As a mum, one of our natural instincts is to want to protect our child from pain. It can be one of the most difficult parts of being a parent to watch your child experience hardships. Whether its hurting themselves, being sick, experiencing the pain of parents separating, watching them feel their first rejection from another person, or whatever it is, we can often feel really sad that they have to go through this.
These feelings are natural and you wouldn't be human if you didn't feel sadness that your child has to go through these things, however it is important that you keep a level head about these times too.
The reality is that in life we all experience both ups and downs, and if you look back at some of the down times of your own life, they were key contributors to learning more about life and adding to who you are today.
This is the same for your child. It is inevitable that they will experience times in their lives where life is not going to plan and this will cause them some pain and as hard as it is for us mums to watch this, we cannot fall into the trap of trying to control their environment in order to protect them from every single pain they may encounter or try to compensate for an experience they're having by doing something else or giving them something else.
We have to address the actual experience and not just put a band-aid over the top of it. We need to teach our kids the reality that life doesn't always go the way we want it to go and that when this happens it doesn't mean anything bad about them, these are just times where we have something to learn and something to gain from this experience, and teach them how to find what that 'something' is.
We need to teach our kids to be okay with these times by teaching them to find the value in these times. Help them to see that everyone experiences challenges in life and that they are not alone, or worth-less because they are having this experience. We need to teach them that this is the whole point of being a human being - to experience and learn about life in order to develop spiritually. This learning doesn't come from life going right all the time.
The world is full of anxiety driven behaviour because we have been taught by society that I must control life so it goes to plan and prevent life from going wrong, when the reality is that life is full of experiences to learn from. They come from both life going to plan and also from life NOT going to plan.
When we teach our children to handle life's down times with an accurate sense of self-worth and an understanding of finding value and learning in every situation instead of seeing these events as bad and painful, then we arm our kids with the tools to handle life.
Regardless of what society teaches (through media, peers, education systems etc) life doesn't have to be going right in order for there to be value in it. There is value in everything and when we teach our kids to see this and be grateful for the opportunities that EVERY experience give us, then we help them to embrace challenges in life.
Of course, as I always say, you will not be able to teach these lessons to your child, unless you have an accurate concept and practice this understanding in your own life, for you teach your child about life through your actions, reactions and language that you use.
This is why my mission has been to start educating mums to handle the challenges of being a mum in my book The Happy Mum Handbook. Being a mum (or just a human being) is not about getting it right. We never know everything and we can never predict the outcome of every single event or expect it to go the way we want it to.
Have goals, yes. But understand that in order to reach a goal, sometimes we need to learn things in order to meet the goal and sometimes we need to practice new skills along the way.
When you can teach yourself to handle whatever life throws at you with an accurate understanding of life, reality and that you are always 100% worthy in EVERY event, then you will be able to pass this onto your children and teach them to handle life this way too.