Learning from Failures at Home

 "Your home should be a place where your children can fail and learn from their failures."

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?


christinaea said...

This was really really good, thanks for sharing :)

Stephanie said...

God works in such awesome ways! I have really been thinking about this, and Justin and I have been discussing how to react to mistakes and failures.
I think we need to both read this book, and I am going to look for it online after I post this.
The quote hit the proverbial nail on the head.
When I fail I beat myself up. I hold it with me and I remind myself of it constantly. That is soemthing that I have been able to control lately, but that is because I was able to recognize that I did that because it is what I saw my parents do with their failures.
It dawned on me that if I want to raise Zaphyn to not get so down on herself with each little mistake or mess-up, we need to lead by example.
The other two points that you have made never came to mind in direct relation to this matter.
I'll be sure to post on my experience with the book.

Corinne said...

I think that quote is wonderful. I think as long as you create a home where your child knows they will always be loved, and that failure is a part of life, as are the shining moments, you're on the right track.

Empty Nest Full Life said...

Great post! and I am headed in your way in a little while. Blaine has an art show at the Morris this afternoon, and honors night tomorrow. Hope I will be seeing you this weekend. Jackie

Anonymous said...

I love this post - your whole blog actually.

I'm not a mother myself, but am an aunt. I sometimes feel that the way my siblings and I were raised and the way we now see things is "old fashioned" but it's good to see that there are others out there still with the same values!

This blog proves that being a stay at home mother is not or does not have to be boring, sedentary, or whatever else people come up with. I really do like reading about how you research things to do with your children, how to raise them, you do projects with them (cooking!), you do "school" for them. And in their pictures we can see just how cute and happy they are.

Sorry for getting a little long here, but I have really admired your posts lately and couldn't go another day without telling you.


Jessica said...

I couldn't agree more. If children grow up putting their parents and other people they see on impossibly high pedestals, that creates conflict within themselves when they can never measure up to what they perceive to be reality in other people. They need to know that they can fail and still be good people....that there is dignity in HOW we fail.

Claire said...

I think the quote, and this post, are both brilliant. Thank you for sharing!


Trisha said...

Yes, those failures...what better opportunities to show our the power and beauty of the Gospel. And, I love how my children are such encourageing examples of loving and forgiving in spite of each other's failures.

Emily@remodelingthislife said...

Love this post and think you are spot on. It's so hard to know but I sure don't think taeching those things will hurt.

Southern Fried Gal said...

Great insight! I agree with your points. I didn't fully realize my issue with pride until I became a mother. It's hard to humble ourselves and let our children see when we are wrong but I believe it is important. I also try to show examples of grace and mercy when dealing with my son so he can have a picture of these concepts. Thanks for sharing your heart! Have a blessed weekend!

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