Everyone wants their kid to do well.
I get it.
This is probably an instinct that goes all the way back to cavemen. I can just imagine how proud the cave parents must have been when little cavekid, jr. came back from a hunt where he had captured the biggest rabbit.
Parents live for their children’s successes.
Now, instead of rabbits, it’s games. The more the better.
Travel this. Club that. All Stars. Select teams.
The farther away a team is the better it must be. Bonus points if your child plays out-of-state.
Double-bonus points if they play with older kids.
I think this is great, but we have forgotten half of the process.
Parents should also live for their child’s failures.
This may sound terrible, but it’s true.
Our children have to learn not to touch a hot stove. Sometimes they learn this lesson best immediately after they touch a hot stove.
There are lessons to be learned in striking out, making an error, fumbling, hitting a ball out-of-bounds, and losing.
Failing has gotten a bad rap.
Our society wants to take it completely out of the equation. We seem to have a need to protect our kids from the awful feeling of finishing second.
We might do this because we no longer have to protect our children from wild animals or any of the other unspeakable dangers cave people experienced.
We seem to believe if our kids always succeed, they will always succeed.
The truth is, if we want our children to be successful, they have to know how to fail and how to respond to failure.
Everyone is going to get knocked down sooner or later. My fear is too many of today’s kids won’t know how to get up.
I continually see parents who are willing to do anything to make sure their child doesn’t fail.
They will spend any amount of money. Put them on any team. Drive them any distance.
Yell at any adult who doesn’t put their child on a pedestal and give them a trophy.
Make untold sacrifices just so their son or daughter can experience success.
And the truth is the best way for them to experience this elusive feeling of success is not more, it’s less.
Let them fail. They will live.
Now, they won’t thank us for this. In fact, as parents we may have to be the bad guy.
At least for awhile.
But one day, they will be happy their parents let them fail.
Just not today.