Parenting Through Encouragement

Parenting Through Encouragement

Raising children is both a challenging and rewarding responsibility. You hold the power to deeply impact another human being’s self-esteem, character, and perspective on life. Committing to being an encouraging voice for your child is an invaluable step in your parenthood journey. Below are 3 tips to help get the job done:

Remind Your Children That It’s Ok to Fail

As parents, we often emphasize the importance of success, high achievement, and ‘doing your best’. But what happens when your children’s best isn’t enough? What should we do when their best efforts still result in failure? In those moments, we are afforded the perfect opportunity to comfort our kids and guide them through the process of: acknowledging their feelings, accepting what happened, and then, taking actionable steps to improve. Adults try and fail all the time, but we are great at hiding our disappointments. So much so, that our kids rarely notice how often we make mistakes. When your child is in the midst of defeat, share stories about your failures and how you used them to bounce back stronger. Lastly, always encourage your children to strive for success, but ensure that they also know there will be occasions where things don’t go according to plan, and that’s ok. Failure is simply an opportunity for growth in our next steps.

Focus on Praise More Than Criticism

A large part of parenting is molding your children into productive, honorable, members of society. Many of us think the best way to do so is by instructing our children on what not to do. While this is one way to achieve the end goal, it’s not always the most encouraging technique.  To alter your approach, focus on the positive more than the negative. Conversations about what not to do can often be reframed by keeping a positive spin in mind. Start by praising your kids: address what they did well, then, expand the conversation by offering ideas on additional steps they can take to produce even better results. Also, remember that not every moment is a moment to reinforce the notion of improvement. Make sure to regularly mix in conversations that are strictly focused on praise. Your approval is one of the greatest sources of pride and confidence your child owns; they look up to you, they respect you, and they want to know that their efforts and achievements are valid in your eyes.

Offer Unconditional Support

There will come a point in every parent-child relationship where our desired outcomes for our children will not come to fruition. We envision our children attending a certain college, playing a certain sport, or pursuing a certain career path…and they may not. It’s ok to feel disappointment; we are human and have valid reasons for wanting our kids to take the paths we imagined. However, they are human too – with their own thoughts, their own personalities, and their own passions. As much as we see them as carbon copies of ourselves, their desires are their own. We have to remember to prove to our children that our support is unconditional – just as unconditional as our love is. Our kids should not feel bound to fulfilling our dreams in order to keep our support, but instead should feel encouraged to be true to themselves. We’ve raised them right, so we must trust the process and allow our kids to become their most genuine version of themselves, with our support as their comfort. Who knows? While their paths may stray a bit from our parental ideals, those decisions may still end with the same fruitful results we envisioned.

How you choose to respond to your children in moments of adversity will heavily determine which coping skills they revisit later in life. With parental encouragement, your children will mature to be well-adjusted adults, who openly share optimism and positivity with others. Even if your children are adult-aged, it’s never too late to start parenting with encouragement in mind.  

Tracey and Kimberly EatonParenting Through Encouragement
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Tracey Eaton – 3 Things the NFL Taught Me About Marriage

Tracey Eaton – 3 Things the NFL Taught Me About Marriage

My years in the NFL have served as a foundation as to what I model other areas of my life. I have learned to become a man of integrity on the field and in the business world. I have learned to push past personal obstacles when others are depending on me both in a game and in life. In short, the NFL taught me to wake up every morning to show up ready to put 110% into everything I do. And this applies to everything from how I conduct my business to how I cherish my marriage. Read on to find out the 3 most important things the NFL taught me about marriage.

Honor your commitments

Commitment is without a doubt one of the most integral aspects of success in any relationship or endeavor in your life. If you put in the work every day despite the hardships that come your way, you will eventually see results. It’s not rocket science. In fact, I’m not even sure the NFL taught me this lesson. I have valued commitment since day one. I have always been a man of dedication, and that is what got me to the NFL in the first place.

However, what I know the NFL did teach me is to honor these commitments. It taught me to do everything I can to keep my commitments to myself, to my team, and to other people. Playing on a team that depended on me taught me that keeping my commitments determined the kind of team player I was. Likewise, keeping my commitments in life determines the kind of man I am. More than anything, the NFL taught me to treat my commitments with honor––to cherish my commitment to a team because that means I am an integral part of something. And that is exactly how I treat my commitment in marriage. I wake up everyday feeling honored to commit myself to Kimberly and our two-person team.  

Share a common vision

In order for any team to succeed, every player has to share the same goal. The desired end result must be the same––whether that’s taking home a win with your sports team, sealing the deal on a client with your business department, or becoming successful entrepreneurs with your spouse. In fact, your level of success cannot be measured unless you have a pre-established vision.

This is exactly why Kimberly and I have established a shared vision for life and in our marriage. We both want the same things and are willing to wake up every day to put in the same level of work, time, and effort to get there.

Keep a united front

What’s the point of working as a team if you don’t keep a united front? Sticking to the same playbook doesn’t only make it easier to succeed, but it also helps keep teammates accountable. So whether you’re playing for a team in the NFL or just a touch-football team in your neighborhood, you need to have a gameplan to have a shot at success.

Likewise, in marriage, it’s important to keep a united front in every single area of life. Whether you’re dealing with an argument with your children, a disagreement with friends, or a hardship in finances, working together as a team using the same plan of action is the only way to get through it together.

The lessons I learned in the NFL have made me into the man I have become and have influenced how I have learned to honor, cherish, and work on my marriage day in and day out.

Tracey and Kimberly EatonTracey Eaton – 3 Things the NFL Taught Me About Marriage
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