Let them stumble, let them taste failure to be Successful
As parents or caretakers, we ensure a complete boundary of protection for our kids. A little fall & we are there to pick them up. When in the garden with bunch of kids, we are there to help our child stand out in every scenario amongst other kids. If a child cries his heart out, we tend to give him what he wants or desires. We try to please our kid in every possible manner that we can. We try not to make them walk in the sun, preferring AC cars always. Little sweat & we feel our kids are in an “inebriated” conditions. We’re always in a mode to praise heavily & applaud every time kid does any activity. We always try to shield out kids from “Failures”.
Aren’t we 80% closer to what I have mentioned? Be true & answer to yourself :).
Throwback – We as children ?
Did we or our parents grew with so much over-protection around us? Didn’t we grew up in joint family & got least attention from parents? We grew up with our siblings and neighbour kids not as “highly pampered” kids but as “rough & tough kids”. We used to walk long stretches bearing the scorching sun. Did we get applauds for every activity we did? It was all “That’s Ok” & we as children didn’t even thought it as necessary.
I remember playing in mud & making lovely castles out of it. I used to fall numerous times & never saw someone coming to pick me up every time I fell. Rather it was a play of falling, getting up & starting all that once again. I never saw my parents clapping if I finished my food completely (I had to do it as a task). They didn’t prompt me to not gel with the colony child 1 or 2, yet I was a pampered child.
And the Present….
But it doesn’t seems to be so with “Parenting” today. A fall & you hear cries of child. Parents getting panicked to pamper their little bundle of joy. I’ve seen some of the parents not even allowing their children to play in the mud or with other children in the park with the reason of getting “dirty & not so healthy community”.
Is that the right approach towards Parenting? I agree that scenarios have changed a lot & so has the methodology to raise kids. We need to be protective for our kids for sure but not “Over protective”. We need to make them learn to “Fall” & “Rise” up again rather than shielding them from falling altogether. A bad experience in pool in our lives should not deter initiation of kids swimming at all. An experience gave us the learning to be cautious & not paranoid and this is to be passed.
Firmness, Courage & Elasticity towards any situation of life are built in via encountering failures & having the spunk to triumph against failures. And, this has to be built in right from now, when kids have started exploring their social surroundings. Confronting various failures (of their age) & not perishing to them is what builds “Resilience”.
Something ignited in me…
“A case prompted me to write this message, which I had in my mind for so long. Back in the US, one of my friend had an unnerving experience when her 7year old behaved tragically upon losing a competition in Skating. He used to be a winner in his sport & was untouched by failures. He just knew the pleasures of winning but that one “Lost” match took a toll over that kid. It was upto such an intensity that he kept himself locked in his room for more than 2hours all alone.
Imagine how every second would have passed for those parents? They finally had to get the door broken off to see their son’s ruined face. A match lost devastated him from within. He was filled up with so much antagonism that they had to take him for counselling. Her mother quit her job to be 24X7 with her son. What was the reason? Very simple… That kid never cried..He never failed..All his demands were met with one go..He never knew what “No” or “Failing” in life meant. Whose fault was it? It was definitely not of that child but certainly of the parents. They mistook what “Positive Parenting” means. For them seeing their baby smiling for his every desire was the best parenting”.
What do you think of this incidence? Do you, as a parent, think that there will be no heart breaks for your kid in his life? No parents, your kid however you may protect, will have heart breaks. Be it from a relationship or from a career he loves or in the sport he is set into or even from losing his loved one forever. Each one of us had those heart breaks in our lives as well. What matters is acceptance towards it and the strength to be back again with a new aim & goal to achieve. A heart break cannot put a full stop in your kids life.
Let them get into the idea of failing & succeeding, right early in the life. Helping them to overturn the obstacles is a learning that needs to be inculcated. No theory books will teach that. It is a very must “practical learning”.
Every successful entrepreneur has made his journey via these failures. A success doesn’t teach you but a failure teaches you how to be successful. The more you fall, the more you learn for bigger outcome from life.
Steps you can take to help your kid encounter failures & stand strongly making his path:
- Let your baby fall & get up himself. Don’t rush to pick & pamper them up.
- When amidst bunch of kids, don’t try to be a counsellor for your kid. Let him make his own space. He might be secluded by other kids once or twice. You might see him bruising over, but let it be. In few minutes you’ll see all this was a past
- Kids are kids. They might get some comments from their friends in school or play area. Do prompt them to share such happenings but again don’t be an attorney. Guide them & let them figure out ways to move ahead of these petty issues
- Play match with your kid, football or badminton or any sport. Usually parents are bound to lose matches for the sake of their children be happy. Don’t do that always. Your kid will never reach his true potential then. Let him struggle hard to attain a victory & then why not rejoice it together?
- Applause him for once but not Always for any task taken up. Consistent cheers will make your kid habitual of ovations. If he doesn’t receives it later in life from you or in society, he’ll slowly get demotivated & fall into depression. That’s very true moms & dads. Strike a perfect balance. Don’t make a path for him to go into depression later when his social life expands.
Create situations :
If the path goes too rosy for your kid, you’ll have to put some “not so pricky thorns”. You should create circumstances challenging for him. Let your kid compete with some seniors in competitive sports he love. Let him lose the matches. That will make him more aware of gaining extra skills & confidence to win over others. Try letting your kid earn 10% of his monthly pocket money himself. Try making your kid raise funds for some charity from your neighbours. They’ll understand the pain of dealing with “No” & will not break in future when surrounded with multiple “No”.
Believe me, every “No” will be a learning for your kid. They will understand by their own how to deal with things & turn out to be responsible risk taking adults. This will set them onto the path of what we call “successful leaders”.
Feel to have some examples to prove?
Why do I need to quote example of Einstein? Why not let me quote the example of a “Mitti man”, a normal villager from a small village near Rajkot, who couldn’t even face his in-laws due to his poor earnings & ample failures. The man who broke his start when “Earthquake” hit him. He found innovation amidst that natures fury. He went on to invent award winning, Forbes featured “Mitticool fridge”, dedicated to people who cannot afford the bigger ones.
I’am sure this one Indian rural story will be enough to make you aware of the fact that “Failures rise people”. Never let a failure fail you. Never let hardship break you. Those should be the moments to come out more firmly & fight back again. And yes, to have such powers, there needs to be an early start, an early learning.