Shefali Tsabary, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Author, explains the importance of embracing pain in life and how it is necessary to our teach children emotional strength.
I would say the common denominator in the reason we create dysfunction in our lives; period, across the board is our immaturity, inability to handle emotional pain. We’ve become a culture and species obsessed with running away, avoiding pain. This where we’re creating children who cannot tolerate the slightest slight, the slightest insult, the slightest bad grade they fall apart. Instead of teaching resilience to our children, we’re really teaching them emotional avoidance . Now, how do we teach emotional literacy to our children? The only way we can do that is first we as parents need to become comfortable in our own emotional skin. We need to be comfortable with our emotional language, with our emotional depth, with our emotional ambivalence to handle the conflict of life and to be able to sit in that not knowing space. And understand that through the tolerance of the pain of life we actually grow stronger. So we do our children no service that when they come to us and say, mommy somebody called me fat and we take them to a nutritionist or teach them to escape that pain through dieting. We do them no service when they tell us they got a C grade and we get them a broad of tutors and get them an A grade. We’re doing them no service because the true skill that they need to learn is not an intellectual skill. It is the skill of emotional tolerance of pain. To teach them to handle failure and sit with the mock of their ordinariness and teach them that in that mock is the ability to shine. Not through the success, not through the accomplishment, not through the lights and the glamor but through the mock of ordinariness. But because we are so avoidant our own ordinariness. We simply have not taught our children this and this is the failure into this parenting.