et’s face it. We live in a dark fallen world. Few years back, I got caught up in a heated discussion with friends. The debate was sparked off when I said in passing: “Life is not fair”. My friends thought otherwise. That the world is fair, and a person of my caliber and calling should be able to speak positively and not negatively about life. To date, I still maintain my position. Life is not fair. Someone might be pointing at a scripture that declares:
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.
One would want to argue that the last statement equalizes everything…until you see the following simple scenarios
You get the picture. This means that your children will have to experience some of these setbacks that life throws at us. I think one of the most forgotten and loosely held responsibilities is to mentor children through their several transitions in life. [ictt-tweet-inline]Resilience is one of the greatest ingredients of a successful life[/ictt-tweet-inline] for the facts already mentioned above.
Our children are passing through life and it will be a great disservice not to intentionally train them and raise their levels of resilience. It is foolhardy to operate on this premise:
“My children will never suffer the way I suffered”
Much as I understand the spirit behind that statement, the worst a parent can ever do is to shield a child from coming face to face with the fact that life is unfair. The worst we can do is to cocoon a child from experiencing reasonable setbacks and pressures of life. Love is not shown that way. That is in fact abdication of responsibility.
First, we have to be intentional about this. On the day of this writing, Elon Musk, the CEO at Spacex has astounded the world by being the first person (private citizen) to launch the most powerful rocket in the world into space. A quick peek into his life will tell you that Elon has suffered great setbacks in his quest. What we are deducing is that if your child is going to be great, they will have to have the capacity to face and handle great and multiple setbacks. In fact, I know not of a great soul that lacked resilience. This applies in all sectors and fields of life. [ictt-tweet-inline]The greater you want to be, the greater the resilience you need to build.[/ictt-tweet-inline]
The following are 7 ways to train children for resilience.
Stop painting a rosy picture about the world. Yes, we love our kids and shielding them from trouble is only natural. I watched my kids play yesterday, falling against an obstacle. I wanted to remove the obstacle to minimize them being hurt. To be honest, I just wanted not to be inconvenienced in case they got hurt. If not careful it is easy to keep this “protective eye” on at all times to such an extent that all “obstacles” are removed and your children do not face any hardship or setback. Wrong move. Acknowledge to the kids and actually prepare them as early as possible to the fact that they will face setbacks. As you do however, it is important to focus their internal energy by telling them that they are resilient and have been built to find ways to overcome.
It is important to keep a positive attitude and speech around kids. They absorb so fast what we say and what we feel. If we keep an attitude of impossibility and complaining around the kids, we are dealing their resilience a major blow. In addition to our speech, we need to mentor the kids so that they know that God built greatness in them. That they have the personality, purpose gifts and attitude for resilience. This is absolutely critical. As a parent/guardian, always watch out whenever a child shows an attitude of giving up or being exasperated. Patiently direct them and refocus their greatness.
Resilience causes us to hang in there until we have finished what we started. It helps us to trudge through the setbacks and disappointments in life. If we allow our children to give up at every turn, we are messing up their resilience muscle. We ought to train them to attempt as many things as possible and support them to finish their projects. Most especially we need to come strongly when they tend to give up. Creating an attitude of finishing and follow through will in turn build the resilience they need in life.
If there was anything that we can bless our children with, it is in forming their character. Encouraging the character of resilience would be one of the greatest investments we can build in our children. We shall continue with these thought sin the next post.