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This post is a little different than usual, but it is something we have been working on with our kids and have seen great results. I’d like to share so that maybe it will serve you as well.
This is the title of a book I read a few years ago written by Alex and Bret Harris, twin brothers. It is ‘like’ totally written for teenagers… but still has fantastic truths that can be applied to younger children and adults as well. It encourages them to do exactly… hard things!
Too often these days teenagers don’t push themselves to start a business, begin a non-profit organization or one of a myriad other options. The expectations of teenagers by adults is nothing… they aren’t expected to be respectful, they aren’t expected to be polite or even answer if a question is asked of them, they aren’t expected to exceed at much of anything. In fact, just about the only thing that is expected of them is rebellion and sullenness.
This book is directed at teens encouraging them and inspiring them to find something thing they are passionate about, pursue it and do great things! There are so many great heroic stories of historical figures and a lot of them took place during their teens or young adulthood. We should be inspired by them and be encouraged to do the same.
We have used this concept to encourage and spur on our kids even though they are young. If at 4 they think they can “do hard things” then it will continue as they grow and mature. It has been such an inspiration to see how they take on the challenge and usually do well!
An example is when they get overwhelmed with a large mess they’ve created and then have to pick up or a chore (unloading the silverware from the dishwasher) that seems too big to complete. I’ve often asked, “Can you do hard things?” And every time they look at me, smile, and puff up their chest and answer “yes!”. Sometimes instead of asking, I’ll comment, “I know you can do hard things. This job is hard, but you can do it.” And usually that is all it takes.
A few weeks ago we were at my mom’s and Tonchi was helping her lift something heavy (I can’t remember what it was) and she was commenting on how hard he was working to help her. Tonchi says, “I’m strong and I can do hard things.” And then put even more effort into what he was doing. I LOVE it! I’m so glad they are ready and willing to work a little harder to complete a task that seems hard. I don’t want them to give up at any little challenge. I want them to see a challenge and take it head on!
Hopefully, as they learn this now it will serve them well as they become teenagers and young adults!