Chapter Review “The Fruits of Frustration”
Ever since the middle of the 20th century experts have been suggesting that frustration is bad for kids. But in The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children Johh Rosemond correctly observes that:
- Frustration is a normal and accepted reality of adult life.
- Frustration forces the growth of qualities such as resourcefulness.
- Frustration is managed best by perseverance, the most appealing, endearing and inspiring element of every success story.
Because frustration is the gateway, not the barrier, to these great qualities and cannot be avoided anyway, John says
Parents are “obligated” to frustrate their children.
And that frustration is best provoked through the use of what he calls “vitamin N,” the “no” word!
A good definition of frustration might be:
Wanting things you cannot easily or readily obtain, things that require patience to reach and knowledge you don’t already have. It is frustrating to wait for something you would like to have now. It is also frustrating to work toward a goal but finding yourself moving in a completely different direction or making progress so slowly it feels like you are going nowhere. But this is common to us all.
To illustrate his point, John encourages adults to unabashedly write out a list of everything they would like to have or experience in the next five years, leaving nothing out. Not just things you can afford or have the ability to obtain but things that appeal to your fancy whether you could afford them or not, qualified or not.
Reflecting on the list afterwards reveals that only 10 to 20 percent would be realistically reachable, unless a participant doesn’t want much.
That, however, is exactly how children make their list of “wants” but in their case 75% of the list is probably going to be realized due to the generosity of parents, grandparents, other extended family members and friends.
The point? A child’s desire is not frustrated often and that leaves them very unprepared for real life as adults. [Read more…]