Better Living: Ways to Raise Extraordinary Children

my worldLeaving a Legacy

Every once in a while I meet a child who seems so remarkable that it makes me wonder who their parents are. And every time this has happened, I've discovered that the parent is one in a million too.

There's the seven kids who greeted me at the door of their home one day when I, a first time visitor, had stopped by. First, the 4-year-old shook my hand, smiled, said hello, and then behind him came his brothers and sister. Each one smiled, shook my hand politely, and welcomed me in. Wow. I thought. What planet are they from?

Come to my house, and it's likely you'll be greeted with nerf bullets whizzing directly at your head, instead of a handshake.

But we're growing. I like to take the best from the best examples we see, and eliminate the habits we don't want to bring into the world. The handshake? It's one of the things we are working on. Not because I think it's critical, or because I want to create little robots, but because it's a valuable and positive way to greet people, and they can use it their whole lives.

Once I got to know the parents of the 7 kids, I discovered how extraordinarily different they are. They make it their focus to instill specific principles in their kids. They develop habits, mission statements, and family fun around creating their legacy. In 17 years, they've never once had a television in the house.

Sound weird? Extremist? Maybe. But perhaps it's time to change things up a bit in your own household.

Being a mom isn't always easy, glamourous or perfect. But the beauty of leaving a legacy, is that it's your own. Whether you're a single mom, a married mom, or the mom of a blended family, you're the CEO of your own life and you have to do what works for you.

After a decade of coaching, and working with extraordinary leaders, moms, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, I've taken away a few important tips that I try (when I can!) to incorporate into my own home.

Tips to Better Yourself and Your Kids

Be Authentic
Do what works for you, and your own family. Your legacy is uniquely yours. Make a list of the things that are important to you. Your friend might have her kids in karate, or baseball coaching, or select soccer after school, but you might find that it's too hectic to fit into your schedule. Don't try to be something you're not.

Eliminate Toxins
Step back and look at what negative people places, or things you could eliminate from your family. Is it a playgroup that just doesn't feel right anymore? The women's club, a moms group, or perhaps an activity your kids are involved in? Eliminating what doesn't feel right is the fastest way to decrease stress! Your household will feel it immediately.

Create a Family Mission Statement
This one is easy and powerful. Gather your family together over dinner, and ask each one to define what they want the family to be. Encourage them with empowering words, like love, joy, and giving back. Create a written vision statement for your family and frame it. Put it in the kitchen, the center of your home, for everyone to see.

Are there things that you can eliminate that would actually add value to your lives?

Tammy Kling is a life coach, advocate for the homeless, and international author of 29 books including The Compass. She's the mom of two boys, an avid trail and mountain runner, blogger, and adventure travel writer.

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I'm a book author, homeschool mom of boys, mountain runner and advocate for the homeless. Founder of Write it Out, a homeless recovery program that teaches writers workshops to the homeless and gang members, in order to focus on using the power of words to restore, recover, and rehabilitate.


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