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Raising Kids with Grit Starting at 9 Months Old

Occasionally I get feedback with concerns about the safety of the Rad Dad Board. It’s usually after watching our video that shows Sanoe and I cruisin' around the neighborhood on the sidewalk and street.

“The baby could get really hurt if they fall off on the sidewalk!”

“Talk about rashburn on the sand!”

“What if my kid lets go and falls off?”

Yes, safety is super important, but so are experiences and it’s possible to balance both with kids.

As dads, how do we teach any new activity to our kid? We don’t throw our toddler into the deep end of the pool and hope for the best. We start in shallow water or with the help of a parent or adult. Common sense, right?

Sanoe’s first adventures on the baby board were on sand and grass. Soft, squishy surfaces so that if she let go or tumbled off, it was no big deal. This is how we recommend all dads and their rad kids start with the board. Slow and steady until both dad and kid are comfortable and confident to cruise around other areas. And even then, on the hard surfaces, we always recommend kiddos wear a helmet!

Here’s the thing, adventure inherently includes some risk. It’s through the process of the unknown and overcoming challenges that we experience the thrill. This is the gift I want Sanoe to have and for other dads to experience with their kids.

A major part of the Dad Powered philosophy is to nurture the concept of raising kids with grit. Grit is perseverance and durability. It’s falling down and getting back up. It’s being fearless in taking risks. It’s the ability to overcome failure.

This is a skill that isn’t taught in school, but that if you teach, it will have a dramatic influence on your kids’ success and overall happiness.

Is that something you can even begin to teach and instill at 9 months old? Heck, yeah! That’s the killer thing about the Rad Dad Baby Board. It’s a way for dad AND baby to be actively involved in an adventure.

As Sanoe first learned to use the board, she would sometimes let go. I started her out slow on the sand and so she didn’t have an intuitive feeling for the need to have to hang on. But eventually, something pretty awesome happened.

When she fell off the board, she would just get back on and try again. She learned that by holding on, she would be able to cruise and so we’d start to go a little faster on the grass. She would laugh because it was so fun and it was just the best thing ever.

Riding the board became part of our daily life. Every morning Sanoe would get on the board and I’d pull her along the sidewalk as we walked El Jefe (our Chihuahua) down to the beach to do his business. For Sanoe, being outside, connected to nature and having adventures has become as normal as breathing.

During the first 18 months of life, kids develop many basic skills that help build their fine and gross motor skills. Kids learn to talk, walk, run and begin to form their little identities in these young days. Wouldn’t it be amazing if within those first years, you could also help your kid begin to develop some grit all while creating an adventurous, strong bond with Dad?

Would love to hear your thoughts on raising young kids with grit! Feel free to comment below!



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