This past weekend the mamma bear in me was coming out. I watched as one of my kids struggled and as hard as this child tried, there was continual failure in one area. As a mother it was so hard to watch. I am usually a pretty chill mother, a mom who knows that my kids will have many ups and downs and I try to help them problem solve solutions. However this weekend I could fee the pain of one of my kids, I could see the face of disappointment time and time again and my heart was breaking for my child. Part of me wanted to remove my child from the situation so there could be no more failures while another part of me tried to remain positive and continued the pep talks and cheers.
Later in the day I came across this Ted talk and it was a good one. You see we all have failures in life, struggles and disappointments. That is the beauty of life. If we didn’t struggle or fail we wouldn’t’ grow and learn nor would we be able to build identity. Life will not always be perfect and especially as parents there will be times when our hearts are broken for our children. We feel their pain and as much as we want to shelter them or remove them from the difficult situation, sometimes they must experience the failures to become stronger and better in the long run. I wonder do we protect our kids too much from failure? Do we step in too soon when they struggle? Or should we allow them to experience life and be there to encourage them and teach them that the will get through it and in the end they actually may become a better individual who appreciates things more because of the struggle.
Before I continue there are the situations where we must step in, when physical damage is being done or emotional abuse is taking place. Of course I am not talking about that, when our children are being harmed in a physical, sexual or emotional way we must do everything we can to protect them.
As parents we must prepare for our kids to fail, they will fail at times, they will disappoint and they will struggle. But before they do we must also prep them for life, for the world around them. If they always think they must be perfect or succeeding at everything they do that would give them a false sense of life. But if we can prep them before the failures, before the mistakes then maybe they can figure out how to pick themselves back up and try again.
I can think back to all of my failures, my mistakes you know the times when you wish you could press rewind. We have all had struggles but if you think about those struggles how do you remember them? I remember them as freaking hard, life shattering at times but I also remember the fight, the struggles to get out of those hard times. The work that went into moving past my mistakes and learning how to forge on, and build my true identity, the person I am today.
So this weekend as I watched my child struggle through the tears and the cuss words I was reminded to not step in and remove from the situation. But to continue to cheer them on, because life will always be full of ups and downs and that is why life is so beautiful. I will continue to prepare my kids for failures, encourage them to try hard and problem solve. But I will also now remind them and myself that failure is what builds identity and in that we will be thankful. I am thankful for the hard times, I am thankful for the tears and the struggles in my own life, because I appreciate life so much more. So I guess I want my kids to struggle too at times, because when they come back out on top they may see life more clearly, they may also appreciate life in a new way and that is something only they can experience on the other side of failure.
Our path is our own, we can choose to hold on to the hurt of our failures, or we can say fuck that… and move on to a better you, a more wiser and well rounded person. We are the ones who have the choice to make, we can choose to stay down after we have fallen again or we can choose to stand up and move forward a stronger better person.