On Sunday, I spent several hours running 26.2 miles through our beautiful city. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining and the spectators were raucous! When I run a distance race I accept the fact that at some point it is very likely that I will “hit the wall”. Hitting the wall is when the physical body is depleted of energy, the legs are uncooperative and the mind is screaming, “I quit!!”
When runners hit the wall they might want to sit down on the sidewalk, cry and call a cab to take them home. But despite that very real pain, they have to call upon all of their mental resources and push on forward. There’s no way to go around the wall or over the wall; you have to go through the wall. Smashing through the wall makes the finish line even sweeter. Anything worth having doesn’t come easily.
I’m sharing an article about the value of practicing emotional agility skills. Dr. Susan David, author of Emotional Agility says that they “are the bedrock of qualities like grit and resilience. But instead of allowing a child to fully experience a negative emotion, parents often respond with what Dr. David describes as emotional helicoptering. ‘We step into the child’s emotional space,’ she said, with our platitudes, advice and ideas. Many common parental strategies, like minimizing either the emotion or the underlying problem or rushing to the rescue, fail to help a child learn how to help herself.”
Is your child practicing the emotional agility to hit the wall and, with your support, push through it?