Have kids, need humor. Lots of it.
Especially when your kids come weeping with nose running because they lost a board game. I can’t stop smiling at how cute they look. Maya and I exchange smiles over the top of their heads, even as we try to be serious about their great loss.
God forbid if they catch you smiling. The sky falls!
We hug and shush them. Even as we wipe tears we keep repeating over and over again that it’s okay. This is important. Failure is a stepping stone to success. Even if it’s not a stepping stone to success in what you failed, it teaches kids to fail and get up.
Three things to learn from failure:
1. Not everyone can come first at the finishing line
There’s a reason there are just three spots on the podium. They are better than the rest. They might have had a better day, had better training or just might be plain vanilla more talented. Yes, fact of life – others might be better than us, better than our children. This does not change the fact that you love your kids to bits or that they are wonderful human beings.
2. Not everyone can do the same thing equally well
Our five fingers are not equal. Each has a different function and they are designed to do somethings better than the other fingers. Together the hand can do so much more. Similarly our kids are good at different things. The world requires a variety of talent, and it’s our job to support our kids while they find theirs. Perseverance is key, and even if our kids fail at things, it’s our job to help them get up and brush off their knees. Sometimes we just need the kids to pause and take a look at what they are doing. A small tweak in their approach might give them the fillip they need.
3. Living a happy life is a sum total of failures and successes
Making money and living the high life is not a happy life. Happiness is ephemeral. It’s what brings joy. The joy at landing a good job is as much a joy as sitting and watching playful kittens. We must help our kids understand that life has many facets. We might shine is some and be dull in others. Our lives will include success and failure. The important of such things is to learn to move on. Carrying the burden of failure is hard and pointless.
So whether the kids are playing online games or running a race, emphasize that it’s okay to fail. But remember, they must not interpret this as an easy pass to not put in the effort. They need to find what they like. Team up, play, learn, teach and live a full life. Family bonds must be strengthened for this creates safety nets for kids. It’s complicated to teach kids balance. But then did anyone ever say parenting was easy?