There are parents who pay for music lessons so their kids can play an instrument. There are parents who tutor their kids in a foreign language. There are parents who teach their kids how to do all sorts of things–to start a campfire, to change a flat tire, to sew a button.
These are all skills of various importance. Some will help them get into college. Some will make them more comfortable in a diverse world. Some will make them handy. But there is a very underrated skill that we talked about recently in a weekend episode of The Daily Dad (which you should be listening to!). That skill? The ability to deal with frustration appropriately. Because life is full of frustration…and most people are so, so bad at dealing with it.
To be able to model for your kids how to deal with a poorly designed piece of technology that won’t work? How to respond to news of a flight delay on top of a flight delay? Or a person speaking to you rudely? Or an unexpected expense? Or being interrupted? What an incredible gift you’re giving them, what an underrated skill!
It may well be that there is nothing more important, nothing more essential to their resilience and their happiness than this. Certainly nothing will come up more often. So think about that today when you get cut off in traffic, when the dishwasher breaks, when you find out that your credit card was stolen, when your boss calls and moves up a deadline. This is frustrating, but it’s also an opportunity *to teach your kids how to deal with frustration–*and that’s not frustrating, but wonderful.