They Must Have This Strength

It’s hard because it seems weak. It’s hard because it involves other people. It’s hard because it means admitting ignorance or failure or fear. And yet it’s also easy and strong and the only way to get better.

What we’re talking about is the powerful act of asking for help. Giving our kids this power, normalizing it, encouraging it–it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

How do we do it? By modeling it. First, by acknowledging where we are falling short, where we are struggling, what we are afraid of…and then verbalizing those things. Second, by seeking out help, comfort, advice, and counsel. Let them see you ask for directions. Let them see you going to therapy or hiring a coach. Let them see you follow the prescriptions of experts…and let them see you grow and change and be improved for having done so.

Nobody is so strong that they don’t need help in this life. No one is so far gone that they don’t deserve help in this life. But just like you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, you only get the help that you ask for. So teach them early that, as the wonderful children’s book The Boy The Fox The Horse and The Mole puts it, asking for help is not giving up, it is refusing to give up.

It is the ultimate show of strength.

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