Archives For Kids

Consider this my first mobile post published on Maternal Media. I’m reporting live from a sports field in middle America, but I imagine this same scene is unfolding across the country.

Sunday youth football league.

Here are a few top-of-mind reminders for everyone out there who knows and loves youth athletes.

1. Some of these kids will leave their sports careers behind by the time they exit grade school. If you, as a parent or coach, could predetermine whether or not a kid’s love of the game would end this year/this game/this play, would you behave any differently?

2. Yes, your job is to teach kids the game. But the truly great mentors teach kids so much more about sports that can be applied off the field.

3. It feels AMAZING when your kid makes the big play. Big plays come and go. Character continues on. So celebrate the little things – helping an opposing player up, constantly hustling, being a leader when times are tough – as much as the big, obvious accomplishments.

4. Don’t let a game make or break your mood. How you react to wins and losses is how your kid will react to triumphs and adversities throughout their formative years.

5. Don’t let a referee’s action or inaction be the excuse for flipping your sh*t. Do you have a clue as to what those guys get paid? Trust me, they don’t take on this role for the money or prestige. They are human and, as such, will make mistakes.

6. No matter what mom or dad yells from the sidelines, kids will only play as hard as their hearts are into it. No amount of yelling or chest thumping will motivate them. Quite the contrary, your huge smile and a simple thumbs up will mean more to him than you know…because…amazingly…

7. Your kid only wants to make you and his coach happy. While you worry about mortgage payments and getting through your work week, your son’s list of priorities is much simpler…but no less important.

8. When the last whistle is blown, hug your child and tell him how extremely proud you are of his effort. Do this no matter if he scores the game-winning touchdown or does something that costs his team the game. Believe me, he knows if he screwed up. You don’t need to belabor the point.

9. If your child looks like he’s not having any fun, remind him that life is more than touchdowns and tackles. If your child looks like he’s having a blast, never forget to remind him to be thankful for this special time in his life.

10. Watch the movie Rudy. Keep perspective.

Written by Heidi Woodard

Sorta sweet (if you squint) 6

September 11, 2014 — 7 Comments

I assume the majority of you have seen My Super Sweet 16 on MTV? It’s a reality show that documents the coming-of-age parties for spoiled rich kids that are paid for by their delusional parents and attended by their fake friends.

Here’s a clip from The Soup to catch you up.

Alas, my five-year old daughter will soon be turning another year older so I’ve officially started planning for her big celebration.

I’m referring to the shindig as her “Sorta sweet (if you squint) 6″ because momma needs to stay within budget and also…well…she’s only six freaking years old. At this age, I should be able to stick her in a room with a helium-filled Mylar balloon and let her discover the joys of voice manipulation and unexplained dizziness.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I’ve asked an extremely talented friend of mine to create her birthday “dress cake” out of cupcakes similar to the princess style shown below.

 

This is what my friend is capable of doing.

This is what my friend is capable of doing.

 

This is what I am capable of doing. #NailedIt

This is what I am capable of doing. #NailedIt

 

I’ve picked the date and venue and am crossing my fingers that five of her closest friends like to bowl. See what I did there?

“Honey, you can pick five friends to attend to make a total of six people (counting you) at the party – one for every year you’ve grown bigger!” It just so happens that six is also the number of allowable bowlers per lane included in the party package.

Instead of taking out a second mortgage to pay for goodie bags, I’m going to order some awesome jean tattoos from Peaceable Kingdom. Their company’s Marketing Manager sent me free samples to try out on my daughter’s jeans and we absolutely loved them. I think the kids will go nuts over these easy-to-wear tattoos.

 

My daughter modeling her new favorite accessory, jean tattoos! (they easily wash off in normal wash cycle)

My daughter modeling her new favorite accessory, jean tattoos! (they easily wash off in a normal wash cycle)

 

Wish me luck as I attempt to pull off this party without breaking the bank.

Let me know if you’ve pulled off a killer party for your son or daughter without incurring too much expense!

