Tahoe Mom Talk: Allowing your child to build resilience and learn along the way
My oldest son, Ethan, starts kindergarten this month. We are excited and nervous and overwhelmed … it’s a major milestone after all!
Ethan will be entering a whole new world and we will discover much more about who he is, how he gets along with others, what his learning style is and so much more.
I hope we’ve brought him up to be kind, patient, observant and open. I hope he learns, forms new friendships, and most of all, I hope he builds resilience.
Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. In life, we have to experience the bad in order to enjoy the good. Life is about give and take, good days and bad days and most of all, learning from mistakes in order to build strong character.
As parents, we want to protect our children from all of the bad, from the mistakes and heartache, and yet we know they have to experience it too. My concern is that our children are exposed to so much more and at a much more intense level. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat all magnify those experiences.
Self-esteem is based more on how many “likes” a picture receives on social media rather than forming meaningful relationships. It has become more socially acceptable to numb pain with substances, rather than confront and overcome it. Coping skills have become a foreign concept.
Now I get it, Ethan is only 5 and I know we are a little ways off from confronting social media challenges or replacing stress with substances, but I can’t help but think of him as a little seedling. He’s only going to grow from here and I want to ensure he has the best foundation possible.
I don’t want his good days to mean bad things didn’t happen. In fact, I look forward to hearing about his challenges and working through how to overcome them so he is more confident and self-assured. I want him to always know his self-worth and that he is loved. I want him to cherish school, his teachers and friends so that school is treasured as a safe place as well.
Life is full of bad experiences, stress and trauma. Everyone goes through it but not everyone gets through it.
It’s exciting to think of all that Ethan has in his future … who he’ll become and what he’ll be.
But for now, I look forward to this next chapter in life where we start to deep-dive into Ethan’s person, his character and his heart. Where we have the opportunity to help shape him into being a kind, open, empathetic and respectful person to ensure he has a happy and fulfilling life.
I don’t have all the answers, I’m learning too! But my goal is to work toward building resilience, mainly for Ethan, but also for myself.
For those of you who have children already in school or grown children, I’d love to hear your advice. If you’re starting out, just like us, I wish you and your family well in this first year of school!
Feel free to reach out … I’d love to hear from you!
Natasha Schue is a mom of two boys, wife and a full-time working, young professional. You can read more about her family adventures on her blog schuelove.com or follow her on Instagram @schuelove. You can send questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.