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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

When Children Fail

Have you ever had a child bomb-out?  It might be on a test, in a sport, maybe saying or doing something inadvisable?  How do you handle it as a parent?

Well, speaking for myself, not too well.

I have an analytical personality that needs to know the whys, the hows, and the whens.  My husband, on the other hand, would make a great football coach.  He knows exactly how to say trite phrases that mean absolutely nothing and are tantamount to saying, “Dust yourself off and get back in the game.”  Or, “We’ll get through this.”  While patting a child on the head can be helpful in the short-term, it can backfire in the longterm.

Why didn’t she make the goal?  How can we help him lower his pretest anxiety?  Why does she keep teasing the dog until he bites her?  Does he not understand English well enough, or has he not mastered the test material itself?

These are much deeper issues than giving  a child a fake punch to the shoulder and saying something to the effect of “No pain, no gain”, or “Keep your chin up”.  You might have your chin up, but if you fall flat on your face, what good is that?

When it comes to my kids, I am a professional cheerleader—encouraging, prodding, pushing, and pulling.  I believe in comfort first, and analyze second.  But eventually, they have to carry the ball down the field.  They do, not me.  And if they honestly gave it their best shot, how should I respond should they fail?

1.  Keep trying— one day, even if you’re 85, you’ll score, or pass, or whatever.

2.  Give up— you don’t have what it takes.  Somebody’s got to serve the burgers and fries in life.

3.  Take it slowly— nobody’s in a big rush and you may be pushing yourself too much, too soon.

4.  Speed it up— life is not meant to be lived in slow-mo.  If you’re falling behind, it’s your own fault.

So whaddaya think, are you the pat them on the head, or the kick them in the pants type of parent???  While I want to give an A for effort, some days, I have to realize, that’s just not how the world operates.




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