My youngest daughter got sent home from school sick on Tuesday. She stayed home again yesterday, but I had work that needed to be done. So, through the wonders of Netflix, I introduced my daughter to one of my favorite TV shows, MacGyver.
MacGyver was my favorite TV show when I was in junior high and high school. Besides having a cute lead actor, I loved how MacGyver could save the day with a stick of bubble gum and a Swiss army knife. Need to disarm a bomb? All you need is a safety pin. Need to stop a leak of sulfuric acid? Use a chocolate bar. MacGyver was a master at using what he had to save the day. Plus, he only used one name, thus upping his coolness factor.
As I watched this show with my daughter, I was reminded that sometimes life doesn't go as planned. While my kids don't often need to save the world from imminent disaster, they do often need to salvage a day gone wrong. They need to learn how to salvage what they can from a bad experience and move on.
My oldest isn't really happy with school right now. She's had a few issues with her teacher, and some of the girls haven't been very nice lately. She asked me yesterday how many days were left in the school year. A couple of bad days this week have her thinking the entire rest of the year is going to be like this.
We need to teach our kids how to perform a MacGyver-like rescue when things go wrong. It requires redirecting their perspective and using what they have to make the best of a tough situation. You see, God didn't promise us that we wouldn't have trouble in our lives. As a matter of fact, Jesus said "In this world you will have trouble" (John 16:33). But the rest of that verse reminds us of one important fact: "But take heart! I have overcome the world."
When your kids have trouble, help them do their best MacGyver impersonation and follow these steps:
We're using these steps with my daughter to salvage the rest of her school year. We've assessed the situation and realized she can't get away from her teacher or the mean girls in her class. We've started praying about the situation every night, asking God to change it and to help her get through the day. We've helped her to realize that her key tool in this battle is her attitude. If she goes into the day thinking it's going to be terrible, it probably will be, but if she chooses joy in the morning, then it will probably be a better day. Last, we're helping her to realize that she can choose to walk away from the mean girls and she can choose to offer her teacher respect, even if my daughter doesn't feel she deserves it.
Rough days and weeks can be tough for our kids, but with some help from us and God, they can save the day -- MacGyver-style.
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