How often do you fail? If you are anything like me it is a lot. I forget to do certain tasks for my job, or I fail to read my bible daily and study scripture. Sometimes I just don’t do what my wife asks of me. In one way or another we fail and fall almost every day because we are human. We are imperfect beings created by a perfect creator who wants to see us learn and get better and be closer to him.
Failure is not an option. It isn’t a terrible thing that only happens to certain people. It is a fact a brutal and sobering truth that we all will face and go through again and again. Does that scare you or seem depressing? It shouldn’t. Failure is the most useful tool we have to learn. Failure is okay and the quicker we face that and accept it the quicker we can become better.
This is why we love summer camp. Failure happens here in a way that guides children back to the truth and to aspiring to be greater. We will not “pad the room” for your kids. They are expected to perform at a level that is great for them. If they fall short we let them fall. We will not tote their weight making them think they are better than they are. They will slip and fall off the climbing wall many times, they will miss the bullseye more than they will hit it, they will watch the flame of their fire die out while others blaze in outdoor living. All learning opportunities.
While your child may fall and fail here the one difference there is here is we won’t leave them there. They will fall to our encouraging voices. They will hear the “That is okay I fell there too my first time. Next time try this.” They need that from someone other than a parent. They need it from someone they truly think is cool. Let’s face it parents, that isn’t you in their minds.
If you aren’t allowing them to fail and go through hard things, how are they ever going to do it as an adult. Where will they learn the skills it takes to push through that heart break, hard college assignment, or that mean boss? It you are the helicopter hovering over them how can they fly with you in the way? If you are bulldozing in front of them pushing things out of the way how can they every pass you and become self sufficient?
No one wants to be the helicopter parent or the bulldozer. Well some of you do and you know who you are. Let your child fail at something. Let them forget an assignment and when it is their fault let them know it is their fault. When is the last time you let your child fail at something and helped them process through it? We will fail we can’t ignore it but the more we do in a safe environment the closer we come to not failing. The don’t make those same mistakes. We gain wisdom and use it to better ourselves and our lives.