Kids Need To Fail
posted by: JoAnn
I think it’s important for kids to fail.
No really. Hear me out. I’m not saying I want kids to fail all the time and never succeed, but did you know that failure and success are not mutually exclusive?
Claire has always been good at everything, right away: Academics, Ballet, Karate, Swimming, you name it. There was just a slight learning curve at some things, but for the most part, she was a rock-star from Day One.
What’s it like to not be the first?
What’s it like to be the last?
What’s it like to fail?
How will you know that the important thing is not the fall but the ability to get up?
Speaking of which, I’m not an ice skater. I’ve been told by my parents that I ice skated when I was 3 years old and loved it. I have really no solid recollection of that. I tried to take Claire ice skating in Beaver Creek in April (probably almost exactly 34 years later), but what ensued was not what I could classify as ice skating, per se. We had a great time laughing at ourselves, but Claire was itching to go and do and learn more, but I had no skills to teach her.
We’d said that when the opportunity arose for her to learn from a professional, we’d take it. So, Claire is learning to ice skate. I was offered a handy-dandy little coupon at the local Rec Center for her to try it out for the month at a discounted rate, so there you go.
Guess what! Finally, we’ve found something at which Claire is not the best, and I’m SO GLAD. No, really! She’s not the first across the ice. She’s not the most skilled.
She’s normal, and it’s eating her alive.
She’s learning one of life’s hardest lessons right now, and I couldn’t be prouder.
Soon, she’ll catch on and be zipping across the ice with the rest of them, but she’ll know what it’s like to fail. She’ll know what it’s like to not be the best at something. She’ll know what it really means to fall and how it feels to get up.