My wife and I were working with one of the couples we coach and the conversation went into a direction that I personally understood but did not really speak about or have put a pen to paper in a long time (in this case type to a word doc). Why are we as parents scared to admit in front of our kids as well as ourselves that we (wait for it) “failed” in our marriage? The conversation happened because her child told “Sally” that she has never “failed at anything” and my first thought is perception of our former marriage.
I watch my son Connor’s hockey practice and watch kids who won’t go full out because as parents we tend to stay away from teaching our kids that it is great to fall down but learn how to get back up. The adage of your not trying unless you are falling is so true. I battled major depression as a kid and into adulthood especially during my divorce. Do you think your kids would be better at life if they were told it is good to fail? As long as we also tell them or quiz them of what they learned at the same time. When I was a hockey coach the first parents meeting I explained to the parents was that I was not there to teach your kids about hockey, I was there to teach them life lessons using hockey.
What can your past failures teach your family? As a blended family I at times feel that we have to not look at failures because I want everyone to just get along with everyday being filled with unicorns and rainbows but I know that is not life. When our kids don’t make the lead in the school play or do not make the team I again ask what can we teach them why failure is good life lesson?
Lets make a pact that we teach our kids that failure such as in our marriage that yes at first hurt but we learned something from it. Our kids are resilient but we need to be better role models and what I mean is this; Lets not be scarred to show our emotions and fears. We need to show them how we can bounce back and too learn from our mistakes. NOBODY is perfect. Embrace failure even when your kids are there with you and the same with them. Failure is not a bad word but it can be a great motivator. OK go out fail and let your kids use that “f” word and ask them tonight a simply question of “what did you fail at today?” Then tell them what you failed at. Have a great laugh because learning can be fun.