One of our most instinctive urges, as parents, is to protect our little ones from any harm that comes their way, but if you want them to succeed, you gotta let them fail.
We shouldn’t teach our children to fear failure, rather, we should encourage them to embrace it. By removing the uncomfortable experiences, obstacles and mistakes from their path, so too are we blocking out some of life’s greatest lessons, found in those setbacks and errors.
Thinking back to my own childhood, some of the most important lessons I ever learned were the ones in which I was able to fail and pick myself up, unaided. I’m trying to do the same with Harry, and I can see it working for him, too. Mistakes teach you to be resourceful and resilient, to persist in the face of adversity. They teach you not to give up at the first hurdle, and remind you that life isn’t always plain sailing. My greatest wish for Harry is always have the courage to try new things out of his comfort zone, to explore, question and stay curious. I’m so proud of the warm, intelligent and determined young adult he’s becoming, and I’m proud of the lessons he’s learning in his failures.
Modern parenting has been shaped by fear and risk; there’s always something new to be wary of, a faceless danger that lurks around the corner. We protect, love and nurture our children from it all, often until they’re adults, but when will they learn to nurture themselves? The answer is simple; now. By giving them the freedom and autonomy to fail, the sooner they’ll benefit from the lessons of failure.
No two paths in this life are the same, and I’m a firm believer that one of the greatest gifts we can give our children, is to let them find theirs and explore it, happily.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, do share them below.