As a father who likes to fix what’s broken or to help my kids feel better, I’m pretty quick to be uncomfortable when my kids aren’t feeling okay. Maybe they are frustrated, maybe they are melting down, or maybe they are mad at a friend, I’m always quick to say that it will be okay and brush their feelings aside.
Right after this picture a classmate of my son’s decided to start helping add onto the walls. My son didn’t want others helping, and he quickly claimed the structure as “mine,” while his classmate ignored the request, wanting to participate. Things escalated and then ended with my son taking down the entire build and storming away.
My reaction involved some now nows and some it’s okays and some don’t let him bother you comments. Which, there is great importance about not letting others bother us, but really, what is wrong with my son getting upset with someone else.
If a child’s personality doesn’t exactly match mine or maybe in some cases it mirrors mine a little too much and irritates me, maybe I’m the one that should let it be.
World Mental Health Day was celebrated this month, Oct. 10th to be exact, and I heard something that has stuck with me since that day:
It’s okay to not feel okay.
There’s nothing wrong with about feeling sad or getting irritated quickly or being scared of innocent things. If there is one thing that I’d want my older kids to hear when they get older is this; that it’s okay to not feel okay, especially once they hit the volatile teenage years.
Feelings are feelings. They’ve been given to us for protection and to make us aware of what is going on around us, but they don’t need to guide our lives.
There’s Proverb 28:26 that says, “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” (ESV)
I don’t know about you, but my mind can easily fill with fear and lies and unconstructive thoughts. This to me says don’t listen to them. Listen to the wise who have walked before us. I believe as parents, we can help our kids fill their mind with truth, comfort and constructive thoughts. In fact, it is our duty as fathers to do this.
With which group of thoughts would you rather have fill your child’s head?