plan for 2017, what are a few lessons you can adopt from the children in your life?

Til next time,

“Each of us has the opportunity to change and grow until our very last breath.  Happy creating.” – M. F. Ryan

Resilience of Toddlers

Resilience in Action

The last few weeks have had me in a perpetual state of anxiety.  First, I became ill with an inability to eat and an urgent & unrealistic need to stay away from my children in order to prevent them from catching my bug.  Then immediately on the heels of slowly turning the illness corner and successfully eating one meal, it was time to take my youngest to the hospital for surgery.  It was while watching him sleep off the anesthesia and then fight to stay awake that I had an epiphany.  Toddlers can teach us a lot about being resilient if we open our minds to the experience.

When the doctors said it would be at least a day before my son would want solid food, he instead requested it one hour after surgery concluded.   They said he would be cranky and likely need pain medications every four hours, he didn’t need them until 72 hours after surgery.  And only after his throat began scabbing.  RESILIENT!   Thankfully I have had the honor to witness resilience in action within other moment to moment discoveries of his two years on this earth.  Here are the top 3 lessons he has taught me:
1.  Every minute is a new adventure – Toddlers do not waste time analyzing their inadequacies.  They instead utilize all of their brain power and energies on figuring out how to get to whatever caught their interest.  Try as we might to distract them from their goal, short of physically removing them from the object in question, they continue towards their goal.  What great things we could accomplish if we were more like them.
2.  Take time to enjoy the little things – Toddlers find enjoyment in everything.  Saying hello to  others in line brings a smile & a tickle generates a laugh.  An airplane flying in the sky makes them stand in place pointing to the sky full of glee.  We view the line as a waste of time and the plane as too loud.  Maybe we should adopt the toddler perspective and bring more smiles & laughs into our lives.
3.  When you fall down, get right back up – Toddlers personify the saying, don’t cry over spilled milk.  They fall, shed a few tears then jump back up and begin again.  The cycle repeats until they reach the point in which they are satisfied with their progress.  There are no periods of wallowing in self-pity or feelings of defeat.  No overwhelming need to obtain approval from other people, they find ways to motivate themselves.  During the course of growing up, we sometimes lose sight that the only person we need to motivate us is the same face staring at us in the mirror’s reflection.
Of course toddlers have one major cool factor which allows them to have a sense of security to explore and achieve, they are gifted with caregivers who love and support them through their adventures.  They are free from the day-to-day worries of mortgages, food, and employment.  But even with the burdens we carry, we still maintain the freedom to take time for adventures as we get back up from our failures.  The only thing standing in our way is the reflection of ourselves that we see in the mirror.

Til next time,

“Actions express priorities” – Mohandas Gandhi