Don’t Give Up!

Will was an easily frustrated 8 year old who loved rock climbing even though it wasn’t easy for him to do.

His parents took him climbing whenever they could but were drained and concerned by Will’s boisterous tantrums that happened when things “didn’t go his way” or became at all challenging.

He was eventually able to be part of a local climbing competition and was thrilled. Even though he was one of the weakest members on his team and the new venue would be more difficult Will was unrealistically confident that everything would go well. His parents were pleased with their son’s accomplishment but knew that the day could easily be undermined by Will’s upsets and resulting outbursts.

With my encouragement mom and dad decided to set aside ample time to prepare Will for any details that would be particularly difficult to handle, hoping that offering support and realistic perspectives ahead of the competition would help.

For many days they broached “unpopular topics” by showing him buildings that would be the height of the new climbing wall, explaining that children who had been in competitions before would do better than he, and discussing that he didn’t have to be the best but was there to get experience that he could use the next time. Will resisted talking about all of these issues, maintaining that everything would be fine, but mom and dad patiently and calmly persisted giving Will ample time to complain and react to each point.

Will’s parents held their breath on the big day but to their amazement he participated fully and without incident. Their hours of preparation and patience had paid off and the sense of accomplishment for everyone far outweighed the hours of work that had come before.