It’s week two of church camp for me; fixing boo-boos, giving kids their medicine, checking to make sure sunscreen has been amply applied, and a host of other ‘mom-type’ things they need done for them when they’re away from home.
One thing I’ve noticed with the kids this age (8 to 10) is that they have very different perceptions of what is and isn’t a big deal. For example, one night while playing hide-n-seek three or four of the kids fell and scraped their shins or knees.
A couple of them were pretty ‘good’ scrapes that required a good washing with soap and water followed by ointment and a bandage or two. Both of these kids were far more concerned about getting back out there to play than they were the blood oozing from their knees.
Another child, however, came to me sobbing and moaning as if they’d just been critically injured. In fact, I heard her before I saw her and thought, “Oh, my gosh, this is gonna be bad!” It wasn’t. She’d barely scratched the surface of the skin. It wasn’t even bandaid-worthy. I wiped her knee, dried her tears, gave her a hug, promised her she was going to live, and then sent her back out to finish the game.
As she left (limping as though her leg was about to fall off) I thought about how more often than not, we as parents need to tech our kids to ‘shake it off’ and go on instead of treating every disappointment, every boo-boo, and every rejection like it is the end of the world.
I’m not saying we need to raise up a generation of emotionless, hard-hearted young people. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t be sensitive to our children’s physical and emotional pain. Not at all! But what I am saying is this: children need to have a solid understanding of what is and isn’t worth getting upset over. So what if they don’t make varsity! So what if they don’t get all A’s! So what if they don’t get to go to someone’s party! So what if you tell them no and they don’t like it!
Your kids need to learn that there are a lot of things in life that simply aren’t worth getting upset over and they need to learn that from you! They need to see you as someone who is calm, sensible, able to deal well with stress and who doesn’t panic or over-react. They need to see you model these behaviors so they can be this person, too.
copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.