My fourth grader doesn’t always like to do his homework.
Or, study for tests.
Since I am a teensy bit of an overachiever, I am always on top of his schoolwork and schedule.
Last week, there was a spelling test. It was a long week, we’re not quite back into our routine now that the holidays are over and, he was really not in the mood to study. He argued. He fumed. He begged.
So, I relented. We didn’t study.
He got an F.
(Cue collective gasp.)
Yup, an F. On a test. In fourth grade. And I LET HIM DO IT.
What kind of parent am I?
I’m a mom that loves her son too much not to let him learn.
Learn how to fail, that is.
I got my first F in high school. Not because I refused to study, no, I studied my heart out for that Geometry test, but, well, math is my personal Waterloo. I stink at math, especially Geometry (who CARES how I got the answer?! I got the answer, why should I have to prove it.) I studied, and I STILL FAILED. As I sobbed on the sidewalk, my mom picked me up and we went to the plant nursery. Because that’s where she would go when she was sad. It worked. I got over it. I got through it. I failed, and I survived. It didn’t keep me out of college. It didn’t ruin my life. It empowered me to endure.
Not all parents help their children through failure.
In July of 2012, Catherine Venusto hacked into the Northwestern Lehigh School District computer system and altered the grades of her two children. She was accused of changing her daughter’s failing grade to a medical exception. And in February, 2012, she was accused of changing her son’s 98 to a 99. All six of the charges are third degree felonies. State police said she admitted to changing the grades, but thought her actions were merely unethical— not illegal. Venusto faces up to 42 years in prison.
She couldn’t bear to let her children fail.
I think that the animated sleeper film Meet the Robinson’s says it best. “From failure, you learn. From success? Not so much.”
Truer words were never spoken.
What are you teaching your kids about failure? Do you think this is an important life lesson for children to learn?