Strengthening your child’s ability  to deal with uncertainty is the best preparation for the real world.

Life's hard, grow up

The Mom is trying to control the future and her  child is seeks to “Live now.”  A common conflict.

Both Mom and Child are trying to control. Conflicting goals, conflicting understanding, and a common parent/child communication failure.

Conflicts create uncertainty and  spur the need to control. but are better used to encourage thought as well as to deal with what cannot be controlled.

understanding uncertainty in general

Once survival is assured,  human behavior is driven by the wish to be certain and to control. Every human being wants  a predictable world and to feel in control. The more control, the more peace of mind, but when uncertainty grows, anxiety grows.  Not feeling in control intensifies conflict and creates greater uncertainty

Here is a brute fact most want to avoid.  Personal control is limited;  the real world is not predictable. Some people win the lottery, some go bankrupt.   Disease ravages some, avoids others. Lightening strikes one person, while harmlessly missing another. Some people escape terrible accidents; others die from a simple slip and fall.  Doing all the right things does not prevent bad things from happening.

We control somethings, but not others. We don’t direct lightening strikes. Disease comes unbidden. We all age and die. These are brute facts and cause mega doses of uncertainty and pain for all.

Much of our emotional life is a quest to live at peace with the uncertainties of life and what we do not control.  Without necessarily understanding that as a life goal, we still want the same for our children.

Understanding how PEOPLE  deal with uncertainty

Jerome Kagan,  Harvard researcher  points out that there are four ways humans tend to resolve uncertainty. They are:

  1. Ignoring any source creating doubt.  Think of people not watching news or not learning the ins and outs of the internet.
  2.  Angry blaming of anyone or anything creating doubt.  Think of throwing a smart phone across the room because it makes you feel dumb. Think of prejudices particularly against religions do not believe as you do.
  3. Blaming yourself and thinking you are incompetent or stupid.  Think of the throwing the Smart phone across the room and then getting depressed for being so dumb.  Then think of feeling dumb because a seven-year old can operate your new Smart phone and you cannot. Religions foster uncertainty by the belief bad things happen as punishments of individual or group sins.
  4. Despair and giving up on large and small tasks.  Think of going back to a land line because you don’t think you can learn to use a Smart Phone.  Think of deciding peace on earth is not possible.


Tip one: Explore how you deal with uncertainty?  The more we understand ourselves and how we react to things like uncertainty, the more we can control those reactions.

Tip two: Always ask when conflict develops, what uncertainties are operating.  Who is feeling out of control and why?

Tip three: As always know your child’s temperament. Shy children and sensitive children will have more difficulty dealing with uncertainty than a bold, active child.

Tip four: Encourage “not knowing everything” as natural and a cause for thinking more or learning more. Freely admit what you don’t know. Also, state when  something cannot be known. If you don’t know something that your child asks use and can be looked up,look it up together. .

Tip five: Encourage reality based thinking.  Label fantasy, “Nice, but not real.” Label hope as “work hard, and wish for the best.”

Tip six: Admit  life is unpredictable.  Comment  off and on, that good happens, bad happens, some things go as planned, something don’t go as planned and part of being emotionally strong is learning to roll with what life gives you.

Tip seven:  Develop a Daily Emotional Fitness Program and practice it with your child. Go here some of for  EFT’s Easy Exercises.  See this Free EFTI poster for some other exercises. 

!2 Easy Emotional Fitness Poster

Tip seven: Encourage starring in life, which is something all can do if they know what really matters. Make sure your life reflects what matters and that is being  being fair, kind,  and caring for ALL you meet. Comment when you see someone caring for others; praise your child for their acts of kindness.


Thank you for all you do, enjoy and be grateful for all you have been given, practice kindness, like, share or comment.



This post relates to this  DAILY PROMPT;  Adult Visions – As a kid, you must have imagined what it was like to be an adult. Now that you’re a grownup (or becoming one), how far off was your idea of adult life?

The year,  I graduated from college I went to twenty weddings between the beginning of June and the end of August. Being grownup to my generation of women meant going to college to get your MRS, nothing more.  I was not one of the ones getting married. I married when I was 34.  My unmarried years, and the years since have all been lessons in dealing with uncertainty.  I have been lucky to grow stronger and to find my life although different than I imagined amazing.


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