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Managing Everybody's Emotions
One thing I find difficult about being a mom is the emotional detachment that is sometimes needed.

Let me explain.

If your child goes through something that's really disappointing, like being cut from a school team, or betrayed by a friend, or failing at a hockey meet or gymnastics meet or something, our first instinct is to want to hold them and let them cry.

But that's not always the best course of action. Sure, it's good to share the disappointment initially, but ultimately what we need to show our childre are two things:

1. Their worth is not determined by their accomplishments or by their friends. It is determined by inner qualities.

2. No matter how badly they feel, they can make the choice to rise above it.

Now I'm not saying that they need to make that choice right away, but wallowing in disappointment is never healthy.

When our children aren't successful we often feel just as disappointed as they do. But ultimately that doesn't really help. Sure, we have to sympathize, but the challenge as a parent is to teach children to turn adversity around, and not to let it define who they are or how they respond to life.

That's really tough, especially when you're young. And I think it's one of the most difficult challenges the parent of teens and preteens faces. How can you help your child to be resilient?

I'm always talking about focusing on the positive, and asking God to show them a clear way, but I find that my girls can get really negative, which is hardly surprising, since I was the same way at their age. But negativism can be so destructive, especially in those vulnerable early teen years.

Sometimes I feel like I live in hormone central, with two young girls who can get very emotional at times. But today one of my daughters did have a big breakthrough. She was adamant that she didn't want to play in the piano festival this afternoon. We've had a busy weekend where we've been away at a different type of competition, and she hasn't had time to practice over the last few days. She was just very negative about it.

We had a real talking to and I told her that she needed to learn how to pull herself out of a funk, and she's done a really good job of it. Her piece is hard, technical, and a little clownish. She has a hard time playing it well, so I told her to make a performance out of it where she played it funny. And she's really turned around.

I'm very proud of her. I have no idea how she'll do, but I don't particularly care. I know she's a good piano player, and the results of this festival don't really matter. But learning how to rise above your emotions is an important skill. And I think, slowly but surely, she's coming around.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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