Last month we spent a lot of time talking about family because it was our theme. It’s an important and challenging theme for our lives, one that many of us struggle with throughout our lives, whether we’re close literally or physically or not. They’ve seen us on our best and worst days, and always bring up these really fantastic memories. Today I wanted to bring up a painful topic: failure and what happens when your kid isn’t all you expected them to be.
It’s not easy as a parent to see them sick or see them fail, so our job is to do the best we can to help them be strong enough to survive when we can’t be with them. We need to teach them manners, what qualifies as good food, how to react to celebrities, how to survive in a professional environment, what it means to be street savvy, how to read people, a love for learning and an overall passion and respect for life.
When they fail, and yes they will fail at some time in some way, you will yell at them and get frustrated. It’s OK, it’s necessary and they expect it, so just get it out of the way. But then move on to helping them heal and make better choices the next time. Don’t keep berating them or guilting them for failing you or making you look bad. While that may have been their intention, that’s not what you should focus on. Instead focus on them and helping them do and be better.
Finally, make it OK to celebrate when they do better the next time. I’m not just talking about physical/tangible rewards, but praise and words that let them feel your pride in who they are becoming. I don’t believe there is any value in bringing up the bad unless they aren’t doing a better job or becoming a better person. Moving forward will make them better people, and you too.
“…not everything has to turn out exactly the way you planned in order for you to call it a success.” Neale Donald Walsch