I re-post this entry every year. The posting has, to date, received more “likes” and comments than any other, so I sense that what I set out to say hit its target. So for those of you whose college student has come home for the summer, as well as for those of you who are currently marching through the high school graduation activities and are just beginning this process, I’m hopeful that this message will have a ‘centering effect” for all of us seeking to be successful in parenting our kids well!
As we take a serious look at the transition, my sense is that one of the primary issues for us as parents is the fear of something we can’t imagine actually happening to our daughter or son. Our culture is bent on the pursuit of success. So, if that is true – and I’m convinced it is – the idea of failure then is often one that we expend a lot of energy avoiding and helping others avoid, especially those we care deeply for.
In my First-Year Seminar course for new Freshman, we spend an entire class period exploring the idea of “Failure” in order to expand our thinking about what it is, why it’s scary, and what we’re really afraid of – why have we been taught to avoid something that’s likely inevitable? A number of the resources we use introduce us to how necessary (read: “vital”) failure is to reaching success; no matter the topic or pursuit. I know, it sounds counter-intuitive, but when I examine my own path, I know Continue reading →