A lot of my time as a teacher of three-year-olds is spent helping them deal with frustration–a taken toy, being told no, missing their mom, or simple exhaustion. Most of the time I walk into each day hoping for an “easy” one, one absent of all that frustration–theirs and mine. But, I think those rough moments may actually be the most vital.
French parents don’t worry that they’ll damage a child by frustrating her. Au contraire, they think a child can’t be happy if she needs to have things instantly, and if she constantly subject to her own whims. They believe kids get pride and pleasure from being able to choose how they respond to things. (Bebe Day-by-Day, 68)
Through those moments they learn their emotions, how to respond to them, and how to control them. They learn security, delayed gratification, responsibility, independence, and confidence.
These horrible moments, where a three-year-old can spend 10 minutes crying in refusal of going potty before nap, or where a 25 year-old is plopped in the middle of Nebraska where it still snows in April, can just be the worst. But my Teacher, my Heavenly Father, is not worried by my frustration, rather He is setting me free from myself. From my own whims.
With that I am thankful for the frustration, and am choosing to think the same about the emotional breakdowns with my little monkeys. They are necessary and good.