How do you teach your children to get up after they fall, to be resilient when hard times come? What if they get a bad grade on a test, don’t make the sports team, don’t get the lead part in the musical, don’t win the game, Will they be scarred for life? How will these disappointments affect them? How can you teach them to deal with these disappointments in a healthy way?
I have pondered this a lot lately. We have worked hard to help our kids be resilient and go with the flow when challenges come. Here are some things that have helped us in raising our kids to overcome challenges and make it through difficult situations.
- Show your kids an added measure of love anytime they are faced with a challenge.
- Focus on the positives. Look for things they did well during the activity…you did your best, you tried hard, you gave it your all, or you were a good sport. I was so excited when my daughter got an award for “Best Effort” in soccer. To me, not giving up is better than almost anything else!
- Be realistic in setting goals. Help your kids set goals that are achievable.
- Look for ways to help and serve others. Focusing on others always helps our problems seem smaller.
- Give them a hug. Sometimes just knowing you are there and love them is all they need to pick themselves up and start again.
- The sun will come up tomorrow. Hard times come but they don’t have to last forever. Tomorrow is a new day. Take it one day at a time.
- Look to your support system. Your spouse, friends, extended family…who will love you in spite of yourself? I have received so many wonderful words of advice and chastisement from my loved ones. Those words have helped me get through the hard times, be better, and improve.
- Pray. This always makes things better. There is a peace that comes as you turn to God. He can help you through any situation.
- Change your attitude. Sometimes you can’t change the situation, but you can definitely change how you look at it.
- Focus on progress. Maybe they don’t have an “A” but they are trying hard and improving week by week. Small progress over a long time equals big success!
- Point out good things they do. Any time you see them doing something great, make sure to point it out in word, letter, or text. Tell them when they do something great!
- Don’t make it all about winning. Teach them to have fun and enjoy the now. I think this may apply to parents as well. Too many parents take it over the top when their child doesn’t win or doesn’t play the entire game.
- Try to have a balanced life. Our kids are involved in lots of things so if they fail at one thing, there are other things they can try or are good at. It takes away some of the pressure.
- Listen to some fun music. It has great power to lift us when we are down.
- Let others help encourage and lift them. There are lots of great mentors around…coaches, teachers, coworkers, and extended family. Together we can do so much!
- Show gratitude. When life is going bad, take a step back and look at the good in your life. Help your kids appreciate what they have as well. This always feels me with hope and appreciation for the things in my life.
- Look at the situation from a different viewpoint. Sometimes just taking a step back and thinking about it differently can make such a difference.
We have had our fair share of trials. Trials look different for everyone. We all struggle with different things. Really anything that is difficult for you is a trial even if it is easy for someone else. You may see this with your kids. One might be successful in something, but it may difficult for another. Focus on the positives and work to maintain balance and perspective through those disappointments. Having disappointments help us develop into great individuals and can help us be happier and more successful in life. I have known parents who want to wrap their children in bubble wrap and protect them from every disappointment. But that is not what is best for their growth. Those trials and difficulties are helping them to become better. I’ve always loved this quote.
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God…and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father [in heaven].”Orson F. Whitney
Things that inspired me…