How often do you hear your children saying, “it's the teacher’s fault,” or “it’s all your fault,” or some reference to it being a sibling’s fault? It seems as if everything happens to our kids, and they never have a choice in the matter. Or so they think, and so they tell us. How can we help our children recognize their power of choice so they can begin to take responsibility and stop blaming?
Challenges, both big and small, trigger the nagging inner voice that tells us it is too scary; I cannot do it, or the victim consciousness of "why me?".
We need to learn to accept that we can't always control what is happening, but we still have a choice on how we react to it. And we can start looking at challenges as our opportunity to get stronger and gain more capacity.
To help our children understand this concept, we, at SFK, use the analogy of a game. Life is like a game, and like in every game, we play against an opponent. When we play basketball tournaments, we play against the other teams, or when we try to win the next level in a computer game, the computer system is challenging us with new and more complicated tasks. Is it always fun and easy? Not at all, but when we take on the challenge and do our best, we get stronger and better at the game.
In the game of life, the opponent is mainly internal. Although it looks like most challenges are external, the real battle is within. Problems trigger difficult emotions that usually lead to reactive behavior and a feeling that we are not enough. Helping our children look at each challenge as a growth opportunity will help them feel less frightened and stressed out, and instead more consciously prepared.
When my daughter becomes upset about something she didn’t get or that something didn’t go her way, she usually turns sad. I often tell her, “I understand how you feel, but know that you have the choice to feel this way or not. It is up to you.” This simple advice puts the power back in her hands, making her understand that her reactions and emotions are her choices. She is the only person who can change how she feels or how she acts on her feelings.
And as always, the way our children witnessing us dealing with challenges, and avoiding blaming others will create the most significant impact.
Empower yourself and your children to end the blame game to win in the game of life!
Michal Berg CEO and President