5 Roadtrip Lessons

My kids and I are driving from our home in Longmont, CO to our recent past hometown of Hermosa Beach, CA.

We’ll be house sitting in HB for the next three weeks and decided to drive instead of fly so we’d have the car.

Best decision I’ve made in a long time.

I was going to take my mom with us, but when it came time to leave on Saturday, we packed everything up and the car just felt too crowded with all of us.

Plus, I felt like we’d have more freedom if it was just me and the kids (5 years ago, I would not have been able to contemplate three full days with just me and my kids, more about that another time.)

My mom had booked a flight back to LA for Wednesday anyway and she really wasn’t looking forward to the three days in the car so off we went, just the three of us.

90% of the time, it’s been great.

Tonight, right before bed, Kaia, the 10 year old, was being a royal brat and crabby, but I trust that will pass by the time we wake up in the morning.

We’re all tired.

Before I sleep, I wanted to share some of the roadtrip lessons we’ve already had.

1. Say yes whenever possible.

So often, our natural inclination as parents is to say no to our kids. See what happens if you look for ways to say yes as much as possible.

I discovered that I could teach the kids how to reward themselves instead by coming up with their own alternative solutions to the possibility of no.

Of course, you also have to say no to the right things and hold the line.  This lesson applies equally to business – it seems we often have our yesses and nos messed up in life and business.  I’ll be writing more about this soon.

2. Focus on what you want.

I find my kids often focused on what they don’t want. The unfairness of a situation. Something a sibling said or did.

It’s conditioning that is present for most of us.  A constant focus on what we don’t want.  It takes consistent reminding and reframing – focus on what you do want.

3. If you lose money, don’t beat yourself up. Forgive yourself and learn from the experience.

Kaia and Noah had $90 in an envelope, given to them by my grandma and step-mom.

It was all there and then $50 wasn’t.

Kaia couldn’t stop thinking about the lost money.  She asked me if I’d ever lost money – yep, sure have.

Then, she began herself up for losing it. A common pattern we create for ourselves again and again.

To break it, I had her focus on the lesson she learned (don’t carry money in an envelope) from losing the money.

Then, we talked about how nothing that is truly hers can be taken from her and if the $50 is supposed to be with her, it’ll be back.

She immediately began thinking of ways to earn the money again. (Look for our lemonade stand on the Hermosa Beach Strand next week.)

4. Take personal responsibility for your part of whatever happens and forgive the rest.

My kids fight quite a bit (when Kaia told me “Mom, we’re kids, it’s normal to fight”, I knew I had to get my show the Catalyst out into the world) and this idea of personal responsibility is the major thread I run throughout all their conflict.

Of course, they each want to give me the story of what the other one did and I’m constantly redirecting them to think about their own part in the fight.

It’s tough, they are so conditioned to blame that they are resistant to looking at their own part.

And sometimes, they truly didn’t appear to have a part in it (i.e., Noah jumps on Kaia in the pool with no apparent provocation) and that’s where forgiveness comes in.  Forgive, forgive, forgive – yourself and everyone else.

5. Always put sunscreen on the white kid.

And speaking of forgiveness, I have to forgive myself for not putting sunscreen on Noah this morning at the Hot Springs.

His shoulders are burned and he’s hurtin.  I forget just how fair his skin is until a couple of unprotected hours in the sun.

So, that’s the last lesson for today – always sunscreen the white kid, always.  I’m working on teaching him personal responsibility around that as well.

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