Kids (4-12)

9 Ways to Teach Your Children to Overcome Obstacles

Losing hurts, but it also builds character if handled in the right way.

As mothers, we do all we can to help our children succeed.  But even the most diligent mom cannot protect her children from every challenge—nor should she.  Here are 9 ways to teach your children to overcome obstacles.

1. Show them how. Our kids learn a lot by watching us handle the challenges that come our way.  So when we face an obstacle, we need to react with maturity and hope not with hysterics and defeat.

2. Lay a foundation. If we plant the seeds of humility and patience in our children’s hearts, they’ll be better prepared to overcome obstacles. A foundation of good character will also give them a source on which to draw.

3. The big picture. Help your child see their obstacle in light of the big picture.  A tough homework assignment is just that, one assignment.  Show them how, in the big picture, there will be days that are tough, but there will be many days that are less challenging as well.

4. Play to learn. Simple things like board games, and even video games, can teach children to face obstacles head on.  They also give children the opportunity to strategize without giving up.

5. Practice Makes Easy. In many cases, obstacles decrease as they are tackled again and again.  So a difficult violin piece becomes easier as it is practiced.

6. Attitude matters. There are small obstacles (passing a test) and there are big obstacles (living with a chronic disability or stressful situation).  If your child has a life-long obstacle, teaching him to live with it in a positive and realistic manner is even more important.

7. Prayer = strength. Let your child know that he doesn’t need to go it alone.  Teach your child to pray for strength and wisdom in dealing with the obstacles that come his way.

8. Inch by inch. Many obstacles cannot be removed with one big action or decision.  Many obstacles must be chipped away bit by bit.  And, often, one step up is followed by two steps back.  Remind them, inch by inch, it’s a cinch.  Mile by mile takes a while.

9. Grow stronger. Obstacles in the form of defeat can make your children stronger.  They can learn to bounce back with new resolve.  They can learn that they are tough enough to withstand pain and come out on the other side.

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