When I was one years old, I had a terrible accident and was burned by boiling water on my arm. It left a scar which I can always remember being very proud of.
In my first year of school, I remember having circle time and rolling up my sleeve to show the entire class my scar. I survived a very dangerous accident and I felt special.
I remember my parents always saying I was accident prone as a young girl and had several near misses of similar dangers. However, as they would recount their version of these events, I always felt there must have been a reason as to why these things mainly happened to me and not my other siblings. Why was there almost some sort of uncanny attempt to cut my life short?
If I reminisce on how I felt about these events, it was a feeling of having superpowers and of being unique.
Sometimes things happen to our children and we wonder why but like myself, I realised early on that some of these afflictions were because of what you are born to do on this planet.
Your children have a special purpose, and they have been designed to achieve great things but there is no victory without a battle.
Now, I am by no means wishing for a moment that any child endures hardships but when it does happen and there is a pattern, it is good for us as parents to have the discernment to understand that these things can build resilience for what our children are designed do. Let us not forget also to always cover our children in lots of prayers (you can find some useful prayers here).
Fast forward, it was my son's 4th birthday on, 2nd December, and we had a surprise celebration that weekend. However, as the evening drew to a close, he ended up in hospital. He had slipped whilst throwing a paper aeroplane and cut his forehead open.
My heart… it momentarily stopped. We managed to deal with the cut swiftly, took him to hospital and he was OK after receiving some glue and butterfly stitches.
When I questioned my son about his celebration, he didn't even mention the accident. He would only recount the great experiences he had.
I would hear him saying, as he continued to run around, 'Scars make you brave!' Our son has a badge of honour and as a result his confidence has surged. He has become even more active and daring than before! This is interesting to watch for a child who generally shows a certain degree of caution.
Not easy for us as parents, however, who must ensure his wound heals fully and he doesn't overexert himself. Nonetheless, it has made me further understand that a child's challenging experience can either cause them to lose confidence or propel them forward.
What mindset are you fostering in your child, is it one of creating boldness and courage or over sympathising with their hurts?
Again, I am not saying we should negate their feelings in the moment of their pain or sorrow, because I believe every emotion should be acknowledged.
But it is then a matter of what happens after that expression. Do we stay in that place with them or encourage them to go higher and further?
I once spoke to someone who said they are training their children to think like athletes. Athletes have resilience and always push for more, breaking every barrier placed before them.