Posts Tagged ‘challenges’

“Yes, you can.”

July 6, 2009

I love to give permission for my kids to do things they enjoy, particularly in the summertime. The season goes by so quickly in Minnesota, it’s tempting to pack as much activity in as possible. “Yes, you can,” is heard a lot at our home. I suppose you could call me an enabler.

upset boy against a wallBut I prefer being another kind of enabler—one that says “Yes, you can!” when they feel uncertain about their abilities. One of the greatest challenges they’ll face is their own self-diminishment. Taking thoughts captive and replacing untruth with truth is one of the hardest skills to master. As their dad, I want to help them recognize early the symptoms of stinkin’ thinkin’ (as Zig Ziglar calls it) and encourage them to say to themselves, “Yes. I can.”

These suggestions may help you become that kind of enabler as well:

  • Be a detective. It’s likely your kids are harboring self-defeat in some form. Like a detective, look for evidence of stinkin’ thinking. But tread lightly. You don’t want to push the culprit back into hiding.
  • Inquire about new experiences. Has your child picked up a new friend recently or started a new activity? The start of any new endeavor is often filled with self-doubt. Ask about their new experiences and listen carefully to their responses.
  • Explore abandoned experiences. Has your child recently abandoned a sport, hobby, or other social activity? Not every activity is meant to last forever, but sudden loss of interest may be a clue that your child has hit the internal wall of self-doubt.
  • Encourage replacement challenges. Find challenges that stretch and don’t break. If possible join them in it and encourage them along the way.
  • Pray for break-through moments. Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot of detective work to discover self-defeating thinking in our kids. Saying, “you shouldn’t think that way” is usually not effective. That’s when it’s best to pray for a break-through moment. These are times when a shared experience becomes a teachable moment. A shared experience affords the opportunity to talk about the experience together and share how you worked through your own self-doubt.

What suggestions have you found helpful for enabling a “Yes, I can” belief in your children?

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Confused Them With Confusion

April 16, 2009

When I was playing high school football, film day was on Monday. I never looked forward to Monday. No matter how well I played, there was always something I knew would be caught on film. After one particular game, which we’d won, I’ll never forget my head coach telling us how he thought we’d won the game. He said, “We confused them with confusion.”

You’ve probably had conversations with your kids that would lead you to believe they were trying to confuse you with confusion. One of my children once told me she was being disrespectful because Iconfused was disciplining her. Of course, I was disciplining her for being disrespectful. I tried to explain that using that logic was like telling the police officer you were speeding because he pulled you over. She didn’t get it. Clearly we weren’t communicating.

Two days ago, I was checking one of my other daughter’s blood pressure. We needed it for a camp she’ll be working at this summer. The display on the electronic cuff showed normal blood pressure, but an irregular heartbeat. I checked two more times with the same result.

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Grace and More Grace

March 23, 2009

I received an email from a friend today. She was telling me about some of difficulties she and her co-workers were going through. Layoffs. Illnesses. Car accidents. Deaths.

I was reminded once again that everyone is going through something difficult. Sure, the degree of difficulty is different, but difficulty is also relative, isn’t it? (more…)