I hope you always have that look in your eyes. You know the one that tells everyone you mean business, that you are determined, and that you are going to do big things with your life.


Yep. That’s the look, and I never ever want you to lose that—except maybe when I’m putting you in your place, like in time out; you can lose it for that five minutes—but for every other minute of the day, keep it.

I hope you always have that look in your eyes. You know the one that makes it so obvious you see the world as a wondrous place, and as your grand playground.

Yep. That’s the look, and I never ever want you to lose that—except maybe in those few and far between more serious moments that require you to have a more grounded nature—but for every other minute of the day, keep it.

I hope you always have that look in your eyes. You know the one that leads me to conclude that you believe in fairytale love.

Yep. That’s the look, and I never ever want you to lose that—except maybe from when you are 15 until you are 30— but for every other minute of the day, keep it.

I hope you always have that look in your eyes. You know the one that is slightly investigatory and curious about everything and everyone.

Yep. That’s the look, and I never ever want you to lose that—except for when it begins to make you cynical and pessimistic about all the good that is in this world—but for every other minute of the day, keep it.

I hope you always have that look in your eyes. You know the one that tells people you are strong of body and of mind.

Yep. That’s the look, and I never ever want you to lose that—except for those moments when it is okay to be sad or weak, and even ask for help—but for every other minute of the day, keep it.

I hope you always have that look in your eyes. You know the one that makes you look somewhat crazy with passion.

Yep. That’s the look, and I never ever want you to lose that—ever. Such intense passion is rare, and I want you to own that one and keep it—every minute of every day.

I hope you always have that look in your eyes. You know the one that makes me know that you love your mama.

Yep. That’s the look, and I never ever want you to lose that—ever. Keep that look in your eye every minute of every day for the rest of my life.

Raising a mentally strong kid doesn't mean he won't cry when he's sad or that he won't fail sometimes. Mental strength won't make your child immune to hardship—but it also won't cause him to suppress his emotions.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks. It gives them the strength to keep going, even when they're plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common yet unhealthy parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid equipped to tackle life's toughest challenges:

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