Never Good Enough

There is a lot out there about kid’s poor self-esteem. Not so much about parent’s waning sense of self. Why not? Because it’s taboo. Parents fly in the door, urgently pleading with their child to hurry up before anyone has even said, “hi.” Why? Because they are late!! Because everyone is scheduled and double booked and double parked and racing onto the next. What happens in the midst of this frenzied activity? Parents begin to feel less than competent. Parents begin to believe that they are never quick enough, organized enough, detailed enough or competent enough. They look around and see other parents flying between appointments and assume they do so with ease. Not SO! Everyone is tired, depleted and looking for a way to catch up. The good news in all this? Your child doesn’t care. They want YOU, your attention, your reassurance, your time. They aren’t comparing you to their best friend’s parents (not really) because they think you are just perfect as you are. All they want is that leisurely greeting, that spontaneous trip to the park or book store, that sweet moment over a bite to eat. You are your child’s hero, so take a deep breath and believe it.

A Mother’s Testimonial

My daughter had a very hard couple of years and became withdrawn and very sad. Having trouble adjusting to a big move , she felt like an outsider at school, her self esteem was fragile.

Enter Fidgets2Widgets! Fast forward and I see the girl she’s supposed to be! She is completely engaged and even seems to be leading some of the games.

This is a safe, and warm place that allows kids the freedom to let their brain play!

I will be forever thankful to Fidgets2Widgets for helping my daughter find happiness again.

Mary (Maisy’s Mom) from Portland

Help! My kid knows more than I do and I’m scared…

It’s much more common than you think. You are not alone. Parents everywhere are struggling to keep up with their children in math, science and the digital arts. This may be the first generation where parents don’t know better or more. How could we possibly know more when everything is moving so quickly? Learning is now an exponential process and no longer linear.

So what to do when your child is talking about how to scale the picture correctly or use function keys to unlock the frozen screen and you have no idea what they just said? What do you do when your child is beginning algebra in 4th grade and needs help with common core concepts? You smile and pause. You take a deep breath and relax in the knowledge that your child really does have a leg up on you. We want our kids to have more, be smarter and live more easily than we have done, right? Be grateful for this day.

Remind yourself that it’s never too late to learn. How better to connect with your “little Einstein” than to ask them for help, or better yet “google” help together. As Paula Prober recently posted in Your Rainforest Mind, “It’s never too late to be your gifted self.” You might just discover that you CAN keep up with your kids and grandkids. You are quicker and smarter than you knew!

Mentoring Parents/Mentoring Kids

Even though most of us never took a parenting class in High School or were officially taught how to parent, we know that a parent’s responsibility is to KNOW and to TEACH. Right?? We remember well those nights spent doing homework with our parent’s helping us or learning about the world at large from those giants called “mom and dad.” So, why is it we feel so inadequate with our own kids? They seem to be speaking a different language and rarely ask for our help. When we try to teach them something they brush us aside with, “I know, I know,” often surprising us with what they actually DO know. At Fidgets2Widgets, it is common to hear parents admitting that they have no idea what their kids are saying when they talk, “Minecraft, YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.” “It’s like he’s talking a different language,” a mom of an 9-year-old sighed. “And to tell you the truth, that’s one of the reasons I limit his screen time. I don’t know what he might be getting into and it scares me.”

What we fear, we avoid. But what if we didn’t? What if instead of avoiding, we asked our kids to show us? Cross generational mentoring is here and it is exactly what we need. We have a unique opportunity that none of the other preceding generations have had. We can learn from each other, So the next time your techie child is speaking that foreign language you can’t comprehend, tell them they are brilliant and ask them to show you. They will be thrilled to do just that and while you are at it, you may just find that perfect opportunity to mentor them!

Parenting the Twice-Exceptional

We have two Minecraft Servers at Fidgets2Widgets. One is named Greenfield, a project that lacks constraints, where creativity is KING! The second is called, Widgetaria, a magical place where our Widgetarians can dream and live in a Utopian society. Many of the citizens of these lands are twice-exceptional kids–kids who are gifted in one area and experience learning challenges or disabilities in another. It is commonplace for that young architect who is creating epic structures and designing eco-friendly cities, to ask how to spell a simple word later when typing. Letters get transposed, easy math feels daunting. The complex circuitry of a redstone invention may seem easy, the memorization of times tables….impossible! Your twice-exceptional child may be struggling in school, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have other tools necessary for success.

Identifying your child’s unique strengths means looking at the whole child. Are they socially gifted, charismatic or comedic? Does your child’s unique verbal expressions leave other grown-ups scratching their heads in dismay? Maybe your child’s connection to nature borders on environmental activism. Kids who feel “seen” can face the challenges of disability much more easily than those kids who feel pathologized or shamed. The other day, a middle-schooler who wasn’t yet able to read asked for help. Within moments, a group of kids formed around him, encouraging, offering to “type” for him, normalizing his experience. Kids get it! They aren’t afraid, they just want to help.

READ MORE HERE: When parenting twice-exceptional kids, not everything needs to be fixed



Fearless Parenting

Fearless parenting requires two things. First, you must trust yourself. Second, you must trust your child. You can do both. From the time you held that beautiful infant in your arms until today, your child has been guiding you. Simple at first, it just started with, “I’m hungry, I hurt, I need you.” Over time the messages have become more sophisticated. “Math is too hard for me. I am afraid of tests. I want to play with that amazing toy I saw on T.V.” Too often we counter these childish expressions with our adult  “wet blanket” perspective. We argue with, “Math is too hard. ” We insist that, “You have a good head for math!” “I’m afraid of tests,” becomes a lecture on studying habits. The “amazing toy” comment is quickly and unceremoniously dismissed. Not so FAST! What if you trusted  that each and every message your child was relaying was the truth, a truth you could trust?

A comment about math being too hard does not require that you immediately hire a tutor. Listen closely and ask a few careful questions. “Do you like math or does it scare you?” “If you could tell me one thing you do easily in math, what is it?” These types of questions, questions that are FEARLESS, lead us to the real solutions. Your kids trust you when you are fearless and take your time finding the answer. As you know by now, childhood takes its time and is sweetest when it is unhurried. Rushing about, grasping for answers is a fools journey. And you’re no fool! You are a fearless parent.

Screens will make you lose your sight and get hairy knuckles

When I grew up it was considered bad to read too much. Being a book worm was a very bad thing and I was warned about the harm I would do reading and straining my eyes in the evening. Barbie dolls were too sexy and not appropriate for little girls. Conversely, playing cowboy and jail games wasn’t lady like. Fast forward a few years to rock music. I was told that I was going to ruin my ears and blacken my soul. The thought of dancing to such a beat could only lead to ONE THING! I weary of the projections and craziness we heap upon our children. Let them be themselves. Let them play. Let them learn with video games, computer screens, books, music and nature. 50 years from now we’ll be laughing at ourselves yet again. Allow your kids to be curious and creative. Celebrate the technological wizards that they are! -Sydney Ashland