Failure. This word has such powerful emotions connected to it. Despair, depression, worthlessness. This word can take us down a hole that is hard to climb out of. In every walk of life and every aspect, we get handed this word in the palm of our hands and are asked to survive. When we are five and we notice a peer receives a stamp for good behavior, we say hello to failure for the first time. When we are chosen second to last in a game of tag, failure is waiting for you when you cry in one of the bathroom stalls. When we get turned down from our first college or told we don’t meet the expectations of the company, failure says, so we meet again.
We all know the horrible emotions and the overwhelming feeling this word gives us. We would not wish it upon our worst enemy.
Especially our children.
As parents, we want the best for our children. We envision a life of laughter with their siblings or standing on the podium with a medal around their neck. We dream about the moments of success they will have. And we feel the enormous responsibility of making these dreams come true. Feelings of Failure is the last emotion we would ever dream about our children having.
But maybe we should.
I believe memories can be very deceiving. It is so easy to remember our own negative feelings and forget to focus on the outcome of that emotion.
What was the result of my peer receiving a stamp for good behavior? I received a stamp one month later for working hard at listening. To this day I believe it is one of my best traits.
What was the result of getting chosen last in a game of tag?
I found another game to play and made new friends that liked me. One that I still talk to this day.
What was the result of being turned down by my first job? I found a better one, where I met my husband.
Wouldn’t we be happy with these outcomes for our children?
Now let's ask ourselves, what would life be like without any failures? What kind of person would our children turn out to be?
It wouldn’t be pretty, would it?
So why are we trying to shield our children from failure?
Sometimes I think we need to sit back and envision our children laughing with their siblings after a hard day at practice. Or them standing on a podium with a medal over their neck after they came back from a devastating injury.
Envision the failures when you dream about life for your children. Then you won't be so afraid of them. Failure is a part of life. There is no way around it. Encourage failure, embrace failure, and your children will fail successfully.