Have you made through the first couple weeks of school? It’s been less than two weeks for us and we’ve already had meltdowns, sick stomachs, and emails from teachers with pleas to come home. Of course, there have been a lot of happy days and great experiences mixed in as well.
I’m not sure about you. But, sometimes I struggle to help the boys learn the appropriate reaction to challenges, sickness, and frustrations. While I want to teach and display empathy and let them know they can always come to me with their concerns, I also want to encourage GRIT and help them to manage life’s challenges in positive ways.
A few days ago, Teddy had a complete elephant tear, hyperventilating, multiple tissue meltdown after a minor verbal reprimand from Ryan about his behavior and choices. Sensing that something more was going on, I gave Teddy a little space to work it out in his room and then came in to talk. Thankfully, he usually shares his heart with me if I give him a quiet safe space to hear what is going on. What he shared were some age-appropriate frustrations from his day. Nothing life shattering… Still, it all amounted to a rough day which sent Teddy into a bit of a pity party.
Matt’s Bible verse the first week of school was from 1 Thessalonians 5:11 which says, “Encourage one another and build each other up.” I asked him to write it on our kitchen chalkboard. This is a picture. Perfectly spelled if you ask me… I kept it up because it is adorable. And, it reminds me that this verse is not just about compliments and kind words. It can also be about helping each other get through the challenges of life with grace and determination… all that stuff we hope to teach and instill in our kids.
I’m not sure I always do a good job at this. A lot of times I hear echoes of my own minor breakdowns and pity parties in the words and behaviors of the boys and I know just where they learned that behavior. Their father! Nope, it’s me. Sigh… For better or worse, my same phrases have been known to come out of their mouths with exactly the same tone and cadence.
So, I’m keeping those words on the chalkboard for another week and praying that the reminder will be heeded by all of us. Life is filled with all sorts of challenges and it is how we manage the challenges, not the challenge themselves, which define us.
As Matty writes, let’s build “echuttr” up.