POSTS WITH TAG: inspiring kids

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    There's a push-up competition between a little girl and a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) cadet. Who are you putting your money on?

    Do we even have to ask?

    Um, yes. Yes, we do ... after seeing Kaylyn Mintz, a gymnast and US Junior Olympic Team hopeful, crush a cadet in a push-up challenge in front of a cheering crowd. As a part of a "Stand at Attention" fundraiser at a mall in Wilmington, North Carolina, young cadets went up against shoppers in fitness challenges including planks and sit-ups ... but Kaylyn's push-ups stole the show. Hands down. 

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    Computer chips, penicillin, the wheel ... yes, all important inventions. But the ones that really fill me with awe as a mom are inventions inspired by kids. Ever had one of those moments where you're struggling with, say, a leaky diaper or teaching your kid how to tie his shoes and thought, "Dang, there's GOT to be a better way"? Well, certain moms, dads, teachers, and other enterprising individuals actually found a solution, then had the gumption to build it, sell it, and make the lives of countless moms and dads a little bit easier. Hail to these seven wonders of the modern parenting world.

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    A hug is such a simple thing. It's a wonderful gesture of friendship and love, and one we can sometimes take for granted. But for 6-year-old Alex Pring and his family, a hug is a sign of so much more. When Alex was born, he was missing part of his right arm, but a student at the University of Central Florida designed a 3-D printed arm for Alex, who was then able to fully hug his mom for the first time ever.

    Grab your tissues, because when you see their first full hug (meaning that Alex was able to wrap his arms around mom), you'll be feeling all the feels. Take a look:

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    We want our children to be confident, moral, and knowledgeable enough to always recognize right from wrong. And in a crazy story coming out of Minnesota, one little girl shows us how strong she was when facing a very difficult situation. The 9-year-old marched into her hometown police station and told the police her parents were growing marijuana under their home.

    She told the police the smoke was making her and her dogs sick, and when they arrived, they found seven marijuana plants growing under the home. The little girl has since been moved to live with her grandparents.

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    While some kids may be glad to be done with school for the summer, one Kansas boy was thrilled to be reading and sharing his love for books with his community. That was, until, his city decided to shut down his small library. The city says his "take a book, leave a book" stand was deemed an illegal "detached structure."

    Apparently, the 9-year-old's neighbors complained about the large birdhouse-looking box, and the family received a formal letter from the city government asking them to take it down. Now they've moved it into their garage and away from the park bench.

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    Sadly, babies being left in hot cars happens all too often. And even more upsetting, a percentage of these babies die due to the awful things that happen to children when they're left in hot cars. Sometimes, these children are left on purpose when mom or dad is running what they think is a quick-enough errand. Other times, parents actually forget their kids in their cars. As crazy as it sounds, it happens. However, an 11-year-old named Andrew Pelham is working to put a stop to this with his E-Z Baby Saver.

    As the oldest of four, the inventive and precocious Pelham says that he knows "a LOT about strapping kids in cars." And the best part? Pelham isn't even trying to make a buck off of his invention. Nope, his creation is simply on his website for parents to copy. Pretty amazing.

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    As parents, most of us want to provide our children with everything they need. We want our children to grow up healthy, happy, well-adjusted, loving. And on those rare moments when we get to sit back and contemplate our higher goals as parents, we have to admit: We also want to raise extraordinary people. I do, anyway.

    How do you raise someone to become a leader, to change the world for the better, to help others? Are competitive schools and expensive classes the answer (please say no)? Well, we talked with Dr. Tovah P. Klein, author of How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2 to 5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success, to get some advice on raising an extraordinary child.

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    Offbeat. Quirky. Are those words you'd use to describe your kid? How about geeky? All good things for a kid to be, but they can present a challenge to a parent: how do you nurture a kid who marches to the beat of a different drummer and make sure they're happy?

    It's not nearly as hard as you'd think:

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    Twelve-year-old Athena Orchard was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer in December of last year after collapsing on Christmas. The cancer was in her spine, left shoulder, and head, and she underwent intense chemotherapy, along with a nearly eight-hour-long surgery to remove a tumor on her spine. She lost her hair. And last week, she lost her battle.

    Just days after her death, her father Dean discovered incredible messages written behind Athena's mirror. Her family describes her as clever and spiritual, and we can add inspirational to that as well. Her messages show how we can learn so much from our children -- they are wise. Read Athena's words that her parents so generously shared. They are enlightening.

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    Being a parent is a really tough job. Many argue that it is the toughest job. Yet, speaking only for myself, I made parenthood far harder than it needed to be by taking on jobs that were not mine. My job is to love and care for my kids, to make them feel safe and teach them to navigate the world into which they will venture. My job is to teach my sons the set of values, rightly or wrongly, that their father and I hold dear. My job is to launch educated, good, responsible men.

    That is a tall order without adding a whole list of other parenting challenges that frankly I am not certain can be achieved.

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