Teaching Passion, Confidence And Asking Yourself To “Imagine If” With JIF® (Plus Contest Info)

This post is sponsored by JIF®.

Parents have many jobs. It is our job to love and to teach. It is also our job to guide and to listen. We wear so many hats – and thank goodness for that! Our children see the world through our lens for the very first few years. These years have truly been some of my favorite so far! But it’s not all about bedtime stories and kissed scraped knees. Parents are also responsible to help their children develop their own imagination, passion, kindness, and confidence. And it’s not just about big ticket items – there are those small wins as well.  The moments in our lives that truly define us and mold us into who we are to become. Passion is what separates those who love life and those who just go through the motions. My only wish is that my children live lives filled with love and passion!  It’s my job to show them just how important that is.

So, how can we do this? It’s simpler than we think. Let them see you living your dreams. Better yet, have your children live your dreams with you. Personally, I love to travel. So, I make sure that I bring my kids with me wherever I go. Whether we are heading to Spain, Malta or to the Amalfi Coast, my family is in tow. They see how important it is for me to be a citizen of the world, and I know I am instilling this love for culture in them as well.

But it doesn’t have to be so global. You can get pretty micro in your thoughts. Think about school and their after-hour activities! Are you placing them in programs that work best for your schedule or that work best for a car pool that you know about? Or are you placing them in activities that you know your children absolutely LOVE? It is more important to do the latter, of course. I live in a town that is filled with sports fanatics. My daughter wants to sing. It puts me in a harder situation because I am limited with resources, but we make it work because I know that is something that she loves to do.  Watching her go from one instructor to the next gives me such pride because I can see that Natalie is building up her confidence for when she has to hit the stage. As a parent, it’s not about throwing them to the wolves – what a very old mentality to have! Instead, we make sure that our daughter has ample time to practice, rehearse and fine-tune her skills. This is her dream and so… it has become ours.

What does that mean? Lots of singing and stage acts for us to enjoy during snack time! Who can complain? There’s always some sort of entertainment going on in my house. I usually serve the kids JIF® Peanut Butter with Jelly on crackers or fruit. I love to mix things up. Speaking of imagination – I even let the little ones create their dishes when they come home from school. I love to see what they come up with – especially my son, Liam. His favorite go-to treat is usually “ants on a log,” which consists of celery stuffed with JIF® peanut butter and then sprinkled with either cranberries, raisins, or grapes. Super fun! It feels good to know that these snacks satisfy hunger while tasting as great as they do. A win-win for the entire family.

Snack time is also used as a moment to reconnect as a family. We use this time to allow the kids to talk about their days – everything from moments of uncertainty to big wins. We, as parents, want to hear it all. The good, the bad, and the ugly. This is a daily must-do in our home. There’s nothing more special to me than making eye contact with my little ones as they gab on about their adventures. I could get lost in their stories forever.

And as far as my four-year-old is concerned, we like to teach him independence and responsibility by allowing him to clean up after snack time with his older brother and sister. It’s all hands on deck at the Sweeney house. But you know what? He loves it! There’s nothing a toddler wants more than to feel like part of the team. Caleb gets to feel confident that he knows how to wipe down the table… and I don’t have to! LOL! Score! 

Take the Parents 30-Day Challenge

I would love for you to jump in and take a 30-day challenge starting this month! Parents and JIF® have teamed up to help you reset your back-to-school routines and help your kid get a leg up on life. You will find 30 days-worth of activities here to help inspire you to feed your kids’ potential with fun activities to do as a family. Click here to read all about it.

Enter the “Imagine If, with Jif®” Contest

There’s also an incredible contest for you to enter! The “Imagine If, With Jif®” contest is a new brand mission by JIF® designed to nourish, reward and share the every day and the most inspiring endeavors that kids take on, with a little encouragement.

Here’s how to enter:

Visit http://jif.com/imagine-if and submit a video that highlights your kid’s dreams or entrepreneurial ideas for making our world a better place for a chance to win up to $30,000 in funding for your kid’s idea! The contest runs on IndieGoGo from September 12th – October 23rd. See Official Rules for details 

You can also submit your child’s story and photos of them doing something great, confident, passionate or kind. Your story and images might be selected to be illustrated by a professional team and JIF®!

