Not trying is why most people fail
This is one of the hardest lessons to teach your teens. The thought of failing at something immediately causes them to avoid the very thing they truly want to succeed at.
It is so important to help them understand that there is a lesson in every challenge and that failure leads to growth. Sometimes as parents, we anticipate the pain of what we perceive as their potential failure and try and steer them away so they don’t have to experience that pain. Doing this will never serve them. What is really happening is we are trying to avoid our own pain!
Our teens are resilient and the more they work to fail, the stronger, more confident and successful they will be in life. It is our job as parents to guide them but to also allow them to choose and see for themselves the consequences of those choices. When they make a choice that leads to a bad outcome, that is when we need to step up, tell them we love them and use that teachable moment to help them learn and grow. Just like when they were a baby, touching the hot stove taught them, that is a bad choice and they learned to avoid it in the future. Such is with many other challenges and failures they face.
Kids tend to be fearless, it is when they experience the input and anxiety of others, they learn to be fearful. Certainly, there are times when it is necessary to avoid a severe negative outcome and as a parent we need to warn them. Often though, we respond out of love and concern, they sense it and learn to avoid that particular action based on the feedback they receive from us.
Failure is an option. It is not something we wish for them or hope for, but is part of the journey into adulthood. When we let them learn through experience (sometimes painful) we are actually teaching them resilience, confidence and the power of taking action.
My son wants to be a professional drummer. As a parent, I struggle with that thought. I know how hard it is, I know the chance of success is not in his favor. However, he wants it so badly. He is in college pursuing a degree in Music Business but his focus is playing professionally. He is in two bands and living his dream, playing for others. Maybe this will work out, maybe it won’t. One thing I know for sure, he will never resent me or my wife for dissuading him from this path, which I know is a hard one. I also know, he is smart and we have discussed this. He has a back up plan and I am going to trust him to do what he wants and to make the choices he makes to get him where he needs to go. I have no idea what that looks like right now, but one thing I do know. He will be fine and land on his feet whatever that looks like.
Maybe he is going to be famous one day! One things stand true, if he doesn’t try, he will never know and the regret of not trying is far worse than the regret of failure.
CREDIT TO MARK CHERNOFF FOR THESE LESSONS