The day we decided children couldn’t be allowed to fail is the day we determined they would not learn how to succeed. It is a natural inclination for all parents to want to protect their children. We hate to see them experience hurt, heartache and disappointment. Protection is part of our job, but when we insulate them from all setbacks we are shortchanging them in life. We are giving them less than our best.
Inventor Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” The holder of 1,093 patents Edison brought us the light bulb, the phonograph, the nickel-iron battery and the motion camera. His story tells us he failed countless times before he finally achieved success on every one of the patents he held.
The batting stats on Babe Ruth are legendary. He held long time records with 714 career home runs yet in the same illustrious career he struck out 1330 times. At the end of his baseball career Mickey Mantle made this observation, "During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1700 times and walked maybe 1800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball."
There is life reality that these men understood which led to their position in the annals of history. It's what every child should learn as well.
1. Failure creates tenacity, determination to try again.
2. Failure builds fearlessness, courage to face challenges.
3. Failure develops character, face a problem to find the solution.
4. Failure produces success, learning what doesn’t work leads to what does.
Take heart the next time your emotions rage as you see your child challenged by failure. Before the instinct to jump in takes hold, remember these men that used their very setbacks to succeed.
Step back, challenge, encourage, and tell that child of yours to try again. If you do there is a good chance you will be training a tenacious, fearless person of character that will succeed. Not just in the challenge at hand, but in all of life.
Darlene Brock, the author of Help Wanted: Moms Raising Daughters (OakTara/The Grit and Grace Project, 2011) is a motivated self-starter who, while raising her two daughters, found time to produce award-winning music videos, manage recording artists, promote concerts throughout the US, and serve as the Chief Operating Officer of ForeFront Records. Yet, when reviewing her varied accomplishments and successful career, she proclaims her most important and fulfilling job is Mom. For more, go to The Grit and Grace Project, OakTara and www.facebook.com/DarleneBrockAuthor.