Being Aware While Still Having Fun!

This weekend was a fun filled event for Build a Biz Kids. We were honoured to be volunteering at the Port Moody RibFest in the Kids Center where we had an information booth along with 3 games for kids of all ages. If you haven’t been to RibFest before, you missed out on a great event so be sure to put it into your calendar for next year.

But back to the topic of this blog. Every time we do an event we love people/family watching and observing others as it can help you to learn a lot about yourself as well as perhaps seeing through a child’s lens of the world and the people they interact with around them.

I have a few stories I would love to tell over the next few blogs that I hope will help you with your own personal journey of continuing to become a great parent and mentor to your children so they, will in turn, become successful and fulfilled adults.

The first story is an observation our VP noticed of a family of 4. Mom and Dad along with 2 kids between about 6 and 8 years.

We had 2 great games provided by the event, both along the same lines. Throw the ball or hit the puck into the wooden cut outs to test your skill & accuracy.

This family was undoubtedly having a wonderful family day together. They looked like any other family when they walked up, however, he just noticed that through their fun and laughter, they may have created a behaviour habit that we noticed wasn’t encouraging their children to try new things or take risks. Of course, once observing this, I encourage you to look in yourself, as we try to do, on whether we are also unknowingly do this as well.

Here's the innocent interaction that occurred. Each parent went up to the football toss to try their skill at throwing the football through one of the two holes in the quarterback cutout. Mom walks up and takes a try, misses and the ball bounces off the boards. The dad starts laughing very hard and encourages the kids to do the same. “Haha, you missed!”

Dad steps up and tries, misses as well. Mom roars in laughter and gets the kids giggling and pointing at dad and how he failed. “Haha, you suck!”

Everyone was having an innocent enough of a time and laughing lots which is always great but when the parents asked the kids if they wanted to try…. Unsurprisingly, each said no.

This exchange was short and innocent. Something I can see myself doing with my friends at a carnival when one tries to win the big stuffed animal and doesn’t even come close to making it. We all laugh and taunt them and it’s all in good fun with no ones feelings getting hurt. We all understand the spirit of the moment and it's a super fun time.

But in this moment, the parents are having a great time but have perhaps unknowingly created an environment where their kids don’t understand that “spirit” and have developed a fear around failing with witnesses. They have seen what happens to you when you “fail”. You are mocked, laughed at and told you suck by those you hope to have acceptance and encouragement from. Who would want to take risks in that environment?

I write this not to shame this family. Truly, we have all done this as kids, teens and adults when around peers. But like many instances, our kids haven’t developed their confidence yet and need reasons to try new things, not shy away from them.

All in all, it can sometimes be tough to understand context as adults when it comes to how you relax and converse with your best friend and significant other, vs when you are around your kids. Laughter, joking, and lightheartedness is strongly encouraged; just remember, the minds of children don't develop over night. They evolve based on the conditioning their environment presents to them.