Ok. I won’t tell you how many minutes hours I scrolled through Facebook & Instagram yesterday reading about all the wonderful men in my friends’ lives.

But I came away from social media feeling all warm & cozy. Because I’m raising future fathers (hopefully a role for all four boys).

When I see the difference an honorable man makes in a family, I pay extra close attention. Noticing all the adjectives that mattered: encouraging, strong, caring, protective, loving, joyful, and amazing.

One friend posted that her dad had “grit”. This stood out from among the rest because it’s a word you don’t hear often enough. And because it was a topic fresh on my mind…

Today’s podcast guest, Laura Hale, defines “grit” as:

The courage to show up and do something that matters in your own way. To be OK with failing and trying again. Learning and growing.

Of course, I want this for my boys.

But I think moms show grit. We courageously keep showing up. Even when we feel like we failed, we jump back in and try again.

Laura has grit. She is launching a new line of toys for young boys, Generation Grit. Her desire is to offer an option for boys which allows for hours of reading and imaginative play.


Her solution is to create a line of boys’ action figures and accompanying story books based on fictitious characters from different historical eras (picture a boy’s version of “American Girl”). The first of these characters is Mac Mason, a 14-year-old boy living in California in 1943.

At Generation Grit, we model characters who struggle. People are wired to struggle. It’s how a baby learns to walk, and it’s how a child learns to read. As a mom, one of the most heartbreaking things I see is when a child chooses to stay on the sidelines because they are afraid to risk failure. In our stories, Generation Grit is committed to celebrating the willingness to face hard things, to fail sometimes, and to get back up. -Laura Hale

During the podcast we chatted about:

  • How we went to the same church at the same time and didn’t know it
  • What motivated her to create a new toy product for boys
  • How Laura demonstrated grit in pursuing toy maker connections
  • How boys in the 8-12 age range don’t have a lot of “non-screen” toy options
  • How quickly children grow from 8 years to mid-teens.
  • How we can support Laura to accomplishing her dream, through Kickstarter

Side notes:

*My boys watched the Kickstarter video and asked if we could get a Mac action figure. Seemed like a no-brainer to me and a perfect Christmas present option. 

**AND saw this article yesterday with fabulous book options for helping shape our kids “moral imagination”, not to be confused with “moralism”. Must read.

***Speaking of boy toys. . . don’t forget to enter to win subscriptions to Pley or a Lego set! I added a new way to enter, by following God Centered Mom posts via email.

Connect with Laura:

Show Notes:

What dream do you have that would require a little grit to make a reality? Would love to hear about it!


**How to listen to the podcast:**

1.Listen on the blog. Click through to GodCenteredMom.com and click the play button at the beginning of this post.

2. Listen on your smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch – There are a lot of great podcasting apps. Apple has a free one (that I mentioned) in the app store, there is also one called Downcast. It allows you to search for shows, subscribe to them and even speed up the audio. If you don’t have an iDevice, you can listen via Stitcher.

3. Subscribe to the Podcast – access the podcast in iTunes (Click here to access via iTunes). You can also search for it on your smartphone app (like the ones listed above) and subscribe.

*If you missed past episodes, you can listen via iTunes or click on this page of the GodCenteredMom site to find a listing of all the episodes.


  1. Laura Hale

    Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be a guest on Heather’s podcast today. Would love to chat with you about grit, toys, books, boys … anything at all! I’ll pop in and out of here today. Hope to hear from you!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      woo hoo!!! so thankful to have you here Laura. Praying it helps get the word out about this great product.

  2. Erin

    I enjoyed this podcast very much. I have a daughter, 9 and son, 6. We are a family that loves books and reading. I love that the storyline has a boy as the main character and that it is set in a different time period. My daughter’s 2nd grade teacher read the first book in every American Girl series to her class. She said that the boys loved them just as much as the girls after they got over the fact that they were called American Girl! Every kid loves a story and this is such a great way to teach history. Is it the plan that there will be other characters in different time periods?

    Yesterday I listened to a sermon on masculinity and was challenged not to take the “boy” out of our boys. They were created differently. I love that I am hearing about this and your heart as a mom right after that challenge.

  3. Laura Hale

    Erin, thanks so much! We are a reading family, and I love hearing from moms who value books as much as we do! Yes, our plan is to have a line of characters all from different points in history (and from a wide range of backgrounds). Love what you mentioned about not taking the “boy out of our boys.” Couldn’t agree more. So glad you’re excited about what we’re doing!

  4. Renee P.

    Just backed you on Kickstarter! This sounds like a great idea, something that’s very needed in this generation.
    I’m especially tickled to know that you’re local, Laura! We live in Sunnyvale and my husband works in Menlo Park 🙂

    • Heather MacFadyen

      YAY!!! Thanks Renee! And what a small world. love it!

    • Laura Hale

      No way, Renee! That’s so cool! Thank you for jumping in to back the project. We’re thrilled to have you join the adventure.

  5. Jennifer

    Listened to this podcast today and signed up for Laura’s email subscription. Can’t wait to see the project relaunched. (I have four boys and the challenge is real… to find toys that do what Grit is attempting to do.)

    • Heather MacFadyen

      thank you Jennifer!! I’m sure Laura would be thrilled to hear about your all-boy family and to agree with the need. blessings!

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