Doing Hard Things
Parents have a deep desire to see their children successful. But success for most of us does not come without hard work or sacrifice. Parent who motivate or challenge their child to do hard things empower them to become successful. Do not expect too little of them or let them expect too little of themselves. Use these questions to begin discussions about how doing difficult things now can prepare them for the greatest opportunities in the future. Your children are stronger than you think and more capable than you expect.
Who would you consider successful and why?
Go deeper and ask them if the person they named had to work hard, practice or sacrifice along their way to success. If they do not know the successful person’s story, encourage them to discover it.
What is the hardest thing I have ever asked you to do?
Help them understand that you believe in them and have confidence in them. You have their best interest in mind and want them to be prepared for adulthood. Sometimes it’s harder for us, as parents, to take the time to ‘let’ our children do something difficult when we could just do it ourselves.
What do you learn from doing hard things?
Your children understand that it takes effort to get better at things. So many life lessons are learned when they are stretched out of their comfort zone: responsibility, persistence, gratitude, and a sense of accomplishment are just a few.
Parents, we need to awaken a desire in our children to not settle for mediocrity. Choosing the easy way out will not prepare them for adulthood. Do Hard Things by Alex and Bret Harris is a great resource for parents of teenagers. As teenagers themselves, Alex and Bret challenge their own culture to “rebel against low expectation” and choose to strive for significance. Although the book is meant for teenage readers, parents can learn much from these two boys’ who “rebelled against low expectations”.