April 22, 2009

Frustration: Friend or Foe? My son is a lot like me - poor kid. He loves to learn new things and share what he learns with others. Good so far. He also enjoys a challenge, but only to a point. He's pretty bright so most things come easily to him. The problem is when the challenge proves too much, when something doesn't come easily. Determined little bugger that he is, he'll keep trying and trying until frustration and exhaustion overwhelm him. Persistence? He's got truckloads. Patience? Well, that's another story. Frustration When my son was a baby, he didn't just want to be able to turn over by himself, he felt a desperate need to do it and to do it now. He would try and try and try and try to roll over and I would try to help, just a little to get him started. But it didn't happen right away and so the trying became straining and the straining became battling and the result? Crying, screaming and anguish. And you should have heard the baby! Crawling, sitting up, walking? Same scenario, over and over again. And things haven't changed much in eight years. The desire to roll over or to walk has been replaced with the need to speed read and to reach level three-gazillion on the latest Wii game within the first two days of ownership. My boy still loves to take on challenges and usually skates along effortlessly for a while. Eventually though, even the boy-genius hits a wall and then look out! The tears flow, pillows are beaten mercilessly and mommy's limited patience begins to wear thin. Granted, no one likes to feel frustrated, but as I've explained to my son, frustration is not the enemy. In fact, the ability to tolerate frustration is a critical ingredient in the recipe for a happy life. The real foe is our own lack of patience.

Lori Jewett

I'm an overly educated stay-at-home mom with two kids and the need for adult conversation.

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