Transformation is most likely to happen when we find ourselves in a situation we cannot change.
The first step is futility–the sense that no matter what we do, nothing changes. All our strategies to get our way prove useless.
Every child knows this feeling, often several times a day. He comes last in a school race. Or daddy says, ‘you can’t have that remote control dinosaur’. Or mommy says ‘we’re too busy today to drive you to your friend’.
The second stage is when the feeling of defeat sinks in. Your child cries, yells, goes silent. The tears of futility flow. There really is such a term, and these tears have a specific chemical composition.
They are the tears of letting go, and discovering that it’s not the end of the world.
They are the immediate signs of adaptation.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’, or to bring your child to tears when you set a limit. Be there to hold them when their disappointment hits home.
You’re teaching your child how to live in a world that is mostly beyond his control.