Disney ‘Planes’ giveaway: what’s your parenting style?

Feeding calves with my little girlsBecause I’m an INTJ— a fixer-upper who’s always game to look at new ways to improve life— I’m always watching other folks parent, wondering if bits and pieces of what they do might help me be a better mom to my own kids. I think that’s one of my strengths as a mom– my willingness to think about what could work better, and my longing to always be a better mom.

My self-analysis doesn’t stop at seeing my strengths– I’m also very aware of (at least some of) my weaknesses. I’m not especially touchy-feely. I usually reside in the land of logic, and don’t always relate patiently to a child awash in emotion. I’m consciously working to relate better to kids in the throes of right-brain emotion– trying to first acknowledge feelings and not immediately jump in with logical solutions. I’m also trying to get better at affirmation and praise. I do praise, and I never do so lightly: if I say you’re good at something, I really truly think you are good at it. But I’ve realized I need to get better at noticing qualities that aren’t naturally high on my radar, instead of always trying to hone the strengths I admire most.

My cousin and I were talking about that at camp a few weekends ago– how it is so easy to recognize the strengths that we’re biased towards, whether that be a studious nature, or work ethic, or musical interest, or whatever. But inherent in that bias can be a lack of appreciation for all sorts of other great qualities. Maybe a child has a tremendously creative brain, or great people skills, or a quirky sense of humor, or an interest in a subject that we’ve never much thought about before. We need to learn to admire kids for who they are. Dusty

A new Disney movie called Planes touches (lightly) on some of these parenting dilemmas. It tells the story of a little plane named Dusty who needed his friends to encourage him and help him learn how to soar. The folks at Disney asked me to think about the movie in relation to my own parenting style, and see if I could draw any parallels. 258px-Dottie_(Planes)


I definitely have a bit of Dottie in me. Dottie is a realist who encourages Dusty to see life as it really is. She doesn’t want Dusty to be discouraged by going for a dream that is out of his reach, and so she tries to speak truth into his life. 300px-Chug

But I also see a bit of Chug in me. Since Chug has dreams of his own to pursue, he understands the value of cheerleaders and encouragers. So it’s natural for him to support Dusty in following his own big dreams. That’s something I’ve always tried to do for my kids.

We’re big Cars fans at our house, and we’re looking forward to this new addition to the Cars Legacy. To celebrate the pending release of this movie, I’m giving away a $100 Fandango gift card.

For the chance to win, leave a comment below answering the question, “How do you challenge your children to follow their dreams?” (And yes, my comments are fixed!)


No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the 
following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry””; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post”
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 7/15 – 8/12.

Be sure to visit the Disney Planes page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!


  1. Testing the comments… 🙂

  2. Ed Holstein says:

    How do I challenge my children to follow their dreams?

    I challenge them by helping them use their talents, even if they don’t know quite what they are. Then, I help them refine their direction. The way our church puts it is this: You have two missionaries asking for money for their missions. When asked, missionary A says she wants to encourage world peace. Missionary B says she has a heart for the people of Papau New Guinea and she wants to help them obtain clean drinking water. Missionary A, while having a noble cause, is not direct enough. Her mission is too broad, whereas Missionary B has a vision and specific goal. you are going to give your money to Missionary B because you know you are more likely to see results!
    The same applies to kids. Generally, my seven kids have vast plans for their life. Except for my older son. He has autism and it is his dream to be the manager of a Krispy Kreme. I digress…I challenge my kids by helping them to refine their goals using their God-given talents. I never tell them it will be easy. In fact, i tell them the opposite! But anything worth doing is worth the work!

  3. My daughter isn’t really old enough to have dreams yet, but I plan to encourage her in much the same way my parents did, by showing her good examples of people who have done awesome things, and nurturing any interest she has, while not letting her quit something she’s started until she’s sure she wants to quit because she doesn’t like it, not because it’s hard.

  4. kathy o says:

    I encourage them to try things out of their comfort zone which enables them to be able to feel uncomfortable while still moving forwards towards a goal. Not every dream we envision is lined with a smooth path so we have to be able to push ourselves even when we don’t feel comfortable.

