Dad's Notes,  Reflection

Children’s Adversity Quotient: A Challenge to Parents

As parents, I and my wife felt like having an instinct to help our kids out in every single thing they might do, even on their trivial workout. Many of things, like tying up shoe laces, getting dressed when about to go to school or go out at weekend, combing the hair, feeding my less-appetite boy to keep him mouthful, even bathing them from hair to toe.

Being overwhelmed with those bits and pieces is all of the parents’ nature! It’s a duty, a responsibility, a requirement that we should embrace. That’s the good deed of parents.

But I found an enlightenment in understanding more about my role in raising our kids. Elly Risman, an Indonesian senior psychologist concerning in children’s growth, shared an insight and pointed that parents must encourage their children to learn to solve their problems. Moreover, it would be very useful for parents NOT to take part in all bits and pieces of their kids.

Kid: “I fail tying up my shoe laces..”

Dad: “It’s okay, I’ll tie them up for you.”

Kid: “I can’t organize my puzzle flakes to a shape!”

Dad: “Get them here, I’ll arrange them.”

Kid: “Momm, hot cooking oil splashing on my skin!!”

Mom: “Back off, let me do the cooking!”

Each time we provide our kids with back-ups, even for every single thing, we are indeed discouraging them from stepping their feet on the ground. We are not the SAR team. And our children are not in danger. So they need to learn standing on their own. They may fall, have scratches on the skins, and cry around the corner. Let them be. We don’t need to push it and offer a help to fix them all. Give them room to get up from their failing.

So when a ‘disaster’ comes around, kids have grown with ups and downs in life. They have been equipped with the skills of handling stresses and pressures, resolving troubles, and finding solution. They will be the SAR team for themselves. We have to remember that we are not standing by their side all the time. Just like lions that release their grown up children into the wild.

That is what is implemented as AQ (Adversity Quotient) – as Paul G. Stoltz emphasized in his book “Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities” in 1997.

When parents allocate much time for the development of their children’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ), they should give the same portion to AQ vice versa. Why? As kids are grown up and succeeded embracing their AQ, they will have the ability to face the ‘examination of life’. The real one! To pass through problems, from the simple to biggest ones, is to bolster self-confidence and believe that asking for a help will just be the last thing on their minds.

So, let our children pass through the paths of difficulties in life. No matter about little tears, little disappointment, being a little late, being a little wet in the rain. Let’s hold our hands, tongues, hearts – and refrain from reaching out for them.

It’s not easy!

Surely it’s not easy. How can you say parents are not to make an intervention when seeing their children in pain and in vain? Moreover, the instinct of a parent is to protect.

So, learning and putting AQ into practice is INDEED the challenge for us, parents.

A husband. A dad. A bank worker. Loves to share in writing about the art of being a dad for the kids.


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