Hardships are a part of Life – Teaching our Children how to face them

Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.Kevyn Aucoin

It would be great if we could tell all the hardships around us exactly what the quote above says! Of course, we know that life is not always about roses, happiness and cheerful people. This is something we need to teach our children too –beyond the warm comfort of home and their parents’ caress, is a world that can be harsh and unforgiving.

Dealing with hardships is part of being human

They need to face it – Encountering and dealing with negative situations comes with the territory of being human and this is irrespective of how careful, open-minded and middle-of-the-road suburbanite one is. There is always someone or something out there trying to get you, tell you that you are wrong and these hardships can make you feel like a failure. Funnily enough, despite everyone having their fair share, some people seem to get more than their ‘portion’ and as parents, we believe that our children seem to be ‘The one’!  I see you nodding your head vigorously in agreement. Given the love and concern we have for our children, we do not want these hardships to derail them. These adversities can be excruciatingly painful and suck up every ounce of energy that they may have.

I always wonder why life seems to be getting harder by the day but it is imperative that I keep this feeling confined to my innermost recesses. I would much rather teach my daughter that it is only through hope and more importantly, perseverance that she can build the capability to continue forward or begin anew. Even if she moves slowly towards her goals and aspirations, she will ultimately get to where she wants to be. However, if she were to let hardships and negativity bring her down, her journey through life would be an extremely grueling experience, an uphill task, a Herculean feat, an onerous…. Oh well! You get the picture.

Some ways through which I hope she (and every child) would be able to trounce hardships

1. Take strength in the fact that dealing with hardships is in her control. She must not be enslaved by them but use her intellect and values to trounce them. However, even while dominating these adversities, she must continue to remain caring and respectful to those around her.

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2. Challenge these hardships with wide-eyed enthusiasm and passion. Cheerfulness and an upbeat attitude are the most potent antidotes for these toxic hardships.

I have asked my daughter to remember the standards and principles that have been part of her upbringing. These hardships are so, because they would be different and disappointing to her by virtue of being negative. It would therefore be in her best interest to remain aware and stand her ground, until the negativity wears itself down. This would make her more tolerant and have her whistling a happy tune most of the time. 🙂

She must make her own miracles!

The reality is (could seem harsh) that she must get serious about her own future since negativity and hardships are not exactly the kind of support one needs to fulfill one’s desires and dreams. It is unlikely that some miraculous power or unseen force will make life’s difficulties vanish and she must remain prepared through the realization that wherever she is in life she will cross paths with negativity and adversities. It would be in her best interest to deal with them with humour and light-heartedness.

I have tried to help her believe in the power of a cheery disposition and smiling more (make people wonder what you are up to!). There is a secret that all children must know too – the power to trounce negativity lies within them. And kids, another great way to beat hardships is to personify any particular hardship – draw it on a on a large watermelon (if it is large enough you can draw more than one face!). Take the melon for a walk with you – to the rooftop actually and let the melon drop. ROFL! See – defeating hardships is not that tough!

Click here to learn how to help your kid face life’s every day challenges…

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