Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. Denis Waitley
When my kids were little, I was the helicopter mom. Hovering. Rescuing. Protecting from failure.I felt responsible for all of their shortcomings and in some cases I tried to run interference for them. Why did I do that? The greatest lessons I personally learned in life were from my failures. Looking back, I see the importance of letting go and letting them fail.
Children learn some of life's most important lessons from failure.
- Failure teaches problem solving. Children who are consistently rescued by their parents never learn to deal with their problems. They tend to jump from school to school, from job to job, because they only know how to run away. Parents, it is okay to occasionally rescue a child from a forgot instrument or assignment, but if you do it every time you are not setting them up for success. Teach them to use tools like planners, to do lists, and post it notes to help them with school responsibilities. Most importantly, teach them to seek the Lord for wisdom for problems.
The believer that is living in today’s age can expect problems and troubles and difficulties to be part of his life. 2 Corinthians 4:8
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
- Failure teaches perseverance. Perseverance is defined as persistence in doing something despite difficulty. Henry Ford failed multiple times before successfully launching Ford Motor Company. Because he didn't quit, he eventually revolutionized the automobile industry.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
- Failure gives perspective. Failure helps us see others and ourselves differently. There is a connection and encouragement that happens when children understand everyone strikes out. No one hits a home run every time. When parents allow children to fail, they will understand what failure feels like and will be more apt to authentically connect with others who experience failure. God uses authentic empathetic relationship to help us grow closer to each other and to Him.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Truthfully, I struggled to let my children make mistakes, but God is faithful. He helped me, and my children use failure as an opportunity to grow.