How do we build resilient children who can handle life’s challenges?
As parents today, we often feel that our role is to protect our
children from the world: to cushion them when they fall, to lift them
over obstacles, and to remove sharp rocks from their path. But
controlling a child’s entire environment and keeping all pain at bay
isn’t feasible—we can’t prepare the world for our children, so instead
we should focus on preparing our children for the world. “The solution
is not removing impediments from our children’s lives,” writes Krissy
Pozatek, “it is compassionately encouraging them to be brave.” We need
to show our kids how to navigate their own terrain.
If our kids face small hurdles, small pains, at a young age and learn
to overcome these obstacles, they will be much better equipped to face
larger trouble later in life. Early lessons in problem solving teach
self-confidence and self-reliance—and show us that our kids are tougher
than we think. Krissy draws her lessons from her experience guiding
children in wilderness therapy and from her Buddhist practice—showing us
that all life is as unpredictable as mountain weather, that
impermanence is the only constant, and that the most loving act a parent
can do is fearlessly ready their child to face the wilderness.
For parents of children of all ages.