Growing a Generation Who Doesn’t know How to Fail

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Andy Braner, wrote an article on HuffingtonPost and the key things he raised are how parents today are raising children who are becoming adults who do not know how to fail. This issue is not only an American problem it is happening to parents all over the world because I read this and felt I saw issues that are similar to parenting here in Nigeria.

He started by mentioning that he noticed quite a few parents bringing their children’s lunch to school for them. He points out that he did not starve back in the day if he forgot his lunch, neither did you or I! If your child forgets his or her lunch at home and so you take lunch to school instead, you have not taught the child to remember to take their lunch to school!  Read below for more from his article…

I’ve heard of moms who bring homework to school when students forget.

I’ve heard of dads actually doing the work.

I’ve interviewed university students who have set phone calls every morning from parents who wake them up to go to class so they don’t sleep late.

I’ve watched parents work with employers to make sure their kids get a good job.

I’ve personally been in meetings where parents try to convince teachers their kid needs a better grade in a particular class.

Parents: We are not there to make life easy on our kids. It’s our job to help them grow up with the skills to become successful adults. And you and I both know life is filled with failure.

The Result: The newest trend I see in university graduates is extended adolescence. With the economy still struggling to come back, over half of new university graduates are unemployed. They don’t know how to get a job because they were never trained. Many opted out of job training for classes to boost grade point averages. They don’t know how to get a place to live, because they’ve always been given options. Many students just won’t accept living in a low-rent area if they were brought up with their own room in a suburban neighborhood that took their parents a lifetime to save for. They don’t know how to manage money because they’ve always had a parent working hard to provide for them.

So, what do these new graduates do? They move back in with their parents until they “save enough money” to move out and get their own place. All the while they’re playing X-Box LIVE in the basement waiting for the perfect career opportunity to fall in their lap. Of course, I’m stereotyping a large chunk of the Millennial Generation, but parents, please read this carefully: IT’S OK FOR YOUR KID TO FAIL.

All of the important life lessons I’ve learned have come because of a failure. When I was in college, the questions I missed on the test where the ones I remember the most, not the successes. If we don’t let our kids feel failure at home, then they’ll find failure somewhere in life, and it will be more painful the longer they wait.

None of us want to see our kids fail, go hungry or suffer. But often, the way we allow our kids to experience failure shapes their character development. They become the people they want to be, rather than coasting through life on the life preserver called Mom and Dad. I’m not advocating we just send them to the big bad world alone, but helping our kids understand life lessons is part of the job.

Culled from HuffingtonPost.  Andy Braner is the President/CEO of KIVU, a youth advocacy program in the foothills of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. He has created a facility where teenagers can come to explore adventure, relationships with others and faith issues. Inviting teens from over 20 different countries each summer, his goal is to help teenager with a global worldview while helping parents understand issues teenagers deal with day to day.

Perhaps we need to try and allow our children to learn somethings the hard way?

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