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5 Secrets for Raising Successful Children

5 Secrets for Raising Successful Children via @familsyportlife

(c) Depositphotos/racorn

As a parent, preparing my children for a successful future is one of those topics that keep me up at night. My peer group of parents are investing more heavily in our children than any other previous generation of parents. More of our time, our resources, and ourselves. No wonder we are all so busy! There is much that sets us apart from our parental role models – education, socio-economics, globalization, and technology are just to name a few.

Parents today are both savvy and unrelenting in what they will do to see their children succeed. In many ways we are over-complicating and over-burdening our notions of success out of anxiety for our children’s future. Consequently we are over-scheduling and at times burning out our children. We think the road to success is paved by taking on more activities or spending more hours at the newest learning center. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly have expectations for my children but I often find myself questioning if they are the “right” expectations.

With a deep desire to provide my children with a road map for success, I looked at both my workplace and my husband’s experience with the sport of triathlon. It wasn’t long before I realized little people and big people aren’t all that different. The way I coach adults to be successful at business and sport would work for my kids as well. Puling from my knowledge of performance and motivation psychology, I was able to build a framework for raising successful children.  And it’s working.

From my experience, parents are already doing many of the things I mention here. You may or may not realize you are doing them. Or maybe you don’t realize how your own personal success practice can apply to your children. You might simply need some encouragement to put what you already know into a useable daily structure. Let’s see if my “secrets” validate what you already know!

Outlined below are what I find my most successful clients, friends, and family all have in common. These 5 “secrets” form the way we as a family think about success and direct how we develop our children.

5 Secrets for Raising Successful Children

Secret # 1: Hard work

Teach your children to persevere in the face of adversity. How we overcome challenges in our life have a direct impact our our personal growth and future perspective. Define what hard work or good effort means to your child. Did they give it their all on the soccer field? Did they practice their instrument the requisite times? Did they study for that test? Did they complete their chores? These are all appropriate ways for a child to show effort whether they are 5 or 15. Sure, we expect them to do all these things but don’t forget the effort it takes to complete these tasks.

Secret # 2: Initiative

Teach your children to go the extra mile. In my opinion, initiative comes naturally to children since they are largely achievement oriented. They want to be “helpers” and “do gooders” even if their behavior doesn’t always demonstrate this. Initiative is putting in an extra 15 minutes of practice a day at the sport they love. Initiative is going to extra help even though they may not need it. Initiative is helping Mom and Dad when it isn’t on the chore chart. Give clear examples of what initiative “looks like” so your children can draw the connection.

Secret # 3: Good Attitude

Teach your children how to turn can’ts into cans. Show them through modeling the behavior what a good attitude looks like. Attitude can be more difficult for children to understand. The best way for me to teach my kids attitude is to point out real life examples of good or bad attitude. When you get good cooperation, “thanks for being a great team member. Do you think this is an example of good attitude or bad attitude?” If you get a grumble, ask them “do you think grumbling is a good attitude or a bad attitude.

Secret # 4: Confidence

The more I observe human behavior and what drives success, I find confidence continues to be at the root. As this is something even adults struggle with it can be hard for us to teach our children. Confidence can be elusive because it is often associated with a feeling. Think about how we feel when we are confident. When we are confident we feel energized, positive, calm, knowing, strong, open to new things. Teach your children how to identify with these feelings and tie them back to an action. When your child puts in a solid effort at their next soccer game, ask them how they feel. Building our children’s confidence will build their resiliency.  Resiliency will help them navigate the more turbulent teenage years.

Step # 5: Consistency

Teach your children the power of discipline and habit creation. Teach them that putting in a little effort and initiative each day goes a long way. Through consistency we build powerful habits that lay the foundation for our future success. The best way to teach consistency is set up a method to help you track the habit you want to create. When it comes to consistency, you want to teach the PROCESS as well as the concept.

Bonus! Subscribers to our weekly newsletter, The Successletter, will receive a tool to help teach consistency to adults and kids!

Remember, these are just my family’s “secrets!” We have spent years cultivating and developing these in our children. Each family will have their own secret sauce.  The most important thing about success is to DEFINE it for yourself!

What are your secrets for raising successful children?

