Do you remember playing this game – Duck Duck Goose! – as you tapped someone on the head and they jumped up to run around the seated circle of kids while you ran to get to your spot before they tagged you? Or is that one of those Gen X games that nobody remembers playing?
I was thinking last night about how as Gen X’ers we had different rules than nowadays. I know that I parent differently than my own parents did me, even though there are similarities. Often I’m reminded of how life was different back then. My childhood wasn’t really a walk in the park with an overbearing father and a traditional mostly stay-at-home mother who between them had secrets. But what legacy they gave me was this: RESILIENCE.
Fall off of your bike? You had to get back on. Learn to swim? I was tossed into the pool. Overcome fear of the ocean? Dragged in and left there to battle the waves, alone, while he watched from the shoreline.
Face the fear and do it anyway. Or be tossed in to face the fear and survive. Does any of this feel similar to your childhood? And if you’re a parent now, do you do the same that was done to you? Or did you soften it or not push your kids at all?
I don’t push my kids as I was pushed in the same manner. However, I will make them ‘get back up on the horse’ when they have fallen off and are afraid to ride. It’s that inner Knowing that they can do it, they just have to face the fear and they will realize that they can do it again. But I am a big believer in not letting fear after something happens keep them from enjoying something.
Example: One kid had a car accident. Hit almost head on. Car was totaled, but luckily neither was hurt. The accident took place near our home on a highway we frequently drive. Two days after the accident, I asked him to take me somewhere in my car. He didn’t want to do it, but I insisted. I had already driven him past the intersection a few times when he was safely a passenger. When he drove my car, I was the passenger. I watched his hands clench on the steering wheel, but he did it. We repeated it a few times until he thought he was more comfortable and then he drove it alone in the car. He was very unhappy with my parenting at the time, but it has made him stronger and I stand by my technique.
Do you have any examples? What do you think about RESILIENCE?