One of the best parenting tips I’ve ever heard is to challenge your kids to do hard things. Our society has very much bought into the idea of waiting for my boat to come in, waiting to get my 15 minutes of fame, or trying to be an overnight success. Most “overnight success” stories worked long and hard to get to where they were before hitting it big. We leave everything up to chance and hope that we get discovered. But, the best thing we can teach our kids is to hustle while they wait!
I love the book, “Do Hard Things.” It encourages a growing movement of young people rebelling against the low expectations of today’s culture by choosing to “do hard things” for the glory of God.
Here are a few practical things that we teach our kids to challenge them to “do hard things.”
- We don’t quit, when we commit. When our kids commit to doing a season of a sport and find out it isn’t for them, we finish what we started. We may never sign up again because we found it wasn’t our thing, but we don’t quit when it gets hard.
- We are finishers. Eric & I trained to run a marathon and the year we ran, I injured myself two weeks before the big race. Most of the race I ran in pain but my awesome partner stayed right by my side. The thing we wanted to show our kids was, we don’t quit.
- Everything, everything takes practice. God gives us talents, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. It’s our responsibility to cultivate our gifts. Every gift takes time to develop and grow. I love Steph Curry’s quote, “Being a Christian athlete doesn’t mean praying for your team to win. God doesn’t give an edge to those who pray, over those who don’t; hard work does that. Being a Christian athlete means competing for Christ, in a way in which you always give your all for Him & win or lose, you thank Him for the ability and opportunity to play. It means giving all the glory to God, no matter the outcome, because you trust in His plan for your life.”
- There are no “overnight successes.” Everyone hailed as an “overnight success” has a long history of hard work done out of the limelight and in the, often lonely, times of practice. I love the story by the writer of the “Left Behind” series, Jerry B. Jenkins. He talks about people coming up to him asking if this was the first book he had written. He was kind, but he no, he had written around 150 books before he wrote his bestselling series! (Not quite an overnight success, right!?)
We all generally try to do things that are fast and easy. But, we need to challenge ourselves to do hard things, because those are the usually the things that matter most.
Looking for more great parenting tips? Check these out!