How to Fail Well

Do you remember The Magic School Bus? Miss Frizzell, the teacher, would always say, “Take chances, get messy, make mistakes!” She had it right!

Above is a little message I posted in 2020 on our YouTube channel, about why we should be willing to fail, mess up and get messy in life. Two moms left me a comment that I thought many of us could relate to… you can read them at the YouTube link.

One mom is so afraid that she will make mistakes and her kids could have a hard life because of her failures…

My thoughts on this: Guess what? It’s actually okay if our kids fail, it’s okay if life is hard for them, it’s okay for them to learn tough lessons. What they need is a mom who is an example of trying again. We actually need to teach our kids to fail gracefully, rather than not fail.

Learning how to fail well is an important life skill!

Failure is good for our kids. Let them experience the natural consequences of their actions. We often protect our kids from very good learning experiences – because we want to look like good parents. We often try too hard to cushion the fall or step in just before they mess something up. We wear ourselves out trying to puff them up. Mistakes are necessary, they help us mature. Don’t be shocked when they mess up, love them through it – but don’t feel like mom always needs to bail them out.

Show grace or compassion – be intentional about it. Encourage them to deal with the messes that they make. Don’t try to fix everything for them. Let them figure out how to handle their wrongs and try to make things right. What I mean is that they need to learn to take responsibility so they can grow up and be responsible.

I’m not saying to let them do serious damage, of course – but when they do cause damage (and they will do some awful stinky things) expect it and let them make things right. You don’t need to do everything for them.

Life will be hard for everyone at some point or other. But what can help people overcome in hard times?

Faith. Creativity. Innovation. And a willingness to get back up, try again, learn and grow, and invest in their relationships during hard times. Instead of trying to do your best to help your kids avoid failing and hard times, show them how to handle it well.

Go and have a messy life!

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