Reflect on your successes and what helped you reach your goal. Did you succeed on your first try, or did it take a few wrong turns to guide you on your way? It is often what we learn along the way that provides us with the most valuable information.
As parents, we are in the best possible position to help our children learn from their mistakes. This is not an opportunity to keep them from failing. When you prevent learning from failure, you prevent the ability to recognize skill, persistence and resilience. Too often, we soften the blow of failure by intervening and rescuing our children from certain disappointment or consequences. It is imperative that we are allowed experience this in order to realize we are capable of picking up and starting again. When you take away this opportunity you are in essence are telling your child “I don’t think you can handle this, so I will”. There are several common parenting styles:
Parenting is difficult, and no one offers an instruction manual; much less a rule book. Think about how many versions it would have as we face new challenges and experience exceptions to situations. It would be outdated before it went to print. Perhaps we should first analyze “why” we are doing something and determine if it is for the benefit of our child’s learning or for us to feel like we are trying to prevent potential heartache/disappointment, etc. Emotions are a good thing and should be validated and supported, not ignored and avoided. Things in life should make us angry, sad, happy, confused, anxious, etc. What we do with these feelings shape our character and our moral compass.
Athletics is a great example of where over involvement is often counterproductive to independence and success. We see Olympians and want to bask in the glory of our child waving to us from the medal stand or to hear a sound bite of “I owe it all to you mom”. Realistically, we can no more make our children Olympians than we can pick winning lottery numbers. Talent can be nurtured but it cannot be fully utilized without hard work. This hard work needs to come from the individual themselves. If we look at our involvement and realize that we are working harder than our children, perhaps it is our dream and not theirs. Certainly we can provide tools, transportation and encouragement, but we cannot make them successful. Only they can, and it’s often realized from trying over and over again until they get it right.