When Success is Actually Failure
Updated: Feb 15
My son has a friend who is an Eagle Scout, but he's not proud of it. The reason why is because he says his mom did all the work for him. Not only is this against the scout rules, but the boy is left with the feeling that he's not good enough to do it himself, so his mommy had to do it for him. He has the title, but not the sense of accomplishment.
In the long run, is it the title or the accomplishment that would help him most? I say it's the accomplishment -- or even the lack of it. You don't learn anything from having a title. It is through failure and success that individuals feel good about themselves and learn from these invaluable experiences.
It is vitally important that we give our children opportunities to succeed for real. That does mean putting them in a position that will allow them to fail. Some parents have a hard time with this, but your child has got to experience accomplishments of his own making.
The brain is a self-congratulator, so children feel good when they do THEIR best, not YOUR best. Allow them to do it!
PS: For those of you in our workshop classes, please encourage your children to bring to class some of their work that they are proud of. When a child prepares to show their project with their class, they are more likely to put a little extra something into it.