Transform your child’s photo into something extraordinary (for example, if your child is brave, JIF® may turn them into a Viking or a superhero.)

Special Offer: You can also order a digitally-printed jar of JIF® that features a child’s photo and story- a great gift for birthdays! Click here to check that out. Super fun!

How do you plan on developing your child’s imagination, passion, kindness, and confidence this back-to-school season? Would love to hear! Are you a fan of JIF®? What is your favorite after-school snack?

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  1. I love, love, LOVE this! As an entrepreneur myself, I want my kids to always know that they are absolutely able to chase whatever dream they have in their minds and hearts.

    Posted 9.18.17
  2. Robin Rue wrote:

    I definitely want my kids to know that they can do ANYTHING they want. Their futures are wide open!

    Posted 9.19.17
  3. GiGi Eats wrote:

    JIF was my JAMMMMM when I was little. My mom tried to always buy the NATURAL/ORGANIC stuff but all I wanted was JIF! Sadly, I cannot eat nuts/peanuts any longer – and it sucks because now they have a line that my mom totally would have approved of!

    Posted 9.19.17
  4. Natalie wrote:

    That is fantastic that you bring your kids along with you on travels! I’m so grateful my parents did that as well when I was younger as it really opened my eyes to the world.

    Posted 9.19.17
  5. Jif is hands down the best peanut butter EVER! I love the concept of the 30-day challenge… and love it even more because Jif sponsors it!

    Posted 9.19.17
  6. Jeanette wrote:

    I am always looking for what my kiddo is passionate for. Right now it’s still changes quite a bit because he’s quite young but for each passion that he has loved I have always supported him. My passion is travel and I take him with me everywhere I go to. It is the best education that a kid can get.

    Posted 9.19.17
  7. Michelle Waller wrote:

    I just LOVE this!! I show my kids that they can achieve anything they put their minds to by them seeing me achieve my dreams and anything I put my mind to.

    Posted 9.19.17
  8. Connie wrote:

    I love Jif Peanut Butter. It is the best. Your tips for helping your children grow are great.

    Posted 9.19.17
  9. Maureen wrote:

    This really is awesome! I clicked over and going to check that out, glad JIF is trying to help families get back into the swing of things. Great initiative.

    Posted 9.19.17
  10. I love all the snack options! The ants on the log, I’ll admit that looks like a snack I’d like! I always talked about my day while having a snack after school growing up too!

    Posted 9.19.17
  11. Aww ants on a log are so cute! I love the idea of having great snacks like these. I love it when companies work on giving back.

    Posted 9.19.17
  12. This is such a great initiative. Fabulous post with an amazing back story. Love the pics of your family enjoying their snacks.

    Posted 9.19.17
  13. Living a life filled with passion is so important and it is such an amazing thing that you are teaching this to your children. Thank you for sharing this initiative, it is awesome when companies go above and beyond like this.

    Posted 9.19.17
  14. Wow, what an amazing thing for Jif to do. I love inspiring my children’s imagination. I want them to feel they can accomplish anything.

    Posted 9.19.17
  15. We have thought about entering this. My kids are all so ambitious and I love it.

    Posted 9.19.17
  16. Pam wrote:

    I think this is a great initiative by Jif. It’s so important to encourage our kids to be passionate and use their imagination.

    Posted 9.19.17
  17. Love these snack ideas! This is a great way to encourage your child’s confidence. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Posted 9.19.17
  18. Jenni wrote:

    This is a great way to teach kids passion and confidence! Great to hear your story!

    Posted 9.20.17
  19. It’s definitely our job to help them find what they’re passionate about by letting them experience different things in life. It’s also going to help them get to know themselves more! I think it’s amazing how supportive you are of your children.

    Posted 9.20.17
  20. It is totally our job as their parents to teach them to follow their passions in life! This is a great post and a wonderful reminder.

    Posted 9.20.17
  21. I love this! I’m an entrepreneur and have been for a long time. It’s so important for my kids to understand that they can do anything they put their minds to.

    Posted 9.20.17
  22. Our Family World wrote:

    Not having peanut butter in the house is a major emergency! Haha. JIF is our favorite brand. It is my husband’s go-to choice for his late night snack when we are up working. I love their campaign to encourage kids to explore, learn and express their ideas. I will help you spread the word.

    Posted 9.20.17

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