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Teaching children they may not always win is the best way to help them understand what true success is.
As an adult who is passionate about children and how they learn, grow, and succeed, my desire to ingest material that explains the discrepancies in education and how to effectively eliminate them is a major obsession.
We don’t know how to ensure that our young people are successful and yet we constantly engender failure in them at every turn.
When it is not okay to risk something and mistakes are not allowed, we fail our children. When certainty and worry about and over concern with being labeled a “bad parent” rules the day, how can we effectively respond to our young folks?
There will be times when you are a bad parent and your thinking about what your child needs and the best way to address those needs is skewed.
As a new teacher many years ago, I was instructed to hunker down, crack the whip and show the little monsters who was in charge.
Watch: Mamamia staff on if it is ever okay to smack your child. (Post continues after video.)
No one ever thought to address how being in charge limited children’s ability to question and think. There was never one discussion regarding how to encourage curiosity, which can and often does lead to new and innovative approaches to problem-solving.
As parents and caregivers to young people, we will all screw up. There will be times when you are a bad parent and your thinking about what your child needs and the best way to address those needs is skewed. The real mistake is thinking that if we create an image of success at all costs that everything will be fine.
If we want our children to face failure as an opportunity to learn, we must model this same behaviour and way of approaching the world.
My two oldest grandchildren struggle with school not because the material is that challenging. The difficulty arises from the silent message that it is not ok to not know things. When we worked together over a year ago on a project, it was very important that mistakes be made and learned from, not avoided. More than a year later there is still much self-esteem retained as a result of this endeavor.
We must move beyond the need to please the ever-present haters and nitwits whose concern is looking good, not supporting personal and emotional growth in our children, and into giving our children what they need the most to succeed in school and life.