  5. Shandell P. says:

    I encourage my sons (nearly 2, and 4 years old) to try new things and continue to try even when it doesn’t work out the first time.

  6. Shandell P. says:
  7. Diana Campbell says:

    I really try and look at each one’s strengths and encourage them to follow what they are better suited to do. For instance, one son is small and struggles in baseball but his build is perfect for track. He would be great in sprinting. We will start track soon. One son thrives in being outdoors so I concentrate on scouts more with him. While it is easier to put them in all the same activities, it doesn’t mean each child will have the same success. Shouldn’t every child have that moment where they shine. It does make for a very tired momma though. Thanks for the contest – my kids would be over the moon if we won.

  8. My biggest parenting guide is teaching my children to think for themselves. I do not want myself or my kids to feel pressured to go along with the crowd for friendship, jobs, school acceptance, or to be liked by relatives, neighbors, or friends.
    All my children are very different in personality, beliefs, career choices, life partners, where they have chose to live, whether to marry or not, how many children to have/if any, and how they perceive this world they live in. I could not be happier with how my adult children have blossomed into the people they are.

  9. Julee Aldrich says:

    If my child expresses an interest then I do what I can to promote that interest. This could involve buying books, paying for lessons, or taking him to an event about the interest. One time my oldest son loved clowns so I found a place for him to learn about clowns at our church. He was very involved and we even thought about helping him to build a business around this interest. It was so much fun for him and he kept up clowning and balloon making
    until he left for college. My other children have had many interests and I am always willing to invest a little money as long as they are investing the time it takes to practice or learn about the newest interest. I always think about these investments as a part of their life story and perhaps the start of a career. It certainly beats the latest electronic or time spent in front of television!

  10. One way I help my kids pursue their dreams is by listening. Believe me, they can have some pretty weird ideas! But regardless, I try to listen and affirm their imagination and interests, rather than point out the (sometimes obvious) flaws in their plans.

  11. We try to make sure we take the time to just sit back and observe our kids, so that we can see what interests them and what really lights up their face. Then we try to encourage them to pursue those things. With 4 kids 8 & under it can be very difficult for me to remember to do this, so I work hard to make it a priority. That way it doesn’t get swallowed up in the day to day crazy.

  12. Livivua Chandler says:

    We love trying new things just to let them know that things are possible and that you can do anything if you set your mind to it. Always trying things, doing things, going new places lets them see not to set limitations on yourself because there is so much to do.,

  13. Livivua Chandler says:
  14. Mami2jcn says:

    I encourage my children to follow their passions for art and music. My 8 year old is a budding artist, my 10 year old plays guitar and drums, and my 3 year old daughter takes ballet. I applaud their accomplishments and motivate them to keep doing their best.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

  15. Mami2jcn says:


  16. Amy Mac says:

    I challenge my kids to follow their dreams, by helping them be realistic and helping them see things through when they are tough. We frequently talk that no job (or whatever) is perfect 100%. There are always going to be parts we do not like, but overall liking is the goal.

  17. Now that my girls are older, we talk about this more. I don’t ever denigrate their ideas. My dad used to say certain jobs would never make money. I don’t do that. I try to get them to think realistically, but I don’t say, “Oh, no, don’t ever do that!” I remind them that I don’t get to live their lives for them and they want to do what makes them happiest!

  18. BarbaraW says:

    I have learned to put aside my own fears and encourage my girls to try new endeavors. And I pray!

