Parents want their children to be successful in whichever endeavour they choose to pursue. Like most people, parents have a general idea of what success looks like, and they usually attach it to images of wealth, happiness, and contentment.
What most people do not know—parents included—is that one special ingredient is necessary to be successful: failure, and lots and lots of it.
Unfortunately, many parents are reluctant to associate the word failure with their children.
In Craig and Marc Kielburger Huffington Post story, they encourage parents to let their children fail.
They argue: “Learning from failure helps build not only self-esteem, but self-compassion, a kind of internal emotional maintenance that involves separating your identity from the blunder.
“You are not your mistake.
“If we never taste failure, we don’t experience that evolution—from anger or disappointment to healing, knowledge and growth—understanding that the whole person has not been compromised. The bug in your software doesn’t define you; it can actually make you stronger.”
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It’s understandable that well-meaning mothers and fathers want to prevent their children from the heartbreak and sadness of life, but if children grow up having a safety net about them, they are being deprived of learning important life lessons.
“As they grow up, bubble-wrapped kids will encounter homelessness, unemployment and people living with mental illness,” the authors say. “But when you’ve always had a safety net, it’s hard to understand why others hit the ground after a fall. The assumption that everyone has a rescue team in place is an easy fallacy.”
As a result, children that are most protected from failure lose so much opportunity for personal growth.
“It’s crucial that children gain the confidence to take healthy risks and aggressively pursue goals, all lessons lost with failure avoidance.
“It seems to us that learning to cope with failure also teaches kids how to forgive themselves, which in turn helps them learn forgiveness and compassion for others.”
It is a fact that California tech hub Silicon Valley have the most successful entities in the world, housing billionaires and tech entrepreneurs and successful men in general.
If you were to walk into one of their offices, Facebook, say, there you will find many posters advocating one thing.
“Fail Fast,” one poster said. While other posters encourage failing “often” and failing “early.”
Failure is the place from which we learn and grow and become better, so the next time your child stumbles, whether academically or otherwise, focus not on their failure but the many life lessons they can learn from the experience.
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them with us!