WHICH DOCTOR?

Past Articles:
DEALING WITH CHALLENGES

By: Tammy Sassoon



In last month’s article we explained the importance of relating to kids in a non-judgmental way, since nobody wants to be in a relationship where they feel they are being judged. We spoke about a teacher who was not successful in gaining cooperation from her students until she began to relate to them in ways that showed she only had positive feelings towards them.

Now, how are you as parents supposed to guide your own children if they have a teacher who is not as open-minded as the one mentioned above, a teacher who, being stuck in his or her ways, is not inclined to think well of struggling children? (We are not talking about an abusive situation, but rather that teacher you get every few years that is not the warmest person.)

If you are anything like I was in my early years of parenting, you feel terrible that your child is displeased with his or her teacher. Especially since in today’s generation, children think that they must be completely satisfied with all of the circumstances around them, without exerting any effort.

There are two ways to approach the situation, and the one you choose to pursue will depend onyour view. If you believe that happiness is circumstantial, you will teach your child to try and change the circumstances he finds himself in. (Or you will do it for him by calling up the principal to put in a complaint). If you believe that happiness comes from within, and that it requires effort and hard work sometimes, you will teach your child to work hard despite the fact that his teacher is not his favorite. By subscribing to the first philosophy you will raise a child who is fearful of and runs awayfrom challenges. By subscribing to the second, you will raise a resilient child who will be prepared to face life’s often-difficult circumstances.

If your child does not love his or her teacher, tell them that they have been presented with an opportunity.Challenges are wonderful opportunities. Although we don’t pray for them, they are certainty opportunities for growth.

If your child has a teacher that is perhaps not the most complimentary, this is as an opportunity for him to become a more resilient person. Explain to your child that he or she has one of two options in dealing with this. He can complain about the teacher’s style and not perform in school, or accept that the teacher’s style is not his favorite, and make a firm decision to perform well in school regardless. The children who choose the second option, with the right guidance from their parents, become stronger for it.

In addition to advising our children on how to deal with challenges, we must model for them how to deal with challenges. Throughout the day, when things don’t work out as planned, we must model complete acceptance of the challenge at hand. Going further, we should even welcome the challenge as an opportunity we can grow from.

That means that when we cannot find a parking spot, and our children are in the backseat, we smile and tell them that nothing in this world happens by mistake. In this situation, simply imagine how you would like your child to view the challenge of a difficult teacher, and then actually behave the way you would want him to handle it.