In the animated movie Meet The Robinsons, a little boy named Lewis wants to be an inventor. However, his first invention fails miserably at a science fair. He ends up meeting a boy named Wilbur from the future and while getting frustrated because he is having trouble fixing something, Wilbur keeps telling him, “Keep moving forward.” When Lewis asks him why he keeps saying that, Wilbur explains that it is his dad’s motto and his dad is a world-class inventor. We eventually find out (spoiler alert) that Wilbur has traveled back in time from the future and is, in fact, Lewis’ son. Lewis’ future-self has the motto Keep moving forward and it helped him in overcoming obstacles.
Failing 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.
How do you handle obstacles in your life?