Beautiful Mama! I have something to confess to you. A little secret about raising my kids that you may not agree with.
What I want for my kids more than anything is for them to fail.
And I want them to fail multiple times in many different situations.
Trust me, I want the best for my kids, but the best isn’t a free ticket to success. The best is figuring out how to work hard and be grateful for that success.
What Failure Teaches
Letting your kids fail can sound harsh, but failure teaches valuable life skills in real life situations.
Failure Teaches Confidence
When failure is met with a growth mindset, confidence is the outcome. People have two choices when it comes to failure.
We can sit in self pity and destroy our confidence.
We can look at what we did wrong, problem solve how we can do better, and try again. That’s what builds confidence!
When we teach our kids to meet failure with a growth mindset and an attitude of “I can do this!” nothing stands in their way of success. It may take them a million and one tries, but eventually they get it. And when they do succeed, their confidence soars.
Failure Builds Self-Esteem
What better way to think highly of your self than overcoming failure. Yes, failure can drain your self-esteem bucket. But again, we always have those two choices.
When we teach our kids to use failure as a learning opportunity and when they finally succeed, that self-esteem bucket fills quickly.
Failure Builds Leaders
What builds a strong leader?
Is it the kid who gets the highest score on the final exam? No!
Is it the kid who doesn’t have to lock themselves in their room for hours every night to study? No!
A leader is built from failure. A good leader knows how to fail and use that failure to be successful.
A good leader has been through hard times, and times where they thought they wouldn’t make it. They understand the struggles of every day life and being truly successful.
Failure Teaches How to Push Through the Hard Times
Failure is hard. It’s hard for our kids to understand that failing is a part of life. It’s hard to push past the horrible feelings of failure to learn and grow.
But if we can teach our kids to push through failure, they can push through almost any hard time that might lie ahead.
Failure Teaches Persistence
Have you failed at something?
Have you failed at the same thing multiple times?
I had, and I want my kids to as well. I want them to fail at multiplication or field hockey 10 times over.
Why? Because it teaches them to be persistent. It teaches them to keep pushing through even though it’s hard. It teaches them that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to as long as you keep at it.
Failure Teaches Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
Who said failure is easy?
If we failed that means something didn’t work right. Failure teaches kids to use their brains to solve problems. What didn’t work and how can I fix it?
Take a look at what worked, what didn’t, and any improvements each time they fail. It teaches them to think outside the box and be innovative.
Failure Teaches Empathy
Those big shot kids that never have to work hard or spend their precious time studying can become a royal pain in the butt. And I bet you can think of a few from your time as a kid.
You know the one who always bragged about their straight A’s and how they never opened the textbook.
I really don’t want my kids to be THAT kid.
So why were those kids snobby?
Simple! They never had to experience failure. They didn’t understand what it was like to get a low score on a test or not make every basket they shot in basketball.
When you don’t get to experience something, you don’t understand it, and ultimately you don’t have empathy for those who do fail.
When my kids fail, they will understand what it’s like, so when they do succeed they will understand. They will be able to empathize with the ones who failed. And if I do my job right, they will be able to help comfort those who failed and help them overcome that failure in a positive way.
Failure Teaches Uncondiational Love
My kids will know that failure is accepted in our house. They will feel confident in knowing that I will love them and support them through success and through failure.
My job is to teach them how to overcome that failure and use that failure as a learning opportunity. A way to better themselves.
I won’t push. I won’t judge. And I won’t show any disappointment because I won’t have any.
But I will encourage. I will love. And I will support.
That’s what unconditional love is all about.
Failure Teaches Gratitude
You know those snobby kids we talked about earlier. Do you think they felt grateful for that A or scoring the winning touchdown?
Most likely not! They probably think they are entitled to it.
My kids will be grateful for their successes. When we have to work hard for something we really want, we are grateful for the success. And we are grateful for the experiences we had to overcome to get to that success.
This World Needs Failure
This world needs those character traits above.
We don’t need any more students who only know how to spit back the “right” answer.
No more students who believe their is one right, very black and white, answer for everything.
What our world does need is creative thinkers.
We need people who can think outside the box.
And we need people who can come up with innovative solutions when things don’t go the way they’re suppose to go.
Letting our kids fail is the answer!
How Do I Let My Kid Fail?
Success is a long process.
We need to let our kids struggle…but be their to support them.
We need to let our kids know that asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness or lack of intelligence.
Teach your child to have a growth mindset. When they say “I can’t” repeat back “I can’t YET!” Talk about how we have to keep trying and practice to get better. Put it in their little brains that their is always only one way to go…UP!
Let them see you fail! And I don’t mean a pretend fail. Let them see you fail and fail miserably. When you fail as a parent, point it out. Apologize. Talk about how you can do better next time. When you fail at a new hobby, talk about it. Let them see that messed up that DIY project. Then work together to get better.
I want my kids to know that I will love and support them through all successes and failures. My kids will walk away knowing I am proud of them no matter what the outcome may be.
I want them to know that failure does not lead to me being disappointed. But that it does lead to an opportunity to work and grow together.
Failure is a must, and it’s my number one priority.