EMAIL #171 - 29TH MAY 2022 - "HARDSHIP IS A PREREQUISIT OF RESILIENCE"
The hardest decisions my wife and I faced with each of our three children was when do we allow them to catch public transport by themselves, and when are they old enough to go into town to go shopping by themselves? Each child matures at a different pace and has different competences and capacities and there is no magic formula or set of parenting guidelines that help with these crucial parenting decisions. The only thing parents can do is to instil self-confidence and resilience in their child and let life experience do the rest.
"The human capacity for burden is like bamboo - far more flexible than you'd ever believe at first glance."
Resilience is the ability to cope with crisis and the capacity to recover quickly from a setback. Effectively it's a mental process to protect yourself from adversity. Highly resilient people tend to be flexible (they quickly adapt to the situation), motivated (they have a clear sense of purpose) and empathetic (they understand and accept other people’s flaws).
The most significant requirement for resilience is self-confidence, trusting yourself and your abilities and judgement. Resilience and self-confidence are interrelated, one leads to the other. Self-confidence helps you deal with hardship and hardship is a prerequisite of resilience.
"Self-confidence is not "they will like me", it's "I'll be fine if they don't." Lifehack
The best way to build your own self-confidence and resilience is to do more of what you love and spend time with loved ones and best friends. My parenting and leadership experience has shown that there is a "Goldilocks of hardship" (just enough but not too much) that builds a person's courage and optimism.
The dilemma all parents face is knowing what the Goldilocks of hardship is for each child? You know that shit's going to happen to your child but most of the time the best thing is to let it happen. Overprotective parenting and a lack of boundaries are the worst things parents can do when trying to instil self-confidence and resilience in a child.
If all else fails I recommend following Dr Seuss's guide to resilience.
"When you think things are bad, when you feel sour and blue, when you start to get mad... you should do what I do. Just tell yourself, Ducky, you're really quite lucky." Dr Seuss
Ultimately good parenting comes down to trusting your own judgement and trusting your child's ability to make decisions and deal with problems that come along. This is the only way they will survive and thrive in the real world.
Thanks for reading,
Stay safe and remember, "half the art of living is resilience". Alain de Botton