Life has many lessons for our children. One lesson we must teach them is that it is okay to fail. It will happen. So don’t wait for it to happen to get them ready. Teach them now, so they can stay ready.
As a mother of four, lessons for children are a large part of my daily existence. Through my writing, my children will have a written record to share with their spouses and therapists to show why and how they turned out as they did. Some of those lessons are lessons that are good for adults as well. Recently in this magazine space, we have talked about several lessons for children and adults. These articles include the following:
These are not lessons I created myself. They are lessons I learned along the way and am now sharing with my children. As parents, we all want our children to strive for greatness. Greatness is fluid which means it varies from person to person. Along the way to greatness, failure is a frequent visitor. It is important that while teaching our children to aim for the stars that we tell them that sometimes they will miss. When our children fail to reach a goal or achieve a level of success, it is natural for them to feel disappointed, scared, or ill at ease. As parents, it is our job to teach our children that after failure, life continues.
As with all things, when teaching children that life goes on after failure, be sure to speak at their level. When my twins were in kindergarten could spell a word correctly. I told them, “It is ok you messed up. Everybody messes up sometimes. Remember when I made that dinner that was really nasty and we had to order pizza? Did I stop cooking? No, I made dinner again the next day and remember that chicken was really good?” Five-year-olds can understand this idea easily. Unfortunately, they also remember that nasty dinner!
In conclusion, if we teach our children it is ok to fail. They need to know that even parents fail sometimes and keep going. If we do that, failure will be seen as a step along the way, instead of the end of the road. So the question for you this serene day is how do you teach your children to deal with failure?