Friday, April 20, 2012

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

I love that Kelly Clarkson song, "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger."

I think it's a great reminder that the trials we experience in life can help us grow if we choose to let them.

I put the word choose in bold, because that is the key. When trouble comes our way, we have a choice -- we can either grow from it or become the victim.

The correct answer is to choose to grow -- and the proof is in the past. If you look back over your life, you will see that you grew the most as a person during the biggest challenges of your life.

I recently appreciated this gentle reminder from a couple of friends as I expressed my frustration about some of the challenges Alyssa has experienced in school this year. I was dwelling on the negative. I kept saying, "I can't believe this is how her Kindergarten year turned out." I was momentarily stuck in the disappointment of wishing things would have been different for her this year.

But my friends helped me see the positive in it. They reminded me of the promise I already made to myself. That I would not dwell on the negative. That I would sieze the opportunity to teach Alyssa and help her grow through the challenges. That all of the work we are doing with her now will be of benefit to her later, as well.

One of my friends has a fantastic approach to helping her children deal with problems at school. She sympathetically listens, talks about solutions with them, then asks them, "What are we learning from this?" I love that question at the end, because I think it solidifies the lesson and shows them how to better handle these problems in the future.

I think we are giving our children a huge gift if we can teach them at a young age how to look at life's challenges as growth opportunities -- and it helps us remember to do the same!

Because really, what else are we going to do?  Everyone has challenges in life. The most important thing is how we get through them -- if we stay positive, we will come out Stronger in the end.

---This blog is dedicated to all parents! We have such an important job!

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