Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Teaching Our Children How to Face the Challenges in Life

LIFE'S ESSENCE - Katherine R. Oyson - The Freeman

I must confess that I am an overprotective mother. When my children were growing up I would tell anyone, “You can hit me, but not my kids.  I’d fight back with anyone who would bully my kids.”  Now that the five of them are all grown up and have families of their own, I continue to wish that my children would be spared from the pain and sufferings in life. But I know it is wishful thinking. I know that life is not problem-free. My daily prayer is the only protection that I could offer to my children – for the Lord to guard them from the blows of life.

Our children cannot be spared from the demons of life. The best that any mother or parent can do is to teach our children to pray and ask for the Lord’s protection, guidance, enlightenment, and blessing. To tell the kids that no matter what challenges or crisis they face in life, the Lord is always there on their side and they must trust in His mercy and kindness.

In the same vein, Carolyn C. Waterbury and Christina DesMarais of The Inc.Life website suggest ways on how parents can teach their children how to face trials and handle sufferings that may cross their paths:

• Be reassuring, but be realistic. Avoid giving your children the impression that bad things will never happen or that bad things only happen to bad people. The fact is, things both good and bad happen to everyone. When children express fears and concerns about things that might happen, let them know that there is nothing wrong with being afraid so long as your fear guide you to take appropriate actions, rather than letting it immobilize you from taking action at all. Like, when your child is afraid to fail in the exams, let him or her know that the only way to avoid failing marks is to study harder and ask the Lord of His guidance.

• Teach them to look for lessons in the mistakes.  No one is perfect in this world; hence, we commit mistakes now and then. What is important is to learn the lessons from our mistakes, so that the same mistakes must not be committed again.

• Let your kids see you as an agent of change rather than a passive complainer. Parents are the architects of their family. Children learn by example. To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Who we are and what we do speak louder to our kids than anything we say.”

• Help kids manage their emotions.  Learning to respond emphatically to our children’s emotions is critical in helping raise kids. When children are upset they need a place to vent their feelings. Feelings which are denied come out later as temper tantrums or bad dreams. Conversely, when children express emotions, adult empathy helps them not only feel understood, but to feel as if they are ally who respects them.

• Allow them to make mistakes. Experimentation and learning are essential as kids build their skills. Making mistakes is an integral part of the process. If your child fails at something it doesn’t mean that they are failure. It gives them information about what not to do in the future.

Words of wisdom: “It is easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult.”

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