Our mother taught us that life is hard
Recently I had a conversation with my daughter that made me think about our mother. I asked her why she didn’t want to do something and she said because it was hard. As adults, we don’t like to do things that are hard either. Perhaps we are passing it on to our children. For example, it’s hard to get our kids to do things that are hard!
I look back on our childhood and wonder what our mother did about things that were hard. She seemed to encourage the completion of things that were hard a bit more. Personally, I remember going to a different school separate from my siblings because my grade was full at the other school. That was hard. Losing our dad at a young age. That was hard. Not making sports teams, not getting invited to parties, not being liked by a boy that I had a crush on. THAT WAS HARD! Things were not always “fair” back then.
Here’s what these experiences did for us. They taught us that sometimes life is not fair and it's HARD! Managing our children’s expectations is an important part of their upbringing. If we allow them to go through life thinking things are fair, we are setting them up for a world of disappointment.
Life is hard! We don’t always get the grade we want or the job or the car or house or vacation or the significant other, etc. Life is not fair or kind or predictable and it’s hard! When we make things easy, predictable and fair for our children, we allow them to believe life is fair and it’s not. Then when things get difficult and don’t go as they expect, they are lost.
With each heartbreak and disappointment comes a lesson. It thickens our skin and teaches us to be tough and that we can endure. Every situation that gets you down comes with an opportunity to get up! There are significant lessons in our failures. Most successful people today started their journey with a disappointment or a failure. Failures are where the great lessons of life hide.
Teach your children how to respond to disappointment and recognize the valuable lessons that come with setbacks. Provide positive support but allow them to figure it out on their own. Perhaps they may be able to handle the next disappointments with a newfound grace, dignity and confidence.
I run the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol. I am a member St Raphael Women's Guild, Friends of the Westside Catholic Center and The Avon Oaks Women's Golf Association.
I live in Bay Village with my husband and 3 children.