"Your home should be a place where your children can fail and learn from their failures."
-from Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Dr. Kevin Leman
I am reading through Dr. Leman's book right now and am really enjoying it. I read the above quote a couple of days ago and have had it on my mind ever since.
I have been thinking about what it means as a parent for my home to be a place where my children can fail and have so far come up with three things that I think are important in order for my home to be a place where the children can fail and learn from their failures.
1. My children need to see when I fail. Human beings are flawed, sinful beings. I make mistakes, fail to accomplish things, fail to have the right attitude. I certainly don't think parents need to tell their children all the ways they fail all the time but I also don't think parents should put on a persona of having it all right all the time either. My children need to know that I fail so that they can know it's ok that they fail too. They also need to see me exemplify how I learn from my failures so that they, too, can use their failures as a means to grow.
2. My children need to know what failure is. In order for a child to know he has failed he needs to know what is expected. There needs to be a standard. An absolute. And if it's not met - if they fail - the standard cannot be lowered to spare their feelings of failure. (Obviously if you set the standards unrealistically high then you would lower them, but that, I believe, is a different matter.)
I don't think any parent wants to see their child not do well at something, let alone have the child feel like they didn't do well at something, but if the standards we set out for our children continually get lowered because we don't want them to fail they will never learn from their failures. They will never get better.
3. My children need to know that they are loved when they fail. My love for my children is not based on their performance. I want them to do well. I want them to grow and to learn. But when they fail at something my love for them does not change. I do not expect them to fail, but I know that they will.
What do you think of the quote?
And what are your thoughts on creating a home where children can fail and learn from their failures?