When one becomes discouraged, what exactly is taking place? It appears on the surface that we look out into the world and see the state of things or what appears to be an insurmountable obstacle, and when our eyes lay on "those things", we become discouraged. It appears there is no hope or possibility for anything to be different than what it is.
But we must ask ourselves a couple of very important questions in this context.
First. Who and what is that voice of discouragement inside of us that we are listening to in those moments?
Second. Without having a certain expectation of how people (including ourselves) and things should be in this world, could we ever become discouraged?
Third. Without comparison could discouragement exist?
Children get discouraged all the time. In order to truly help them, we must have an understanding of what exactly is taking place within them (within ourselves) that creates that sense of discouragement. "Talking" about discouragement doesn't transform discouragement. We must "see" the mechanism of discouragement taking place within ourselves in order for it to be transformed.
Why? Because when we see the mechanism of how it works, we will no long fall for its lie.
Anything that speaks to us negatively (inside ourselves), isn't for our greater good, plain and simple. Here are some examples:
You're daughter is taking piano lessons and suddenly wants to give up. Why? Because discouragement convinced her that it's no use, she will never be any good. It's a waste of time. It's too hard.
Your son tries to make friends but most of the time they seem to prefer the company of others, and so he makes no effort to make new friends. Why? Because discouragement convinced him that he is not likeable, that it's a waste of time to try to make a new friend because it will end the same way as always.
You ask your child time and time again to pick up their clothes and put them away, but they never listen, and so you stop asking and do it yourself. Why? Because discouragement convinced you that your request falls on deaf ears, so just do it yourself.
If that daughter didn't have a pre-conceived expectation of how her piano playing should progress, could she become discouraged?
If that son didn't have his past experience with friends to compare to, could he become discouraged from seeking new friends?
If that parent didn't listen to a voice inside them convincing them that their child will never listen, would that parent have become discouraged from doing the right thing by persisting and just being patient for the child to learn in their own time?
The things that our eyes lay on out in the world are not the cause of why we become discouraged. The cause takes place within. The cause is unconscious identification with those negative part of ourselves, and the effect of that identification manifests itself in the outer world.
The cause needs to be "treated" so the effect can be reconciled.
Help your child see the harmful mechanism taking place in their own minds by seeing how it takes place in your own, and they will learn to navigate this world with a happier and higher set of eyes.
Photo by: Patrice Audet on Pixabay