HELPING CHILDREN Understand How Fun it is to “Fail”

Playing with Blocks

I was playing with young children and they had built an impressive 3 ft. tall structure. Then little Johnny came by, who very accurately embodied a tornado, and decimated the structure. The pained cries and shock of this was made apparent by several of the builders.

I asked, “What do we do now?”

The builders could not yet respond. They were still in shock!

I asked, “If this were real, what would we do?”

One child responded, “We look for survivors.”

The quiet energy resonated in the room so strongly, that even little Johnny halted his impersonation of a tornado.  What happened next was surreal.

Everyone started looking for survivors. Then they talked about building a better structure, a stronger one. After this experience, we came together for some group breathing and discussion. I referenced how sometimes things or people “fail” and make “mistakes.” I asked questions like:

What are some good things that happened after the tornado. The responses varied, and some said…

  • We had to build again.

  • We had to make it better.

  • We had to look for survivors.

  • We had help people feel better.

As adults we have a lot to learn from children. How do we approach the challenges which present themselves daily, weekly and monthly? Do we look for the moments of gratitude that can be found, even in the most desperate of times? Children do, and so must we.

Embrace your failures and know that without them, the best you’ll ever be is average.