8 comments - Latest by:
  • Tara Newman It wasn't until I started to think about how I wanted to define success for my own kids that I …
  • Tara Newman Kindergarten is a great age. That's when we started this approach with my kids. Well, my daughter was …

Meal Plan Inspiration|September 28, 2014

Meal Plan Inspiration via @familysportlifeThis week I went back to the Naturopath. After a few weeks of having some good days and some bad days, I just had a really bad week. Clearly we are missing something.

I think we all thought the stress causing the Adrenal Fatigue was life stress. However, when I look at the changes I have made recently and compare my stress today to past experiences it just doesn’t rate. I am certainly busy with life but it’s good busy. And it certainly isn’t a busy that is going to go away anytime soon with two young kids.

I have learned a lot about myself, my wellness, and how to optimize my health over the past few months.  So! What gives?

I am going to have some more blood tests including allergy testing and testing to see if my Epstein Barr is active. We are certain that there is some kind of physical stress causing the Adrenal Fatigue.

In the absence of the results from the blood testing, the Naturopath thinks I have gut issues. I know, you are wondering how this all factors in to the meal plan this week. This week’s meal plan will be missing some foods and incorporating others for gut health.

Gone are dairy and grains. I didn’t eat much grains to begin with but no dairy is going to be a bummer. I do eat a few servings of dairy a day.

What can I eat?

The Naturopath recommended a diet higher in fat, moderate protein, and moderate to lower carbs. She specifically wants to make sure I am eating the following foods:

  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Beets
  • Artichokes
  • Garlic
  • Tumeric (this will be a daily supplement)
  • Drinking Green Tea daily

The Plan

I will spend most of Sunday in the kitchen prepping to make sure I have every meal planned out and at my finger tips. Since I am a little out of my comfort zone, I am just going to list what I am making.

While not recommended by my Naturopath, anything you read on leaky gut syndrome recommends bone broth. I bought some bones from the local organic farm and after much research (and nervousness) bone broth will be in my crock pot as you are reading this.

Another first for me is roasting a chicken. Nope, never have I ever roasted a chicken. I am hoping this works as well as I think. Seems pretty easy and will have a bunch of leftovers for lunches. I will be saving the carcass and freezing it for a second batch of bone broth (different recipe)!

Roasted artichokes.  Also, how to cook and eat them!

Butternut Squash and Beets.

While this grain-free lasagna won’t be on my meal plan this week, I thought some of you might like it!

And after a week of no dairy, I am going to drown my sorrows in this.

Wishing you all a week filled with health, rest, and inner wisdom.

What are your favorite recipes for gut health? Feel free to leave me the links in the comment section.

18 comments - Latest by:
  • Tara Newman Well, about 5 days in and I am hanging tough with no dairy! Woot!
  • Tara Newman Yes! Bone broth is excellent for digestion as well as other things. I wasn't a big fan of the …

Why You Need to Hit the Pause Button in Life

Why You Need to Hit Pause via @familysportlife“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

Our MP3 players and televisions have a pause button but what many of us don’t realize is we have a pause button too. At any time, in any given situation, we have the choice on whether or not to hit our very own pause button for our lives.

Each day at work I am presented with problems that require careful attention to detail to come up with a solution that takes into account policy, practice, prior determinations, the current set of facts and the future implications.  I learned early on that I couldn’t make quick decisions even if I was confident in my ability to resolve the situation.  No matter how bad the person sitting in front of me wants swift resolution, I have to hit pause.  Hitting pause allows me to gather all the relevant information in order to weigh the consequences of the decision.

It has taken me far longer to understand the importance of hitting the pause button in life.  When I hit pause in my personal life it allows me to give deference to my mind, body, and spirit.  Hitting pause is my way of giving myself permission to step off the roller coaster for an indeterminate period of time.  Sometimes I can hit PLAY after three deep breaths and other times I need a week.

Appropriate times to press pause in our lives include when we feel overwhelmed, lack self-confidence, are mentally or physically fatigued, and/or have an overall sensitivity to the stimuli around us.  Hitting pause gives us the ability to step back and assess a situation before making a determination on how to proceed. Hitting our pause button is the first step in self-care and learning how to embrace rest.

