It’s one of the most common questions I get from parents who are trying to teach their kids Stoic principles: how do I teach my child to deal with frustrations and difficulties? I think this one question goes to the heart of what we do as parents. Dealing with frustrations and difficulties is a part of every life. It’s something our kids must do every day. So if we can help them develop the skills to successfully face down challenges—and the negative emotions that often accompany challenges—we will be setting them on course for a more eudaimonic life.
Fortunately, Stoicism is all about confronting challenges. Stoic philosophers provide us with many weapons for dealing with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. For now, I’d like to focus on just one particular psychological weapon that I’ve found useful for myself and my kids. I call it Apply the Antidote.