...something many parents avoid. They don’t want to see their kids fail, they don’t want to fail themselves as parents. What if avoiding failure is what is keeping you and your kids from enjoying life and experiencing success?
Today's episode of Be You Parenting, we ventured into the world of failure and success.
Here are some thoughts to consider:
What is failure? Even when the word-FAILURE- comes up, what are you aware of for you? Does it bring up past experiences that left you feeling small, embarrassed, even shamed? Does it mean that you are less than anyone else? That you don't measure up?
From these failings, did you take on beliefs about yourself that have kept you in constant check, and fear of failing. Has this led to a fear of success?
How does a parent's own reaction to failure affect their child?
Looking back on my parenting experience, I know that my own encounters with failure, as a child, shaped my belief about my ability to succeed as well as the shame and embarrassment that I felt at the time. I learned that failure should be avoided at all costs, even at the cost of being or feeling successful. As my children ventured into the world of experience, I didn't have much in the way of alternative methods of dealing with failure, so naturally, I did what my parents did to help my children avoid failing; I tried to motivate them by making them feel less than- "You should have known better. What were you thinking? I expected better from you." Ouch! Not very empowering.
Then came the day that I faced failure head on. The day my son took his life and I fell to my knees seeped in failure as a parent. What I didn't know then, was that the journey through that experience would give me a new perspective on failure. I find value in being grateful for my mistakes and I acknowledge that I can choose to become more aware in the face of failure, which opens me up to greater possibilities. I know now that taking on the choices that my kids make as my own, dis-empowers them from learning from their own mistakes.
Now I am equipped for myself and my kids and grand kids to see each failure as a way of moving forward. When I stop and ask questions about the missed attempt, I can learn what else is possible beyond making myself wrong and I can acknowledge that I have other choices based on what I now know that I wouldn't have known if I hadn't "failed".
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”~Thomas Edison
I can now empower kids to see failing as the way of being more of who they be, to feel confident and empowered. Being curious as what can be learned from each attempt, successful or not and applying that going forward is truly a gift. It creates more awareness and access to what we do know that we just aren't always willing to acknowledge.
To discover where your child is at with failing, you can do a couple of things.
First, observe how your child deals with making mistakes or not hitting the mark? Do they become withdrawn, upset, frustrated, embarrassed, small and even shameful? You know this if you have ever seen a dog who has done something wrong and is caught by its owner. Their head droops, their tail tucks in, eye contact is uncomfortable, you even sense the shame that the dog feels. Some children are much more sensitive than others and take on failure as a true belief that they are wrong and not worthy.
The other way to find out what you child thinks about failure and success is to ask them. What is failure to you? What is success? You might even ask them, "If you knew you couldn't fail, what would you attempt to do?
As you listen to the replay of Willing to Fail, you will receive ideas and tools of how to be with your child to empower them to remove those old beliefs so that they can be more confident, knowing that with each mistake, they are learning more of what they need to know going forward. You will also receive some clearing of your own beliefs around failing. You can listen to the replay here.
Enjoy the replay of Willing to Fail on the Be You Parenting Radio Show below.
Mary shares her desire to create different possibilities for families and individuals who are looking to live a more conscious and aware lifestyle. BE YOU Parenting is for parents who want to BE all that they truly BE and to allow their kids the same privilege.