This is a two-part series by Narayani that emphasizes on preparing children to face the real world, by talking to them about failures. You can read ‘Come Children, Let’s Talk About Failures – Part 1‘ here.
The need for failures to achieve success!
We teach our children good habits and good manners. And tell them about the virtues of the world. We try to inculcate the good character in them by sharing good stories from epics and history. But, there is a small glitch here. Just because we teach and preach about good things in life, the lens of the world does not change. We are missing out on the worldly vices chapter, which is also a must-know for children.
And this was the reason why we watched the Tamil movie Kakka Muttai as a family. Hubby and I took the time to explain to our son about the struggles the two active and talented boys from the slum face. When my son asked me why they were so poorly clothed and why they were living in such a shabby home, I took it as the opportunity to bring the chapter on the grey shades of our society. “Son, not all are born with privileges.. Some are deprived of the good things in life. And there are many like those boys who don’t have enough to eat, enough to wear or even, enough to play. They have even dropped out of school because their mother couldn’t afford it. That, my son is the reality in the lives of many children who are even younger than you. They are not any less than you. It is just that they are stuck in a world where surviving the odds itself is a success.”
Ever since we watched that movie, my son does not like to waste food. Also, he does not demand anything. Somehow those images have left an indelible note in his mind – “Good things have a value. We must treat them with respect.” Sometimes, when he tends to forget I just have to remind him with the two words- Kakka Muttai. He is yet to learn a lot. So do I, as a parent. But this lesson was the bulwark of his and my perception of good things in life. Good things are valued only when you feel or empathise with the deprivation part.
The lessons that failures teach us
And that is what failures show you – The ground reality. And that, it can be changed if you want it to get better.
Failures show you what you have to gun for. They give you the options to make things better. They teach you to get up. Failures bruise your esteem at times but they leave a message – “Even when you get wings, don’t forget to walk!”
Rejections show you that respect is not a one way street. It can never be demanded. It needs to be earned.
Dejection plants the seed of action in you when you find yourself in turmoil. After all, success and happiness is best relished when you have hit the other extreme and steered out of it with gumption.
We have to let our children face them instead of helping them dodge the failures without facing them. I still remember the first time my son fell down from his bicycle when he was about three. He bruised his knee very badly. While he sat there crying, I almost lurched ahead only to be held back by the hubby. And what he said that day has stayed in my head like a carving on stone –
“Don’t. Let him be. Let him get up on his own. This is the first fall. Riding a cycle without falling is not a feat. He is going to fly with that cycle, I tell you. But, what is important is learning to take the fall, learning to get up and learning to brush aside that hurt and continue riding that cycle.”
Ever since, the son has fallen umpteen times. From the cycle, from the stairs, from the table etc…. But he doesn’t cry now. He knows now that those bruises cannot force him to stop from jumping or indulging in other adventurous activities. This year, he will be six years old. And, he is still too young to understand the jargons of success and failure. But I guess with every fall he takes, with every wound he licks, with every disappointment he faces, he is sure to understand why the saying rings true – Failures are the stepping stones to success.
Good and Bad – Two sides of the same coin
If we want to give good adults to this world, we need to help them understand the concept of yin and yang. If there are good things, there are bad things too. And that, every action good or bad, has a consequence. Only then, we can expect a change in the mindset of youth.
If we impart good values to our children, let it be with the additional learning on how failures too are a part and parcel of their lives. This will help them comprehend the fact that life goes on, despite rejections, failures and disappointments. After all, every day is an opportunity to get better. So why compete with the world? Compete with yourself, child! You are the best!
Narayani Karthik is an army wife who is a software engineer by profession. After a three year stint in the IT industry, she dabbled in content writing for a while before she embarked on the most beautiful journey of her life – Motherhood. After having been a Stay-At-Home-Mom for about three years, she took to teaching pre-primary children. This experience helped her gain an insight into toddlers’ behavior and psychology. Besides being a book lover, she loves to cook for her man in olive-green (Yes, she is a Proud Army Wife!) and loves to spend a lot of time with her hyper active son – Arjun. And then, in some free time that she manages from her busier than busy schedule, she loves to blog at Swimming In An Ocean Of Thoughts…..