By pressing the pause button on life, we give ourselves the space to realign with our values and our vision.  To reconnect with our inner voice of knowing, calm, and gratitude.  When we hit pause, we are able to make decisions from a place of strength and discern what is critical to our goals.

Our nature is becoming one that wants to continually drive forward without thought for our own well being.  However, stepping back often allows us to step forward with greater awareness and purpose.

Not sure how to hit the pause button?

  1. Awareness.  Acknowledge when you are feeling stuck, frenzied, frenetic, rushed, overwhelmed, or needing to make important decisions.  These are all reasons to hit the pause button in life.  If you are feeling illness coming on, hit pause immediately.
  2. Reflect.  This is a great time to take 15 minutes and reflect on what you are feeling and what your next steps are.  WRITE THEM DOWN! This will help you build a consistent process around hitting the pause button going forward.
  3. Embrace your fears.  Often times we are afraid to unburden our schedules.  We fear missing something or being perceived as “flakey” if we have to back out of a commitment.  Find a way to talk yourself through the fear so you can make the best decision for yourself. Ask for help facing your fears.  I have started to refer to it as “sharing my shame.”
  4. Do what feels authentic.  While you might feel hitting the pause button is a sign you don’t have it all together, realize that none of us have it all together. Accept yourself for who you are and where you are.   Trust your intuition.  You have all the answers you seek as long as you have the courage to listen.  One aspect of authentic living having the confidence to do what you need for your mind, body, and spirit.

How do you press the pause button on life?  Do you feel like you need permission to step back and take a break?

PS. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, The Successletter, for more tips and resources to keep you navigating life successfully.  This week’s inside scoop will talk about a recent experience I had with pressing pause.  I answer questions like what made me hit pause, what I did when I hit pause, and my personal reflections.

34 comments - Latest by:

Meal Plan Inspiration|September 21, 2014

Meal Plan Inspiration via @familysportlife

Heyo! Jumping in here super quick with some fun, interesting and nutritious recipes I have found in the last week.  Our biggest challenge these days – BUSY weeknights.  We have been doing a combination of cooking, winging it, and left overs!  Second big challenge – making sure The A’s get some protein in their bodies.  They are total Carbaholics!

Meal Plan Inspiration|September 21, 2014

Sunday:  Salted Cinnamon Salmon – never would I have ever made Salmon with Cinnamon so I have to try it.  Thankfully The A Team will eat Salmon.

Monday:  Crockpot Meatballs and Brown Rice Spaghetti.  The left overs make a great school lunch.  I can’t wait to try this recipe because it calls for hemp hearts!

Tuesday: Flapjacked Pancakes! Pancakes with protein.  Win! They have great recipes on their website.

Wednesday: Cauliflower Fried Rice.  This is John’s recipe.  We will have to share it when he is done perfecting it.

Thursday: Balsamic Chicken and Butternut Squash

Friday: Out

Saturday: Out

If anyone is looking for a fun football recipe, I found Buffalo Hot Dogs this week.  I am dying to try them!

What are you having for dinner this week? If you have a favorite recipe, leave it in the comments below!

11 comments - Latest by:
  • Kristen I'm totally trying the crockpot meatballs this week - so glad you do this! I lost my meal plan mojo....need …
  • Serena Hi Tara! The combination of salmon and cinnamon sounds interesting for me too. It made me curious and it looks …

How to Embrace Rest

Today I am over at Cotter Crunch sharing my story about Adrenal Fatigue and the lessons I have learned about embracing rest from a physical and mental perspective.  I was so honored that Lindsay asked me to guest for her so she could take some much needed rest! If you are new to Lindsay’s blog, hang around a while and check out her posts.  She is an honest blogger who writes from her perspective as the wife of a Pro Triathlete, nutrition manager, and fitness consultant.  She has great health tips and gluten free recipes that focus on gut health.  If you are willing to learn, she has a lot to teach!

Oh! Lindsay is also the founder of a company called Healthy Bites.  I highly recommend you check out her Healthy Bites E-Cookbooks (Book 1 and Book 2).  These little bites are packed with healthy fats and protein.  I like mine with a cup of coffee in the morning!

WIAW The Protein Challenge via @familysportlife


Well, what are you waiting for? Go check out How to Embrace Mental and Physical Rest.

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