Walt Disney (you know, the guy who envisioned the place where dreams come true) was fired from his job on a newspaper for “lacking imagination”.
Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before he finally invented the light bulb.
Stephen King received 30 rejections for the book "Carrie" before it was published and became a best seller and feature film.
All of these people failed at one (or multiple points) in their lives.
Often, failure leads to success. The old adage, “if you first don’t succeed, try again” may be cliché, but it’s true.
If everyone got everything right the first time, life would be pretty dull. There wouldn’t be any challenge, competition or reasons to challenge oneself.
As a society, it seems that we’ve forgotten that failure is just a step on the road to success, and many of our kids have forgotten that too. In a world where instant gratification is king, the expectation for many is to reach goals now.
It doesn’t work that way. Tears, sweat and hard work breed ultimate accomplishment. And with diligence and obstacles often comes failure.
I am not talking about the child who chooses not to do homework, acts out in class or argues with every request made at home.
This is about the kid who tries (and tries again), but sometimes, they just don’t make the basket. Sometimes they struggle on a test. Sometimes the best ideas turn out to be disastrous.
We need to prepare our kids for failures. When things come easy for them or we constantly set them up in situations where they will never struggle, we aren’t preparing them for life.
As parents and educators, we also need to let our kids know that failing is OK sometimes. Mistakes are what make you human. If you choose to make the same mistakes again and again, that is considered a behavior problem, not a life struggle. But when you learn from your blunders, that’s when true learning can lead to success.
Jen Schneider is a middle school teacher and mom to two children.