Updated: Feb 23, 2021
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” —Henry Ford
Everyone tells me it’s important for your kids to fail.
Yet I hate watching it. My tendency is to jump in, make a strategy, fix, encourage, prop up and initiate Success 101 strategies. But I know that isn’t what is needed.
My son bombed his first community college essay paper. I can tell by the look in his eyes that he is devastated. Usually I would do all the things that overbearing, micro-managery moms would do. We can fix this. Or truly, I can fix this. But this is not about I.
But instead I surprise myself by letting him sit in it. I leave the room and tell him that he probably needs to think things through. I don’t freak out. I don’t tell him that he most likely will have to take a gap year. That he will never get into any colleges if he can’t even pass community college.
Instead, I softly say a few words and then I let him figure it out. I say a silent prayer to Jesus that he does. I know this too is part of preparing him for launching. I realize that in college he will have a million tiny failures like this and he needs to know how to handle them.
I wait and I love, but I don’t fix. I don’t solve. Because he needs to know he can.