Adapting in Life

January 15th, 2014 @   -  No Comments

Life can be difficult. Some people manage to succeed and overcome the difficulties they face while others allow the difficulties to overcome them. Those who overcome their difficulties have learned to adopt a fairly flexible view of life which allows them to adapt to changing circumstances. This is by no means an easy trait to develop which is why it is important for children to learn this early in life.

Attitude and perspective

No matter how much planning and effort is invested, things happen in life that we cannot control. Inflexible People may feel that life is unfair. But part of flexibility is being grateful regardless of the circumstances and trying to see the good in a situation.

Prophet Ayub (AS) had the most striking change in circumstances and life quality. He lost everything that most human beings consider valuable: his wealth, children, and health. He was so ill that people did not want to approach him anymore due to the stench coming out of his body and for fear of infection. The only person who remained by his side was his wife. While he was laying sick in bed, he praised and remembered Allah. When passersby saw him, they were surprised with his positive attitude; they asked him, “What do you have to be thankful for?” He replied, “I still have the ability to move my tongue in remembrance of Allah”.

Failing to adapt to different circumstances isn’t beneficial since it’s not going to change them back. The first thing we must adapt is our attitude. If you are suffering but refuse to adjust your attitude, you will still suffer. The only difference is you will have a negative outlook and this will make the situation even more unbearable. Being able to adapt to something different will allow you to look at things from a new perspective and may give way to new ideas that work better with the changed circumstances. Things never stay the same, sometimes they get better and other times they get worse, this is an important lesson for children to learn in order to grow up to be strong adults.

To successfully adapt is to focus on the things that we can change and leave the things that are beyond our control. If we obsess about things that are beyond our control, it may hold us back from dealing with the things that can be changed.

Flexibility in rules

Setting rules and boundaries for children is one of a parent’s major responsibilities. It’s important for parents to keep a balance between flexibility and rigidity. Being too strict with a child in everything will lead to suffocation and may cause the child to rebel producing the opposite results of what was intended. On the other hand, being too flexible and lenient with everything can result in an out of control child who has no proper boundaries.

It’s important to question the validity of your rules and the arguments supporting them. You may find out that you have a certain rule that is random and doesn’t make sense but you enforce it anyway. Perhaps it’s because you grew up with it. You may be repeating mistakes your parents made or abandoning important practices they upheld.

Sometimes parents are lenient where they should not be. They perhaps do so out of guilt. A child asks for something and the parent gives in to the request even if it’s not in the child’s best interest. But there are things you must be firm with, such as prayer times. It is the parent’s responsibility to teach the child even if he or she doesn’t understand its significance.

Exposure

It’s important to expose children who live comfortable lives to those who do not. They can get this exposure by volunteering in shelters or visiting poor countries where they would have to rough it out for a while. This will give them a more realistic image of life. Children who grow up very sheltered in their childhood find the regular difficulties in life unbearable, and they become very fragile in the face of any hardships. That is why it is important to temper children’s expectations and equip them with a more realistic view of life so that they are better able to handle different situations and adapt to change.

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