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parenting, fatherhood, dads, skateboarding

This dad exemplifies stellar parenting.

As a parent, it's not always easy to know how to help your kids learn from life experiences. Some lessons they learn naturally and others they learn through parental guidance, but discerning which is which and how those things overlap can be challenging.

Kids don't come with instruction manuals, of course, but sometimes we see examples of great parenting we can point to and say, "AHA! That's how it's done."

One such example comes from a dad named Robert. He's been teaching his 5-year-old daughter Aubrin to skateboard and set up a mini half pipe for her to learn on. In a video on Instagram, Robert shared his interchanges with Aubrin after she crashed hard on the ramp during a lesson.


It's a sweet video that doubles as a masterclass in effective parenting. Robert communicates with a perfect blend of empathy, encouragement and empowerment, which gives his daughter exactly what she needs to tackle her fears and persevere in what she wants to do.

Even his initial question after she fell—"Did it scare you or did it hurt you?"—is helpful for making her more aware of what she's actually feeling as well as knowing how best to help her.

Seeing this gentle parenting scenario play out is just so heartwarming. (And if Aubrin's voice sounds familiar, you may have seen the viral "stuckasaurus" video in which she offered delightful color commentary while snowboarding in a dinosaur suit.)

Watch:

Robert explained his thinking behind the way he responded to Aubrin's fall:

"Trying something new can be scary but re-trying something after slamming can be terrifying.

I had to re-gain her trust and she needed to re-establish her confidence after this slam and it was a tough but beautiful rollercoaster experience.

This is one of the biggest psychological battles we face as humans, because once that negative experience has made its home in our brain it’s very hard to get it out.

I know from intense personal experience that a bad fall can have long lasting [psychological] effects and truly believe, that when possible, it’s best to get back up and try it again with the goal being to end the session with a positive experience; to not have that negative memory ruminating in your head until the next time you return to try.

I’ve been asked a lot 'How do you know what to say in these moments?' and the truth is I absolutely don’t know what to say.

Seeing her slam sucks the air out of my lungs and my heart drops but I just try to stay calm and redirect with some questions or comments while surveying the situation. A parent's emotions (depending on how you instinctively react) will oftentimes influence the child’s emotional response and it’s my goal to remove my influence and allow her to just be, to feel, to hurt at her pace and it allows me to get a better reading of how she’s truly feeling in these pivotal moments.

Ultimately I just respond from the heart. If you calmly lead with empathy and support without applying pressure you’ll do just fine."

Beautiful insight and advice. Unfortunately, many parents are raising kids while working through wounds from their own childhoods, and when you're battling parental instincts that aren't particularly healthy or helpful, having it all laid out like this is really valuable. Commenters on Instagram and Reddit have expressed how much they appreciate seeing supportive parenting in action.

"I actually got emotional watching this..." wrote one person. "I am learning so much from your posts!!! As someone whose parents led from a place of fear a lot of the time, this is showing me so much possibility of what the opposite can look like. Thank you for being so open, we are all made the better from it."

"I wish I had a dad like you growing up. She’s so lucky," wrote another.

"Made me smile and also as a grown ass man, gave me watery eyes - as someone that never had this kind of treatment growing up and kind of needed it - this is the kind of dad I will be if I ever meet someone and have kids," shared another.

Whether we were raised by gentle, supportive parents or the opposite, we can all recognize effective parenting when we see it. Thank you, Robert, for sharing such a stellar example we can all watch and learn from.

You can follow Robert and Aubrin's family adventures on Instagram(@chasing.sage).

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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All images provided by Bombas

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We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

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step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

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