My sister Janelle, who was featured on the BBC World's Strictest Parents, spoke with me recently about her one regret about the show. If you have seen the show, you will remember we took our British guests to a homeschool youth event. Janelle was in charge of creating an event which would push the youth, physically, and emotionally. It was a team race with many different challenges. During the event, the youth were required to get their whole team over a 6 foot high wire loaded with bells, have each person eat a jar of baby food beans, fill a tube with water that was loaded with holes, feed each other blind folded, and get their whole team completely off the ground for 30 seconds using a rope and three poles.
The youth were inspiring to watch. James had a hard time with the course because the challenges were very emotionally strenuous. The program showed some of this. Hannah was very different to watch though.
Janelle wanted me to be sure to tell everyone that Hannah did the whole race. Even though just days before she wouldn't even pull a weed, she saw the challenge on the day of the youth event and decided to accept it. She ate the whole thing of baby food, which was really hard to stomach, and got all wet filling the water tube. She even did all the climbing and racing. It was really inspiring to see Hannah, who had never done anything like this embrace it and grow from the physically and emotionally stretching challenge.
I am so glad Janelle reminded me of this experience. It was amazing to see! I really believe that you can't find greatness unless you step out of your comfort zone. This same principle applies to families. If you really want greatness at home, then you have to step out of your parenting and emotional comfort zone and communicate differently. Changing ways of communication can be hard, but if you are changing in a healthy direction, the initial discomfort is definitely worth it.