“Don’t let the failure determine who you are, let the reaction to the failure determine it.” – Jan Benito –
My daughter was rewarded with a watch for learning how to tell time.
It was a plastic watch from Target which costs no more than five dollars.
She was so happy, she treasured her new watch like a precious jewel, because she worked so hard with dad to earn it.
We spoke to her about keeping the watch at home, and she shouldn’t take it to school.
well, I guess her need to brag got the best of her, because she took her watch to school the next day.
During the ride home from school, she confessed to me about taking the watch to school. One of the girl in her class had asked her if she could wear it home for one night. Naturally, my daughter agreed. Her reasoning behind her decision was that the girls had “pinkie promised” the watch will be returned the next day.
I was upset, I was mainly upset with my daughter’s action. I grounded her with the punishment fitting to her action (TV / Game Time Starvation for 3 days) and told her to think of a way to resolve the situation.
That was exactly what she tried to do for the next two days. Every time she returned home without her watch, I shared life lessons.
She was emotionally and mentally mature enough to understand these topics:
- Others cannot understand the value of your watch because they did not work hard to earn it
- You can not protect or cherish your things when they are not in your procession
- It is important to follow through and keep your promise
- Trying hard does not always solve problems
On the day of her last attempt, she came home and informed me the other child had told her to bring a brand new watch for her if my daughter wanted her watch back. When I heard that, I almost lost it! Then I gathered myself together and thought about what I can do for a resolution.
I Emailed the classroom teacher and explained all the events leading up to current day.
My daughter came home with the watch the next day.
I could have spoken to the teacher earlier and resolve the problem lot faster and easier. I wonder, if I had done that, could I have had those ” teachable moments” when she tried to solve the problem herself? My daughter and I both came out of this experience little wiser. The value of the lessons we learned were definitely worth more than five dollars.
These are my steps for helping to fail successfully:
- Be there for your child but give space
- Try to let them solve problem on their own first
- Help them understand there are natural limits
- Help them to see the pattern early