  19. I don’t have kids, but I encourage my niece by telling her she can do anything she sets her mind to.

  20. Denise S says:

    I remind my kids that they can do anything they want and that God made everybody with a purpose.
    lazybones344 at gmail dot com

  21. We let them pursue whatever they want within limits.

  22. I will be honest. Having teens is a real challenge. Encouraging my son, in particular, to try new things is sometimes daunting. He was diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) when he was 10 years old. He is brilliant and very much a creature of habit and routine. He can be stubborn and, like a lot of teens…..lazy. That means he does not often try new things and we have to “push” him a little harder than my daughter, the social butterfly. We really wanted him to find something that he would enjoy doing with a large group of friends. We found a dance/ ettiquette program that we thought they might both enjoy. Lots of kids from our hybrid homeschool program attended. Of course, he said “no way! I am not going to a dance and manners program”. We told him that if he went once, participated to the fullest and hated it, he would never have to go again, but, he had to give it his best effort. HE LOVED IT! That was 2 years ago. He has since recruited at least 5 other guys to the program.
    That is pretty much or rule of thumb now for most things with him. When he tells us he can’t do something, we say ” just give it your best effort, and you will be done with it. As long as we know that you are doing your best, we are okay with the results.” This has worked well with his school work, his chores, his attitude etc.. He always exceeds his original expectation, because he knows that we are not looking at the result as much as we are the effort and he is making an effort. In fact, I think he is pretty proud of himself now, where he was very self conscious.

    This year we are working a little more on goal setting. Writing those goals down is one part. We also have to develop an action plan as well. This is how we can measure effort. It is basically a checklist…….having OCD can have it’s advantages in this area. Anyway…that’s how we roll at the Millwood House.

    P.S. The reward for his effort in his A.P. Classes, managing his attitude and learning how to be more social, was a trip to China. We leave next week to pick up his little 3 year brother. We are so proud that he has made such awesome progress.

  23. I encourage my son by supporting his ideas and dreams and by telling him he can achieve his goals by working hard

  24. I’m a pretty laid back parent for most situations. In some respects, probably TOO laid back, and I should push the kid harder. I agree with a previous poster, though that a major goal was to teach him to think for himself. Whether it was regarding opinions of things happening in the world, his ideas of how to handle social situations he finds himself in, or thinking through a problem to find a solution. Even if it is not the solution I would have chosen.

  25. Kelly D says:

    I try to involve my kids in sports or activities that interest them. I also practice with them and encourage them to try their best to achieve their goals.

  26. soha molina says:

    By letting her to try as many avenues as possible.

  27. soha molina says:
  28. michelle says:

    This might be the thing my own parents did the best. Each of my siblings and I pursued careers that most reflected our own interests even if they were in non-traditional fields.. We try hard in our own home to celebrate differences between our kids and celebrate the gifts they were created with. We try and help our children to realize each were created wtih purpose and it is most satisfying when we do what we were created to do!

  29. Kelly D says:
  30. Pauline M says:

    My kids have many interests and I keep them interested by keeping them involved. For example, my son has a huge fascination with computers, so I set him up with a summer programming camp at our local university!

  31. My children are still quite young, but I’ve found a lot of luck in NOT pushing them at all, simply providing the right tools and then encouraging them like crazy!

  32. I do two basic things. One, I encourage them to try new things, and I actively try to think of things they might enjoy that they haven’t thought of. Two, i try to encourage them to have dreams that fit their abilities. For example, for years my son wanted to be superman 😉 Now he’s channeling that love of cartoon characters into a desire to be a youth pastor. Way more possible, and a better fit too 😉

  33. We encourage them to try new things and then when they take on responsibility they stick with it. For instance, if they want to play an instrument we rent for a few months and then if they want to continue with it we make them agree to play for a certain period of time if we buy the instrument. That teaches them responsibility and that commitments are important.

  34. Tiffany Patterson says:

    I encourage my kids to try new things, focus on their talents and think of others first.

  35. Adrienne Gordon says:

    By letting them try out different things

  36. Kelly Maine says:

    We try to provide opportunities for our children to follow their passions. For example, our 16 year old wanted to go to a leadership training program at the camp we go to for Family Bible Camp in West Virginia. She applied, was accepted, and although she has never even been away from us for more than 3 nights, she is there now for 3 weeks! I also try to have plenty of resources such as books, DVDs, art supplies, etc. to encourage their creativity so they can figure out what their passions are. When possible, we get them private lessons or try to find classes that also help them follow their dreams. Thanks for running this contest! Blessings.

