The other night I attended an information night at our school for the year five class who have started a program to help build resilience in our children. The program is called ‘Friends for Life’. Personally I believe that this program should be adapted to start in the early primary years, as it is a program that helps kids work through anxiety, frustration, fear, feelings of depression and also how to be a friend. Well, ‘how to be a friend’ is more of a side benefit to knowing how to deal with these other issues.
I am a true believer in that it takes a number of sources to help raise a child. I don’t really like the phrase ‘it takes a village’ to raise a child – that to me sounds a little creepy!’ I am pretty protective in terms of who I allow my kids to spend time with.
I strongly believe that it is a parents responsibility to be the main source for building a child’s resilience, but once children start school, the school needs to work alongside parents and family to bring the best out in our children, which in turn builds a child’s resilience also.
From a parent perspective looking in to school life, I have seen that many children in the school system struggle to make friends, understand how to treat each other, know how to set boundaries, learn to say no, and be able to confidently to say no. Children need to also learn to accept and respect another person’s choice no matter what it is. Parents consciously and unconsciously teach children how to respond to situations and while we don’t always get it right, the idea of a program at school to help our children learn what is right is a fantastic backup plan.
School life is a necessity to help a child fulfill their destiny. They learn many things at school, and while parents want to hold their children’s hands for as long as possible, we need to let go and allow them to do what they feel to do. Parenting at the right time is an art form as the children are growing up. I find that I want to jump in and fix situations for my kids all the time, but I realise that they need to endure some situations to gain confidence and an element of independence. It’s knowing when to stand back, and knowing when its time to jump in.
At the introduction to the ‘Friends for Life’ program we were given a copy of this story. The author is unknown, but I thought that this story of the butterfly was exactly how parents feel when life is hard for our kids. We just need to know when to step in, and when to allow our children to handle the situation.
The story about a butterfly!
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.
Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.
The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small shrivelled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man, in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacle, it would cripple us.
We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!
I asked for Strength…and God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom… and God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity…and God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.
I asked for Courage…and God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love…and God gave me Troubled people to help.
I asked for Favours…and God gave me Opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted…I received everything I needed!
May God bless you with unspeakable joy, not only in the world to come, but in this world also. May your path be bright and full of light everywhere you go.
And I pray your feet will never stumble out of God’s plan. May the desires of your heart come true, and may you experience peace in everything you do. May Goodness, Kindness, and Mercy come your way. And, may you gain Wisdom and grow in the Lord every day.