Parenting Tip #1
Allow Them The Opportunities to Overcome Adversity
When parenting, oftentimes we remove obstacles & adversity from our children’s paths. We do this out of love. We do this out of trying to make things easier for them. We try to create harmony for them. But what we actually create is boredom. We also remove the opportunity for growth.
I often remind my clients, and even my children, that there is little comfort in the growth zone and little growth in the comfort zone. The trick is to find the balance of flexing between the two. Grow a little; rest a little.
It is also important to remember that by allowing children to overcome the obstacles and adversity, we communicate to them that we believe in them. This improves their confidence. Removing all obstacles can express to our children that we don’t believe that they have the strength, creativity, or ability to overcome it or to achieve. In addition, when they do overcome the obstacles, they become more confident. This confidence leads to their willingness to take on new challenges and adventures. This is commonly referred to as the confidence/competence loop.
An old Chinese proverb about an emerging butterfly explains this well.
One day a little girl was watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon and as she watched it struggle trying to get out she decided to help it and removed the cocoon for it. But alas, the butterfly could not open its wings when it was pulled out, and instead of flying off as one of nature’s miracles it was crippled and could not fly. The struggle out of the cocoon is what prepares the butterfly and gives it the strength to stretch out its wings and fly.
Remembering that true growth comes from the struggles, helps us as parents to sit on our hands while we let our children solve and resolve for themselves.
So my challenge to you parents is to support and encourage your children. Give them the tools to achieve. But let them move the ball across the line. At the same time, know when it’s time to take them out of the game and let them rest and reassess.
For more tips for parenting attend one of Michele’s workshops.
About the author
Michele Burch Reid, MS, founder of LCI, is an Organizational Effectiveness & Personal Development Consultant and Coach. Michele has a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, as well as several certifications. She helps clients create overall satisfaction & potential by tapping into their natural strengths with Personality Type, Emotional Intelligence Training, Biofeedback & other Brain-based tools. Michele’s philosophy is that when you discover what inspires you, you can more easily inspire and lead others. Whether that is in the board room, the classroom, or the family room.