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Finley Robinson

Family Friday: What The Mare of TikTok Taught Me...

published27 days ago
3 min read

Hi there, it's Finley 👋🏼 and Happy Friday.

Today's story takes 3 minutes to read.

Book a Private Smartphone Workshop: If you have a 10-13yr old, they are asking you weekly for a cell phone. When you are ready for help deciding the right stage, addressing your concerns, and processing it with your friends, then send me a message here and we will partner together.


The Mare & Her Foal

A viral video from TikTok made its way to my FYP (my kids tell me that means For You Page) and it stopped me cold.

It was of a first-time mother horse and her foal.

I had no idea how powerful and deep her maternal instincts were and I knew the lesson had to show up here for you on a Friday.

In the video, the mother is gently pushing her young foal toward the electric fence. Meanwhile, the owners are standing close by filming and watching the mare be a mom.

She nudged the foal towards it.
She gently pushed the foal closer in.
She got underneath and pressed the foal forward.

The mom was actively pushing her child towards a live wire that would cause her discomfort, shock, and pain. Why?

Was she doing it with force or aggression? Nope, she was careful.
Was she trying to inflict harm? Of course not.
Was she punishing her baby? Not at all.

She was helping her foal learn a necessary future lesson.

Being a horse meant that there was total freedom inside the fence. However, the foal would someday want more, so there was a limit that needed teaching.

Better to learn that earlier than later. That's what parents do for their kids, we teach.

Sometimes it's going to be uncomfortable for them ... and you.. but you must teach them.

Good & Brave Parents Push

You can see past what your kids can see.

And while your kids won't like it or expect it, they still need it from you.

  • They need grit.
  • They need structure.
  • They need boundaries.
  • They need kind lessons.
  • They need accountability.
  • They need discovery situations.
  • They need age-appropriate failure.

Until one day, they've accumulated enough fundamental lessons they can safely learn on their own.

The Outcomes > The Alternative

It hurts to push your kids into challenges, but life is full of them.

It is hard to put a child in time-out, but if you don't they won't understand that actions have consequences.

Taking kids into big adult settings (church, weddings, baby showers, full airplanes, nice restaurants) is difficult. They need it though because they will learn from it, so take more situational risks.

The alternative is to either a) shield them from the electric fences or b) let them learn without you by their side.

See the Future for Them

How would you like for the following to be mostly true for your kids? (I say mostly because everyone is always a work in progress).

3yr old: not hitting others
5yr old: using good manners
7yr old: obeying the first time
9yr old: not talking back
11yr old: telling the truth
13yr old: showing self-control
15yr old: displaying true gratitude
17yr old: demonstrating worth ethic

If the odd years are the hopeful result, then the even years are the painstaking push. I can promise you that your kids won't learn lessons if you don't help them.

Being a mom or dad feels like 2 steps forward and then 5 steps back. It felt like that for a decade for us.

One day though you'll wake up and realize they've taken 20 steps at once. You'll know it was worth it.

Don't measure the backward steps. Focus on the forward. Your kids can't see what they need but keep nudging, gently pushing, and ushering them forward.

If it's not uncomfortable for you both at times, then it needs to be.

That is how you warn them, love them, and prepare them. Win their heart, coach them hard, then release them into the wild.



Your Effort ≠ Their Response

Sissy Goff

"Don't base your effectiveness as a parent off of your child's response.

It's one of the easiest things in the world to do. As a counselor of 30 years, I can tell you the two rarely have anything to do with each other.

They may not answer your questions right away. They may not act like they enjoyed the game you played together.

They may throw out a "whatever" when you deliver the consequence that took you hours to decide. Don't fall for it.

Often, one of the only things kids feel in control of are their responses. It may be that they're asserting the only power they can find.

It may be that they're feeling awkward and unsure of how to respond.

Be the parent you know to be. Make the decisions anyway. Offer the encouragement. Ask the questions. Trust your gut.

Their response will come... it may just take them a few years to get there."


We're Better Together

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