“Bhoomi, you can’t do it. You’ll hurt yourself,” I yelled at my daughter as she was trying to ride her bicycle without the support wheels. She looked at me, lost her balance, fell and hurt her knees and palms.
“See, I told you,” I said, feeling vindicated.
“Amma, but I fell because of you,” she protested. Probably she was right because I disturbed her concentration, and then she lost balance. Nevertheless, I warned her not to ride the bicycle without the support wheels as she was just five years old, and kids at five CANNOT do that. She was reluctant to listen to me but chose not to respond.
What I saw two days later astounded me. I returned from work just then, and Bhoomi came towards me riding her bicycle – she was all excited and ecstatic about her achievement.
“How did you do that,” I asked, still unable to believe my eyes.
“I have been practicing it for the last two days, amma. Sorry, I didn’t tell you about it coz I thought you’d scold me,” she said gingerly.
I didn’t know what to say. Or rather, I didn’t have words to say. My thoughts began running, “How could I underestimate my daughter’s abilities? How could I discourage her? Even worse, I tried to make her believe that she can’t do it!”
I didn’t want my daughter to try because I feared her failure. I was sure that she would fall and hurt herself again and again. Unfortunately, my thoughts didn’t go beyond that fear of failure. I failed to understand that she isn’t failing but learning; I missed to see in Bhoomi’s eyes the determination to succeed.
This failure is not unique to me. Our society focuses so much on achievements and success that we ignore happiness. Failure is denounced and looked down upon by parents, teachers, and society at large. We make our children study rigorously, get trained for sports, music, dance, etc., not for fun but to achieve something.
We tell our kids that they need to succeed to do big in their life but in the process forget to tell them that it is ok to fail as it is a learning. The real success comes when they go beyond their failures with confidence.
That incident with my daughter has changed my outlook. Now, I’m a mother who doesn’t fear about her kids’ failures. I began seeing failures as a learning… the more my children learn, the higher are their chances of success. I help them learn, and they strive to succeed. This brings them real happiness!
Surf Excel, which has been encouraging the virtues of love, empathy, sacrifice, forgiveness, loyalty, and righteousness in children, has now extended “Dirt is Good” to #HarkoHarao.
If a child gets dirty while overcoming failure, then dirt is good. Surf excel urges parents, teachers and the society to look at failure as a learning experience and create a better learning environment for kids because sometimes they succeed, sometimes they learn.
Watch this really cute message-oriented video, and you cannot agree more with the kid.
It’s time we tell our children, “It’s ok to fail but never give up.” Are you for it?