Recently I had a chance to watch and reflect on someone’s Instastory- someone I knew back from high-school.
Now a father, who on social media boasting about being tough and teaching his children how to be tough, 25 years ago, when I knew him back then, he was a kind of a macho/no pain no gain tough guy himself.
I’ve sent him a video telling him that maybe being tough is not the answer to today’s world and we should start saying no to tough children? He disagreed and blocked me.
Well, understandably – he didn’t ask me for my opinion. I get it. This made me think and I search google to see if he’s only a parent who does it and think this way. I wrote in the search engine – Raising children tough- This is what I found, this scared shit out of me, and now I will tell you why?
NO TO TOUGH CHILDREN!
Quit Raising Your Kids to Act Tough. Teach Them to Be Mentally Strong Instead
- You encourage them to suppress their emotions.
- You correct their emotions, instead of their behaviour.
- You deny their pain.
- You praise successful outcomes only.
- You prevent your kids from failing.
- Become a Mental Strength Coach for Your Kids.
I just couldn’t believe it, is it just me who thinks that toughing up children is the biggest mistake of all and scars them for life?
I’m just thinking why anybody would like their children to be tough, act tough and why would you treat your children to grow up to be that way? This is bloody sad and makes me think about children’s lives in terms of today’s world experience at an even deeper level.
So, the world is a very dark and tough place. The world can be also very nice and friendly place, so why are you trying to teach your kid to be tough? Why we shouldn’t say no to tough children as per so many people in the world?
Home/parents should be seen as a safe harbour, where ships can escape during stormy and unfriendly weather. When you look at the world as the open, unknown and sometimes dangerous ocean where they can experience rain, heavy winds, shallow and deep places where our children can get stuck or drown in oceans of issues. Do you really want to make your child’s safe space, calm harbour into another scary and cold place to be? Especially for children with additional needs – check here.
What a stupid idea, it angers me, really.
We should encourage our children to be emotional, explore their emotions and help them to understand emotions. At the end of the day, we are humans, we have emotions and we need to experience them to be healthy and to grow. It is our responsibility to talk to children, share our emotions.
If it comes to behaviour – behaviour tells the story, its another way of communicating to the world- when the baby is non-verbal – behaviour tell us all, their emotions turn to cry and we react to it. Language at its best. If you will take this away, we will have very disturbed and unhealthy children.
I think we have enough issues with adults saying: Stop crying, don’t be such a cry baby, be strong, man up. This is wrong.
When my children are crying, for any reason – being upset, hurt, scared – I tell them – It’s ok to cry, I know it hurts. We all cry and it’s ok. Tell me what’s happened and how I can help you to feel better. Tell me, how do you feel about it.
We shouldn’t ask our children to suppress their emotions – this makes more harm than anything else. We need to move away from this approach. Talk, feel, express, be healthy, be alive, explore yourself.
Prising only their successes? It will make them unable to fail with dignity, to fail with trauma as they will not be able to get up after some hardship in life. This way we creating fragile human beings which will not be able to be resilient. It makes me so sad that people still thinking this way and harm their children by doing this.
Do you prevent your child from failing?
No, the opposite- you fail your child.
Another big bull&*. Resilience, ability to bounce back, to learn from mistakes, being able to reflect on our decisions and seek support when we are reaching heavy moments in our lives. We cope better when we know that failing is just part of the process. It doesn’t matter how many times you failed, as long as you try again and look for a better outcome. Failing is part of life, losing is a crucial part of our journey. At some point in life, we will experience falls, hardships, fallouts, loses – and we can help out children to deal with it and prepare for it.
In the end, they will know that their home is their safe harbour, away from storms, winds and cold reality called life. We will be their rudder, safety passage, a lifebuoy. Hopefully, from the distance, our children will see a strong light of the lighthouse.
It’s time to say “No” to tough children!
Don’t be a coach, don’t be a monster to your kids. Don’t believe that teaching children to be tough is good, it isn’t – this makes more harm than help.
Be a lighthouse, a safe harbour, take them into calm waters and guide them to safety.
Check out my blog post about being a dad and working with dads in here