  37. My babies are still pretty young to be following dreams, but I am trying to acknowledge strengths. Fortunately for me I am actually a strong ENFJ which means I have a bit of a chameleon personality and I’m gifted at meeting people where they are at instead of expecting anyone to meet me at my level. In many ways that kind of personality can be a killer but when it comes to relating to my kids it is actually very helpful.

    My first child is active and intense, but we discovered very early on the only way to get her to be calm and still is to sit and read to her, something she is happy to do for hours. Foolishly I took credit for that with my “awesome” parenting, until my second came along and I’m pretty sure she still hasn’t sat down for an entire book. Number two is a music kid, it is just obvious that almost any kind of quality music reaches her. It has been fun to see the difference and watch them grow.

    However a short plane story. My first has literally been obsessed with plans since about eighteen months old and while she has had the window seat on commercial airliners we have the opportunity to let her go up in a crop duster this week. Yikes! Still trying to find the courage to let her follow that dream!

    • HI Kaylie, So interesting how kids are so different, isn’t it? One of our daughters (age 11) is a strong ENFJ also. It is a delight to watch her skill with friendships, and how she’s able to graciously navigate the sometimes-difficult terrain of elementary-girl-friendships. One of the things that is most amazing is her way to suss out folks’ motivations and feelings in a wise and thoughtful way– and also the way she rarely takes things personally. I have such admiration for her skill and tact. I’d be interested to hear a bit more about what you see as the down sides of that personality type. Maybe that sometimes you don’t think don’t think as much about what you yourself want?

      • I think the biggest caveat is that I sometimes resent that no one seems to “get” me where I’m at, of course, from a rational perspective I can see that it is because I often don’t give them that opportunity. Basically I expect everyone to act as I do and relate to me exactly where I need them to relate.

        The only other shaky ground is that I often find myself becoming a little too chameleon-like and sometimes saying nothing when I strongly disagree and then I find myself frustrated that I didn’t stand up for something/someone at the risk of possibly, maybe hurting someone’s feelings or offending thief sensibilities.

        However, just being aware that I have those tendencies has helped me immeasurably to overcome some of the actual obstacles and also just my feelings about the perceived obstacles.

        (Example: When I find myself getting frustrated that my husband doesn’t “get” me, I now know to just say, “this is where I am at and what I feel and this is what I need you to do or say about it”)

  38. by really trying to listen to them, their dreams, desires, thoughts, etc.

  39. Brandi P says:

    With my younger children, I try to help them build their knowledge of things that interest them like finding books, activities, computer sites, and apps on those subjects. My oldest has been volunteering this summer with her two favorite things books (library) and horses (a therapeutic riding center). She now dream of working with special needs children, but also writing novels. I try not to limit her dreams

  40. chantel says:

    I encourage all 5 of my kiddos to try something new. Once they commit to something, though, they will follow through to the end. My daughter wanted to try a dance class. About 1/2 way through, she decided that she was no longer interested in taking the class. Since we had paid for a whole session up front, I encouraged her to complete that session. She ended up really liking the class and plans to enroll in the next level class in the fall.

  41. Cynthia C says:

    I help them work out strategies that will help them be successful – classes, practice, experiences. etc.

  42. Cynthia C says:
  43. Carolyn Gonzalez says:

    I just make sure they know they are supported

  44. We try to encourage each child in their own strengths and also to push themselves.

  45. melissa Resnick says:

    we support and encourage our daughters riding sport

  46. courtney b says:

    encourage them to do what they enjoy and to be a fair sport always 🙂

  47. Susan P says:

    I try to listen well and without judging or inserting my own thoughts much, which can dowse the flame for kids that are especially sensitive / care about what I think. Then I try to ask them about it a day or two later to see how the dream has evolved.

  48. Lorena Keech says:

    We don’t have kids but my parents encouraged my brother and me but telling us we risked only our egos when we went for a new goal. And if we failed, we could learn from that failure.

  49. amy pugmire says:

    I challenge them by encouraging them to try new things, Staying positive in everything that they do and by being a good example to them