My kids are allowed to fail

My eldest minion sets ambitious goals for herself. So ambitious, in fact, that we have been asked “Why do you allow her to set herself up for failure?”

The truth of the matter is, people learn a lot from failure! 

Trial and error is one of the most effective ways of learning. Therefore, when a goal is set and not achieved, it becomes a teachable moment.

  • What did you learn from this?
  • What worked this time?
  • What can you do differently next time to help achieve your goal?
  • How can we {Mommy & Daddy} help you achieve your goal next time?

Case in point: Our daughter had her school’s Jump Rope for Heart a few weeks ago to raise money for the American Heart Association. Our minion told us she wanted to raise $1,000 to “help heal broken hearts.” {Clearly their marketing efforts worked – how can anyone say no to that?!?} Oh yes, the kids also earned little rubber ducks for their donations. Wow. You would think these ducks were gold! Oh wait, there is a golden ducky…

Anyway, my husband and I explained to her that she set a very ambitious goal and – after confirming she did want to keep that number – we brainstormed ways she could achieve it. Using the tools provided, we set up an online fundraising page, developed a list of people to ask, and made a video with our daughter telling people about the event and how they could help.

We soon learned, however, that our little girl became very shy when needing to actually make the ask in person. This was something we never would have known if she didn’t set her sights so high as to push her outside the comfort zone of asking Mommy, Daddy and Grandparents.

So, she didn’t achieve her goal and we had a teachable moment.

  • What did she learn from this? Some first graders are shy 🙂 OK – she learned that to achieve a really ambitious goal, sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone. In this case, she needs to be willing to talk to friendly adults and tell them all about the fundraiser.
  • What worked this time? The videos we made, the online form, and asking people did achieve positive responses!
  • What can she do differently next time to help her achieve our goal? She can ask more people.
  • How can we {Mommy & Daddy} help her achieve her goal next time? Set up the tools again and introduce her to new people to ask.

In the end, she did not raise $1,000. She did, however, raise $652 {her siblings each donated $1} and she raised the most money in her entire school!

So no, she didn’t achieve her goal, but with her ambitious number in mind, she certainly helped a lot of people while learning a valuable lesson.

Have a great day!


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