Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. Romans 8:18
Suffering and pain are never fun, but when it comes to your kids, sometimes the pain is self-inflicted, is it not? Allow me to explain.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, No Pain, No Gain.
I’ve heard it used a lot by coaches and trainers. But perhaps we’ve oversimplified its meaning.
While it’s true that there is no advancement in life without hard work and pain, it’s also true that not all pain is good. It’s important to know the difference between stupid pain and necessary pain.
Stupid pain is when you do something that you know is not too smart and the result is pain. Kids (and some adults) do this all the time to prove something, either to themselves or to people watching. They know it’s a stupid thing to do–or maybe they don’t because they didn’t stop to think about it–but they do it anyway. The result: a whole spectrum of physical and emotional pain.
Then there is necessary pain. Like lifting weights to get strong, studying hard to pass a test, this pain is needed if one is to improve and see results. Sometimes the pain is emotional, not just physical. It’s painful to apologize to a coach for disrespecting her, or to listen to a teacher’s critique of your mistakes on a project.
In a world that does its best to avoid pain and looks for shortcuts to happiness, it’s easy to categorize any pain as stupid, but that’s not true. It’s also not true that pain should be sought after and glorified for the mere fact that is IS pain.
Let’s be smart with our pain. Let’s teach our kids to know the difference between stupid and necessary pain. Knowing that distinction will help their reach their goals.
*Thanks, Peter Haas and Broken Escalators for your insight!