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What are inchstones? How to celebrate your child’s small wins

If you're a parent, you have likely thought about guiding your children through many of life’s milestones , from learning to walk to moving out of the house. But between these landmark moments are the smaller, more intimate achievements — the inchstones. These little steps in your child’s growth are worth celebrating (and saving for) — but a good first step is understanding which accomplishments matter most to you and your family.

What are inchstones?

Inchstones, like milestones, are key points in a child’s development and growth — just a little less major than an event like a birthday party.

Inchstones can be more personal than some of the inspiration you might see online. Consider what parts of your child’s growth are most special and important to your family. For example, if  travel is a priority, celebrating your child’s first flight can turn a potentially scary experience into a fun and memorable highlight. Or if you’d like to incentivize reading, you can sign up for a library card with your child to mark the occasion of them completing a book on their own. Focus on celebrations or incentives that are appropriate for the accomplishment.

There’s no need to mark every inchstone with a high-budget party, and an endless string of celebrations might be confusing to your child. Remember, observing inchstones isn’t just a way to mark development — it’s also an opportunity to create meaningful memories for your child.

Which inchstones should I celebrate?

Some examples of inchstones include:

  • Completing potty training

  • Finishing a school year

  • Learning to ride a bike

  • Starting a piggy bank

  • Losing their first tooth

The purpose of inchstones is to take a moment to highlight the accomplishments that are most important to you and your child. By marking these events for your family, you’re emphasizing the value and meaning of even life’s small achievements.

These accomplishments may feel minor, but for your child, they can be major moments to foster growth and self-confidence.

How to plan and prepare for inchstones

While not every inchstone is predictable, you might be able to prepare for some of them. For example, kids tend to lose their first tooth around 5 or 6 years old. So if you’d like to throw a lost-tooth party, you can plan ahead for any spending on supplies and decorations. Your child might also be in a class to learn a skill, such as piano or swimming, which you can celebrate as they reach each level.

With these known inchstones in mind, you can create a list of which ones you’d like to mark with a special celebration. This will allow you to create a rough timeline of when these moments might take place and adjust your family’s budget accordingly.

But you might not always know when an inchstone is approaching — and that’s part of the fun. You can stay prepared by saving for these impromptu celebrations. The automated tools in an Ally Bank Savings Account , including buckets and boosters , can help relieve some of the stress of spending and saving. By creating a designated savings bucket for inchstones you can automatically set aside money and be ready for whenever the time arrives.

Make the little things matter

These accomplishments may feel minor, but for your child, they can be major moments to foster growth and self-confidence. Just like saving small amounts can make a big difference over time, celebrating the inchstones can help your child learn to embrace life’s challenges.

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