My son came home from school the other day a little less “bouncy” than normal. I knew something was up so I asked him what had happened. He said that he received a “yellow” and that he felt if was unfair. The kids’ behavior is graded each day on a red-yellow-green color chart. Each day the children begin on green, but if they receive a warning for acting up in class, they will move to yellow, and then to red for subsequent warnings.
My son prides himself on his typically “green” status, and when he occasionally receives a “yellow”, he usually acknowledges that he was guilty as charged.
However, this particular “yellow” was different. He felt he didn’t deserve it. He said one of his classmates said something funny and he couldn’t help himself but laugh really hard. His laughter got him “yellow” status. The classmate who made the comment maintained “green” status; hence my son’s feeling that something unfair had happened.
I struggled with how to respond to my son and help him perceive and deal with this situation. As I was sharing this story with my mom, she said that “he needs to learn that sometimes life is not fair”. Well, I beg to differ with this theory. If it is true that we create our own reality through our thoughts, which scientific studies are beginning to show, then why would we plant this idea in our child’s minds? Why would you teach your child an idea that will create a negative self-fulfilling prophecy? If you believe that sometimes life is unfair, I guarantee that you’ll prove yourself right every time – in fact, if you believe this, then you probably already have!
Another reason I don’t like this view that “life is not fair” is because holding this view can make you a victim. If you think things in life “just happen” to you, and that sometimes it’s unfair, and you really believe this, then this belief says that you don’t have control over what happens in your life. And when you feel you don’t have control, you become a victim. And the more you believe you are a victim of your life’s circumstances, the more you will manifest proof that indeed you are!
So what do you say to your kids when something they deem as “unfair” has happened to them? How do you help them work through these types of issues without planting negative, self-fulfilling thoughts in their minds? Here are 3 steps you can follow every time that work like a charm:
- Acknowledge the emotions you feel as a result of the situation. I told my son it is okay to feel angry that he was given a “yellow” for laughing. I wanted him to process those feelings and allow them to move through him. Recognizing how you feel and acknowledging those feelings is very cathartic and healing.
- Accept that this is how things are. It is what it is. The situation occurred, and now you have to deal with it. Fighting against what has happened keeps negative energy in your body, only hurting you down the road. I told my son that it is okay to feel angry, but at some point, he has to let that go, because he DID get a yellow. It happened. Now let’s accept that it has occurred and see how we can move on.
- Release the negative emotions and find the lesson. I’ve found an effective way to help my son release negative emotions. I have him sit and visualize that he is blowing a giant bubble filled with his negative emotions. I have him see himself blowing out all of the emotions until they are completely out of his body. Once out, I ask him to visualize the bubble floating up into the sky. Then I ask him to feel the love that is remaining in his body. This process never fails to calm him down and move him beyond the issue.
Following these 3 steps will help your child deal with situations she deems as “unfair”, while preventing her from adopting “victim status” and a negative self-fulfilling prophecy. This will lead the way to a more empowered and confident view of herself as she moves through her life’s journey.