The hard truth about parenting is, you can’t protect your children from all things. Life is full of all kinds of stuff that will come their way. Failure is one of the most valuable lessons life has to offer.
It’s too bad that people oftentimes don’t see it that way. As parents, we take the failures of our children personally. It’s understandable to some degree, but it’s also unhealthy.
You need to allow your children to fail and sometimes suffer the consequences of failure. It’s the only way they’ll ever get over the hurdles life can put up.
You’re not trying to hurt your child or punish them for making a mistake. The goal here is to give them the tools necessary to solve problems on the fly as they get older. Problem-solving skills are something that can’t be taught, they’re learned through hands-on experience.
Here we’re going to help you not be a helicopter parent. You’re going to face the uncertainty of challenges, but that’s how life is. Just like your kids need to buck up, so do you. A little tough love is also needed for parents these days.
Don’t be the nagging parent
Didn’t you hate it when your parents nagged you? What did you do when they kept going on like a broken record? You tuned it out. Your kids do the same thing to you.
Have you forgotten what it was like to have your parents say the same things over and over to you? At some point, you begin to want to defy them and do the exact opposite. Say something once and get over with it.
Let them fail
Yes, it’s going to hurt both of you. But, it’s not the kind of hurt that you need a bandage for or years worth of therapy lessons. You can’t hold their hand for the rest of their lives. They will grow up someday and be on their own.
Allow them to fail and then move on with it. You don’t always win, and a child needs to learn that. A big problem with children today is they aren’t forced to realize that sometimes they fail.
Everyone is a winner in today’s world, and that’s why there are so many failures who don’t even realize it.
Disect the reason why they failed
You don’t want to rub salt in the wound. But, you do want to help point out the reasons why they failed. So, why did they do so poorly on their book report? Maybe it was because they spent more time playing video games than doing research.
This isn’t a time for you to showboat or to rub it in their face. You need to go over piece by piece why the failure occurred.
Give your child advice on how to correct their mistakes
Your job is to set them straight by helping the child correct what they did wrong. Whatever you do, don’t be over the top and say how terrible of a job they did. Layout the information in a way that they can relate to it.
The entire purpose of this is to move them in the right direction so they succeed the next time. If they’re playing baseball, maybe they need to choke up a little on the bat.
Then again, they may need to widen their stance. Regardless of what they need to do, you have to present the changes in a way that is actionable to them.
Identify how uncomfortable all of this makes you feel
It makes you feel so uncomfortable that it makes you want to become a helicopter parent. You want to do anything to avoid feeling this way.
The funny thing is, oftentimes parents have a harder time dealing with their child’s failure than the child themselves. Anyone who has watched a sporting event loaded with parents knows how true this is.
You have to let it go. It’s like when your child first fell and scraped their knee. You wanted to break out a magic wand and somehow fix it all in two seconds. Life doesn’t work that way, and parenting is full of situations where you feel terrible.
Sometimes it’s more about how you feel
Isn’t that right? Sometimes you’re the one who needs consoling and not your child.
You spent all this time and effort trying to get your child to the point where they can stand on their two feet. Then, what happens? They fail big time, and it makes you wonder what you did wrong.
Don’t go down that path. It’s loaded with nothing but the kind of second thinking that will get you in trouble. Move on. Your child has probably already forgotten about it. You should too. Live life and enjoy the moment.
Use those teachable moments to help them gain the valuable skills needed to be successful when they get older. For now, enjoy their childhood and being a parent.
Some day you’re going to be a parent of a much older person and these days will be nothing but a faded memory.