Please Don't Make Me Go

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I spoke too soon. Summer classes are causing a lot of drama in our family after all. My daughter has decided she would rather get rolled in poison ivy than have to go to her summer classes because they are boring. There were tears, sobbing, and much carrying on. I tried to explain that as parents it was our job to sometimes let her struggle with things that aren’t always easy or fun. That it will help her deal with the real world when she is an adult. I said we wouldn’t be good parents if we just told her she didn’t have to go anymore. She vehemently disagreed and exclaimed that we would be GREAT parents if we didn’t make her go again.

I totally understand her view. Who wants to do things they don’t enjoy? And yet, if we give up too easily, if we never stick things out just because they aren’t fun, what message are we sending about ourselves? Studies show that our self-esteem and our beliefs about what we are capable of are strongly influenced by our behavior. Just like we judge others by their actions, we also judge ourselves by observing our own actions. If we give up when things get a little rough, we see ourselves as a quitter and we believe it is true. This belief only makes life harder and holds us back from achieving our dreams. More and more I realize that the little things in life (like boring summer classes) can be opportunities to practice and sharpen our skills for dealing with the bigger obstacles life is bound to throw at us. It’s just hard to remember and appreciate, especially when you are only 8 years old.

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