Letting Our Children Grow By Letting Them Fail

This week one of my kiddos learned about consequences. It totally sucked. This kid missed a deadline and as a result received a pretty (in my opinion) severe consequence. My child was upset and is still pretty devastated.

Guess what I did?

NOTHING.

No phone calls, no arguing on this kid’s behalf…nothing.

I’m so over parents fixing problems for their children. My kid screwed up and has to pay the price. In the scheme of things, it’s so not a big deal even though–at the moment–it seems like the end of the world. Anguish and heartbreak over this issue will pass. No one was injured–other than some possible pride–no damage was done. In fact, I’m almost glad it happened. My kid was upset about missing the deadline – more so than the consequence itself. To me, that speaks to this kid’s character and this experience will reinforce the things this child values. If one is to mess up, messing up when you’re a kid is the time to do it.

THE TIME TO LEARN.

How are our children supposed to learn anything if every time they drop the ball mommy and daddy run in and fix it for them? I understand that there are times when intervention is needed and required. But when rules are broken, bent even, and consequences are applied, it’s practice for life. As an adult, if you miss a deadline for a project there will be fallout. If you don’t pay a bill, there’s a penalty. At university, if you don’t turn in an assignment on time, a note from mom and dad will not fix the issue. Why not get back to teaching our kids that rules are rules and they apply to all?

Before you go all crazy on me, I understand there are times when advocating for your child is necessary. I’ve recently experienced this situation as well. My point today is that not EVERY situation requires intervention. We want to grow responsible, compassionate humans. Failing is part of growing.

I let my kid grow.

This post originally appeared on Evil Joy Speaks.

Joy Hedding

Joy aka Evil Joy is wife to one Dr. Evil and mother to four children she often refers to as spawn. Joy is a snowboarding fanatic and loves to share her exploits – snowboarding and otherwise – on Instagram. She currently spends copious amounts of time taxiing her children from one place to another. Frequently funny, always honest, and occasionally serious Joy blogs about everything from dealing with messy teenagers to navigating life after PTSD. Joy has been published in the anthologies “Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor” and “Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee” and has been featured on Sammiches and Psych Meds and UrbanMommies.com. Her blog is Evil Joy Speaks and you can find her on Facebook and on Twitter.

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