Written by Heidi Woodard

Ice Bucket Challenge

August 15, 2014 — 4 Comments

I don’t care if this ice bucket challenge to raise awareness for ALS (better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is getting out of control. I think it’s great. It’s for a wonderful cause and I can’t imagine being the person who comes up with an idea that goes viral like this one.

There have been more than 1 million unique videos posted on Facebook related to this challenge. The movement has raised more than $5.5 million for the ALS Association since July 29, compared to $32,000 in the same period last year (as reported by TIME).

I accepted this challenged and I passed it on to my friends and my son, Austin, who went on to challenge his siblings.

My boys, Owen and Austin, posted their videos on their respective Instagram accounts. Imagining how to link that up to this WordPress blog gives me a headache so you’ll have to search it out yourself.

I did record Jaycee’s myself (in the wrong direction). Enjoy both my video and hers below.

 

Written by Heidi Woodard

I was approached by Fanatics to participate in their “Family Fanatics” initiative, challenging bloggers to share their stories about how sports has brought families together. Fanatics is the leading online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise – everything from NBA jerseys to MLB caps.

Ironically, their invitation arrived as my family was heading out of town to a baseball tournament for our oldest son. I jumped on it without hesitation.

Baseball tourney turned mini-vacation

Baseball tourney turned mini-vacation. How the big boys roll.

 

There is no I in TEAM.

There is no I in TEAM. The little guys in their team huddle.

 

How has sports brought us together? That’s easy for me to answer. To put it simply: I can’t imagine growing up without having played sports. My husband grew up much the same way that I did. Two jocks met, fell in love, got married, and passed down the tradition of loving sports to their offspring. Fortunately for us, our children love competing in athletics too.

Now is the point I’m guessing many of you are thinking, Of course they do. What other choice have they been given but to live out your glory years for you?

To that, I reply: Touche.

I’m not going to lie. As I’ve aged and it’s become quite apparent that I no longer “got it,” it’s extremely enjoyable to watch a younger, fresher, more nimble generation take the reigns.

After much prodding by their mom and dad, both my boys have repeatedly reassured us that they love playing the game (whether that game is basketball, baseball, or football) as much as we did. Their little sister even has one memorable season of basketball under her belt. It wouldn’t have mattered if I steered them in this direction or not. I have no doubt all three of them would have inevitably arrived here on their own somehow.

 

Baseball besties catching their big brothers' game.

Baseball besties catching their big brothers’ game.

 

Hard to top feeling on top of the world when you're 10.

Hard to top feeling invincible when you’re 10.

 

Through sports, they are not only learning how to play the game, but they are meeting friends along the way. Their number of mentors has grown throughout the years thanks to a lot of selfless coaches. They know what it’s like to feel pride in their accomplishments as well as disappointment in their shortcomings. They’ve felt the gratification of stepping up in a big-time situation as well as the shame of failing to rise to the challenge.

I can honestly say I learned more about how to deal with difficult people through my years on the ball field and hard court than any experience I’ve had since in the “real world.” I can also freely admit that it’s hard to match the level of camaraderie one experiences when playing for something greater than just yourself.

Whether we are road tripping to and from tournament competition sites or sitting around a table grabbing dinner after the final made out or blown whistle, sports allow us to bond together and relate to one another despite huge generational gaps.

 

Win or lose? Who cares as long as we get to ride the Rhino to drag the field for the next game.

Win or lose? Who cares as long as we get to ride the Rhino to drag the field for the next game.

 

photo 1

It’s not all fun and games when dad is driving. Car sickness strikes at the most inopportune times.

 

Team sports, in particular, teach kids the valuable lesson that things don’t always go your way. Not everyone gets a medal for simply showing up. The greatest athletes are the ones who don’t play for pride, but rather for the love of the game.

I hope my children can apply these lessons and more as they grow into adults. I believe that parents like me can either help or hinder that progress from the sidelines.

Written by Heidi Woodard