Empowering Growth and Learning Encouraging My Children to Take Small Risks during the Winter Holidays

Nurturing Growth and Wisdom Embracing Small Risks for Our Children during the Winter Holidays


Courtesy of Laurel Harrish Photography

My lovely readers, gather around and let me tell you a story about taking risks, botched recipes, and the ever-present awkwardness that accompanies the winter holidays. It all starts with my incredible mom, a Pakistani MacGyver in the kitchen. She fearlessly experiments with new recipes, even if she occasionally turns cookies into sugarless lumps of despair. But you know what? She embraces those mishaps as learning opportunities. That’s the spirit, mom!

Inspired by her audacity, I’ve adopted her approach to parenting. Awkwardness, my dear fashion enthusiasts, is that pesky social emotion that loves to rear its sometimes ugly head during the holiday season. Imagine this: your home is bustling with family, and you realize you forgot to bake cookies. In a frenzied attempt, you whip up a batch only to discover they’re utterly tasteless because you forgot the sugar. Oops! Now you have to confess to your loved ones that you messed up the recipe. Awkward, right?

But fear not, my stylish friends, for my mom’s courage in taking risks has taught me a valuable lesson. Let’s not shy away from awkward situations. Instead, let’s embrace them! Awkwardness is not a flaw to be fixed; it’s an opportunity for growth, like trying out a new fashion trend that may or may not suit us. We can’t predict how others will react, but we can strengthen our social and mental muscles to handle those moments with grace.

Speaking of muscles, have you noticed the effects of technology and extended lockdowns on our children’s social skills? Many of them find themselves avoiding conversations, fearing group situations, or turning into hermits of cyberspace. Their social muscles are atrophying, my darlings. It’s time for us to proactively strengthen them. Just as we exercise in the gym, let us seek out experiences that push our children to take uncomfortable social risks, to lean into the “good awkward.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Good awkward doesn’t mean avoiding skiing because we’re afraid of looking foolish. No, no, my fashionable comrades. It means embracing those uncomfortable situations, those wobbly moments on the slopes, because they are opportunities for personal growth. Awkwardness is not a trait that defines us; it’s merely a temporary state. So, let’s encourage our kids to order their own meal at a restaurant, even if the server gets it wrong. Let’s let them bake imperfect treats for their friends and take them ice skating, where falls are nothing more than a stylish stumble.

But you know what really adds a touch of resilience to our lives, my chic readers? Adopting a beginner’s mentality. Just like the first day of fashion school, when we weren’t quite sure how to hold a needle or walk in those killer heels. Beginners are fearless risk-takers, unafraid of the unknown. They dive headfirst into the deep end of new experiences, embracing the accompanying awkwardness with curiosity, not fear.

Let’s create opportunities for our kids to take minor social risks, to push past their fears of embarrassment. While we may not send them on unsupervised shopping sprees, we can encourage them to build gifts, bake treats, and yes, even fall gracefully on an ice-rink.

But the journey doesn’t stop during the holiday season, my elegant friends. It’s a year-round quest for growth, confidence, and resilience. When our children say they’re “too awkward” to make a phone call, let’s reframe their thinking. Awkwardness should not dictate their actions; it should be a catalyst for personal triumph. They can say, “Yes, I may feel awkward right now, but look at me having this conversation! That’s a huge step worth celebrating!”

So, my lovely readers, let’s embrace social discomfort as our pathway to growth. Let’s encourage our children to don their bravest fashion attitudes, to face the world with confidence. Together, we’ll create a generation of resilient and stylish individuals who are not afraid to stumble but always rise with grace and a smirk on their fashionable lips.