It’s painful for parents to watch their child’s growing-up process because that almost always includes watching their child’s failure. One of the hardest parts of being a sports mom was watching my kids experience failure at something they’d worked so hard to achieve. And now that they are adults, it’s still hard to see them struggle.
When parents think about failure, they tend to think of it in a negative way. They see that failure is painful and causes emotional turmoil. But a wise coach once told me that You Fail Your Way to Success. As encouraging as those words are meant to be, the fact remains that none of us like failure. But there’s actually a lot to be gained for not having immediate success. Here’s why your children will find that failure is the key to success:
Failure Breeds Creativity
Nothing motivates someone to be creative like failure. Without it, people would settle for the first thing they try or do. Failure forces you to try new things, and to dig deep for answers.
Failure will push your child to try new ways to work on their skills and new mental shifts to take to their endeavors. Failure will move your child from status quo to excellence because they will be looking for new ways to improve.
When one fails and keeps trying, they gain experience. When your child goes through something and can walk away with firsthand experience, it helps them to develop a deeper understanding for life.
If your child succeeded the first time at everything they undertook, they would miss out on the experience that comes with falling and getting back up again, over and over.
Failure will show your child their shortcomings and hopefully motivate them to correct the errors. Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players ever, failed to make his high school basketball team. When asked it, He explains: I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
Failure Fosters Courage
Many people are afraid to face risk, because they don’t want to fail. They’d prefer to not rock the boat.
When experiencing failure, it’s very easy to just give up. Your child may wonder,“What’s the use? I’ll never make the team (or the starting lineup, or get that position).”
It will take courage for your child to keep trying and a compassionate listening ear from Mom or Dad. Take J.K Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. Rowling received tons of rejection letters over a five-year span before finding a publisher for one of the most successful book (and movie) series ever.
Look into the future for a minute. One future shows an adult who avoided failure as much as possible while growing up. They only did things that were easy and where they were assured success right away. They quit something when it got too hard. What do you imagine that adult would be like?
The other future shows an adult who had to fight for their playing time, their starting spot or for good grades. They achieved success only because they had to fight for it and earn it. What do you imagine they are like as an adult?
I don’t know about you, but I’d choose future #2. And in fact, I believe that’s the future I’m looking at right now as I see my three grown kids face challenges in life. All three played sports through college and here’s an example of what they’ve faced and fought through as adults:
My oldest struggled through 4 years of infertility with her husband and never gave up hoping and trying. Today they have a beautiful 9 month old baby.
My middle son faced several job rejections, but he persisted until he found just the right one that fits him perfectly.
My youngest daughter has struggled with feeling settled and finding a solid friend group in her city, but she did not give up and today is reaping the friend benefits.
LIFE IS HARD. Things do not come easy when we are adults and your kids need to learn that lesson as they grow up.
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.— J.K. Rowling
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