“AAAAAAAAARRRRR!” She roars.
It is her tenth attempt to hit the stupid little white ball into the stupid little hole with the stupid mini-golf club.
And then – wham! – she slams the golf club into the fake turf … and – whoosh! – she throws the golf club into the shrubs. Everyone watches in horror. She stomps off.
This wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.
Do you have a child who has trouble managing frustration? Please take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Many kids (and adults, for that matter) have trouble with frustration, disappointment, and facing challenges.
Before I continue, I want to let you know I understand how it feels to be that child; the one who’s deeply frustrated and acts out. I understand, because I sheepishly admit that I was the girl up there.
I was the one who threw mini-golf clubs.
I had a terrible time managing my emotions when things were hard for me. When the going got tough, I got going – literally.
I would bail in all sorts of ways: I’d fake tummy-aches or “accidentally” fall in races I thought I wouldn’t win. I would quit the card game and stop trying my best any time I could smell failure approaching.
I bailed a lot as a kid because I lacked a way to help myself through challenges, see my way over hurdles, and get myself to the finish line no matter what.
When I became a mom, one of my big goals was to raise my children to be NOT like me in this regard. I had my work cut out for me, because as the wise Brené Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection, says, “We cannot give our children what we do not have ourselves.”
So, in pursuing my goal to raise gritty and resilient kids, I had to learn what those things meant, then learn to do it for myself, and simultaneously teach it to my children.
I learned some super-valuable things along the way and I’d like to share them with you here. My hope is to help you create an environment in which you and your children can truly thrive.