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5 Essential Things Kids Need to Make It Out There in the Real World

There are countless parenting styles out there – from the strict and unforgiving to the relaxed and lenient. Despite these differences, most will agree that a parent’s overall goal is to prepare their children to enter – and thrive in – the big, wide world. 

And while each family will do this in their own particular way, it’s safe to say that many will focus on a handful of common values. So no matter the methods, parents must recognize how important it is to uphold, teach, and ultimately pass on these universal truths that greatly impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

By highlighting the importance of grit, independence, discipline, character, and presence, you’ll be preparing your children for their successful, fulfilling futures. (Trust us, they will thank you!)

The importance of grit

Our world is fast-paced and dominated by technology and media of all kinds. Our kids are used to immediate answers and outcomes. In turn, they balk when it takes time to figure out a problem or practice a new skill.

Therefore, it’s up to us to foster a work ethic. Let’s remind them that before the rise of technology we still accomplished things, just at a different pace. We need to show them that there is joy in the process of creating something, as well as in the end product. Believe it or not, grit or old-fashioned patience, perseverance, and practice still have a place in our exhilarating, modern world!

Teaching independence

The role of parents is to ready their children for an independent life, one that may include a home, a job, a family, and friends of their own. Obviously, this sense of independence doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s a gradual process that needs constant encouragement.

Parents can promote self-sufficiency by encouraging free play. In other words, instead of structuring playtime (for example, playing “store” by lining up items to “buy” and handing out money), allow kids to imagine scenarios (and props) on their own. Without parental interference, they may be motivated to come up with unique ways to pass the time. They may feel more comfortable being creative and sharing ideas.

And while they’re bound to complain about being bored, this can lead to clever problem-solving and resolutions. Certainly, these are all beneficial qualities that will serve them well in the future.

The right way to discipline

When it comes to keeping kids in line, it’s tough to decide on the best method. That said, some aspects of discipline should be emphasized on a regular basis. The first of these is empathy – admittedly, a tricky concept for youngsters. The best way to explain empathy is to acknowledge that other children have feelings as well. Explain that even if a child feels differently than us, the feelings are equally valid.

Once emotional responses have been acknowledged, kids need to be guided in their responses. It’s okay to come down on bad behavior and to stress why certain actions aren’t allowed. From there, set logical limits so your child can make a better choice next time.

Why character is important

As much as we adore our children, we must teach them that the world involves others who matter just as much. In addition, we must stress the importance of living a grateful life, being thankful for the earth making room for all of its inhabitants.

And perhaps one of the best ways to build character is to maintain your own identity even while you’re committed to taking care of your child. Remember that you’re a role model to the younger set. If you’re mindful of others yet still manage to take time to do something you love – besides parenting – you’ll be providing a positive example of a well-rounded character.

Be a present parent

As the world buzzes on by, it’s no surprise that so many of us are constantly distracted. But we owe it to our children to slow down and focus – to take the time to tell them they are loved and appreciated. This deliberate “time out” doesn’t have to stretch on for long periods of time. Instead, the connection should be quick yet genuine – a consistent reminder that we see our kids through the chaos and noise, and are always grateful for them. 

When we are fully present, it’s easier to spot teachable moments, namely those experiences that we can turn into memorable life lessons. But while you are doing this, remember that a young brain is not yet fully developed, respect its limitations.

By modeling the behavior we wish to see in our child, it’s our hope that we’ll pass on the importance of grit, independence, discipline, character, and presence. When we share these essential values, we’re preparing our children for a happy, healthy, and harmonious future.

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Jessica Simpson celebrated her baby shower this weekend (after getting a cupping treatment for her very swollen pregnancy feet) and her theme and IG captions have fans thinking this was not just a shower, but a baby name announcement as well.

Simpson (who is expecting her third child with former NFL player Eric Johnson) captioned two photos of her shower as "💚 Birdie's Nest 💚". The photographs show Simpson and her family standing under a neon sign spelling out the same thing.

While Simpson didn't explicitly state that she was naming her child Birdie, the numerous references to the name in her shower photos and IG stories have the internet convinced that she's picking the same name Busy Philips chose for her now 10-year-old daughter.

The name Birdie isn't in the top 1000 baby names according to the Social Security Administration, but It has been seeing a resurgence in recent years, according to name nerds and trend watchers.

"Birdie feels like a sassy but sweet, down-to-earth yet unusual name," Pamela Redmond Satran of Nameberry told Town and Country back in 2017. "It's also just old enough to be right on time."

Simpson's older kids are called Maxwell and Ace, which both have a vintage feel, so if Birdie really is her choice, the three old-school names make a nice sibling set.

Whether Birdie is the official name or just a cute nickname Simpson is playing around with, we get the appeal and bet she can't wait for her little one to arrive (and her feet to go back to normal!)

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Mamas, if you hire a cleaning service to tackle the toddler fingerprints on your windows, or shop at the neighborhood grocery store even when the deals are better across town, don't feel guilty. A new study by the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School shows money buys happiness if it's used to give you more time. And that, in turn could be better for the whole family.

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As if we needed another reason to shop at Target, our favorite store is offering some great deals for mamas who need products for baby. Mom life can be expensive and we love any chance at saving a few bucks. If you need to stock up on baby care items, like diapers and wipes, now is the time.

Right now, if you spend $100 on select diapers, wipes, formula, you'll get a $20 gift card with pickup or Target Restock. Other purchases will get you $5 gift cards during this promotion:

  • $20 gift card when you spend $100 or more on select diapers, wipes, formula, and food items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select beauty care items
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select household essentials items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select Iams, Pedigree, Crave & Nutro dog and cat food or Fresh Step cat litter items using in store Order Pickup
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select feminine care items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock

All of these promotions will only run through 11:59 pm PT on Saturday, January 19, 2019 so make sure to stock up before they're gone!

Because the deals only apply to select products and certain colors, just be sure to read the fine print before checking out.

Target's website notes the "offer is valid using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock when available".

The gift cards will be delivered after you have picked up your order or your Target Restock order has shipped.

We won't tell anyone if you use those gift cards exclusively for yourself. 😉 So, get to shopping, mama!

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