Both Parker and I have set our eyes on our own individual goals this past week. Both of us have a slim chance of a success. I don't say that as an invitation for back-slapping cheers or to be a Debbie Downer. I'm just looking realistically at the odds. Parker is already nervous and wondering if he can do it. Of course, I use all the proper Mom speak about giving it his all, God will bless your efforts, and reminding him that he is loved regardless of his actions. Yet, at the same time, I'm praying that God will help Parker understand failure isn't defeat. I'm also praying that when he watches me fail that it's not a game changer. It's just a time-out.
Fifteen years in the classroom has proven me to that we, as adults, are afraid to let our children fail. Self-esteem is to be preserved at all costs, and sometimes that cost is honesty. My kids fail in my classroom, and they know it. They also know they'll get to try again with my support. At the beginning of the year, when I first tell a kiddo that he or she is stinkin' it up, a quick look of shock passes over their face. I teach them the steps they need to take to fix it. The next try may or may not stink. What I'm really trying to get my students, and now Parker, to understand that taking a risk doesn't always equal success, but it does equal knowledge. What is done with that knowledge is what matters. I cannot think of a better place to fail than when our kids are at home - with the people who love them and who will cheer when they try again.