Most children love to get involved in sports, ballet, gymnastics and the like, and it’s very beneficial that they explore different interests.
Sometimes a child wishes to engage in an activity because a part of them believes the idea of it is “cool”. However, sometimes a child is simply drawn to engage in an activity because it is a “natural” calling inside of them.
Either way, one of the best things we can do for our children when we allow them to partake in extracurricular activities is to predetermine with them the amount of time that they will be required to attend their activity/lessons. This could be 6 weeks, 8 weeks, etc.
The reason for this is not monetary or control based. It is for the purpose of helping your child see the parts of them that are always “gung-ho” when wanting to try something new, but a short time into an activity, it shifts with reasons of boredom, the claim of difficulty, lack of desire, etc. Sound familiar in your own life?
When something like that happens, the child believes they have “changed their minds” about wanting to partake in that activity any further. But in truth, it isn’t them that has changed their minds – something has changed it for them.
That very process that I just described is what happens to everyone when something new is tried, as I stated in last week’s blog about “Never Giving Up.”
There are always points of resistance, a certain second force, that come up in each of us in learning something new. We are meant to persist through that resistance and through those voices by becoming aware of them instead of serving them and doing their bidding by giving up.
If we allow our children to try a new activity and just simply agree to let them to quit when either the going gets tough or reasons for not continuing are flooding in, we assist in setting negative patterns that will make things very difficult for them throughout their lives.
However, if we share this information with them, lay it all out as to why we are giving them the time frame that we are and that the purpose of doing so is to teach them the importance of persistence, they will understand it from a “helpful” perspective instead of a punitive one.
The only way to learn about the false voice inside each of us is by going against it and persisting nonetheless. That is the ONLY way to learn that resistance isn’t a bad thing – that it is a natural part of life.
When a child learns to persist when the tough gets going and when the voices in their heads (the excuse maker) are trying to convince them otherwise, negative patterns aren’t established.
Instead, they become more willing and open to not only try new things and stick with them past the points where it becomes difficult, but by persisting through those points of limitation, there is a certain “self-discovery” that is realized, which is the whole and true purpose of our life here on earth.
Make no mistake about it. There IS a false obstacle that tries to convince each and every one of us in the reality of “it”, and that “false obstacle” plays out in the same way in our lives in many different ways.
Let’s say a child is at home working on a Lego building project and runs into “difficulty” at a certain point. The tendency for most parents is to rush to their side to help when they see frustration arise in their child.
However, the very point of reaching that limitation is so pivotal to the child’s inner growth. If someone other than themselves makes it “easier” for them in that moment, the opposite affect occurs. It creates a negative pattern (a certain expectation), a belief inside themselves, that when they next meet a limitation, someone will be there to help them through it, when they are the ones who have to learn to help themselves through that limitation by persisting with their wish to understand what is taking place within themselves in that moment – because what is taking place within them in that moment is where the difficulty lies to be seen.
Self-knowledge is the answer to everything and Life is nothing without it. Find out the truth of that for yourself.
Image Courtesy of: Jyotirmoy Gupta on Unsplash
Exercise for the Week:
If a child becomes resistant and doesn’t wish to go any further with either an extracurricular activity or homework, let’s say, that resistance should never be met with resistance by you. Be present with them, and use no force through voice or action. Gently remind them of their intention and promise (without bribes or trying to make them feel good).
That’s why it is important to lay out the ground work in the beginning and why the time frame is being given – so they understand the intention behind it is not a punishment but an intention for them to see the parts of themselves that never want to stick to one thing wholeheartedly.
The seeing of it is the same as being freed from it.