Heathdale flower 19th September 2019

Comfortably Uncomfortable

It's okay to have a bad day!

Heathdale flower

Don’t you enjoy being uncomfortable? Me neither! But many things in life require us to be okay with being temporarily uncomfortable:

- Job interviews
- Gym workouts
- Saying sorry when we’ve messed up
- Taking dance lessons
- Sitting an exam
- Initiating a new friendship
- Trying out for a team
- Being a new parent
- Renovating your house
- Saying goodbyes

As parents and teachers, we don’t set out to make our children uncomfortable but we do want them to have a healthy sense that it is okay to feel that way sometimes. Enjoying life to the full always comes with a side-serve of uncomfortable moments. Part of growing up is being able to endure discomforts without getting overwhelmed and cope with things that aren’t easy. If we step in and smooth the road too often when our children face de-stabilising situations, we risk depriving our children of finding their own solutions.

I was reminded of this recently when one of our Student Chaplains shared with me this excellent article: ‘How to teach a child to reset after a bad day (without fixing their problems for them)’.

There’s good advice in there for us all: ‘It’s okay to have a bad day’. Sad days, happy days, cranky days, quiet moody days and ecstatic days are all within the range of normal human emotions. Not everything has to be fixed straight away. Just like us, children often need a listening ear to help them process their day. Sometimes they need guidance over whether the issue requires adult help, other times that listening ear is all they need to get back on their bike and pedal away down life’s path with confidence.

Happy children can manage discomfort from time to time really well. They are resilient, they find their voice when they need to, they solve problems rather than looking for someone to rescue them and they have a balanced view of real life. Because they have a healthy sense of what is normal discomfort, they also develop the maturity to know when a problem is serious and needs help. Let’s be okay with being a little uncomfortable sometimes. It’s often the first step to a new opportunity.