Let Kids Fail (Some of the time)
by Susie E. Caron © 9/7/15
As the kids start back to school, this may seem a strange topic. However, I hope you’ll read this and tell me what you think about letting your kids ‘fail,’ at least some of the time.
As good parents, the last thing we want is for our kids to ‘fail,’ at anything and anytime.
That’s one of the reasons most parents today have become like ‘hovering, protecting, helping, success coaches.’ Another reason parents hover, etc. is that today’s life is extremely fast paced and demanding of our time and energies. We figure that we have to help our kids or they won’t stand a chance. Our kids are also have to handle more than ever thought possible and they seem to ‘expect’ us to help. As parents we tend to step in every time we think they could ‘falter.’ We don’t want them to fail. We want them to succeed.
What if there are some good reasons that kids NEED to fail, at least sometimes?
While it is important that kids have success, there are some really good reasons to let them fail, at least some of the time. For example, if little Jimmy forgets his homework frequently, a parent might NOT drive it to school just in the nick of time. If Sally doesn’t get the part in her school play, Mommy might NOT go talk to her friend, the director, to make sure Sally gets the part after all. If Chad doesn’t get to play in his little league game, Daddy might NOT scold him for not getting to play.
The problem with helping too much is that our kids don’t get a chance to grow from their mistakes. They actually can learn more through their struggles and failures, than in their easy successes. Failures from time to time also create opportunities for kids to take responsibility for their words, decisions and actions. Kids whose parents hover and assure their ‘successes’ soon find that their kids do not grow ‘responsibility muscles.’ Instead they continue into adulthood expecting their parents to ‘handle’ many things in their lives. When parents don’t step in, adult children simply blame their parents for whatever misfortune they find themselves in. I know you don’t want that.
Kids whose parents help them to learn through their failures grow up more responsible, and know how to look for new understanding, opportunity, and direction throughout their lives. It’s important for parents to value and applaud their children’s successes, plus help kids learn valuable life lessons and responsibility through their struggles and even their failures.
I hope you and your kids turn every difficulty and ‘failure’ into an opportunity for new learning and growth.
Thank you for reading my blog. Tell me what you think about this topic or what you do to help your kids through their struggles.
Twee’ Means You and Me
Working Together to Raise Great Kids
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!