- Written by Dave Pughe-Parry Dave Pughe-Parry
- Parent Category: ADHD Treatment ADHD Treatment
- Published: 18 February 2015 18 February 2015
It’s the struggle that counts, not the result!
Our world is measured in milliseconds now compared to the weeks when I was a callow youth. I had time to learn. Today’s child is expected to assimilate knowledge instantly and pass all tests and exams well. We expect our children to somehow work out how to learn all by themselves.
There are many benefits to this fast-paced modern world. One of them is being connected and being able to collaborate on projects and activities. But this benefit dilutes the learning benefits of failing along the way.
Failing! That is taboo in today’s society. If you fail you are out!
Our world - all aspects of our world - is littered with failures. The problem is we punish people who fail, even ostracise them.
An example from the world of British soccer was the sad case of David Moyes. Hand-picked by the legendary Sir Alec Ferguson to succeed him at Manchester United Football club he lasted just 9 months into his 6 year contract. Moyes was fired.
His results were not what the Manchester United management wanted or expected. They had conveniently forgotten that Sir Alex had been allowed 4 years of failures before he started his incredible run of successes.
How’s that for an unrealistic expectation? You’ve been hand-picked by Sir Alex, you got the power of the biggest football club behind you, you have the same squad of title winning players from the previous season, so go out and continue the good work of the last 20 years!
Instant success! That’s the demand of today. And failure is extremely public and visible for all to see.
David Moyes now has to battle with being seen as a failure - not someone who failed at a particular task. By no stretch of the imagination is David Moyes a failure, just look at his track record.
The boards of the huge companies expect miracles from the chief executives they appoint - instantly. Is it any wonder that industry is so crooked?
Failures are the tuition fees of success. Without failure there can be no success. One of the greatest benefits of failing is that we learn what doesn’t work. Another great benefit to failing is that we get a chance to start again.
We should encourage our children to fail. We should reward spectacular failures, and rather punish average failures. Being average is the worst thing in the world to be, to be neither hot or cold, to be neither clever or stupid, neither pretty or ugly, and so on. To be average is to be nothing.
There are some good examples of where failure is highly regarded. One large company will not contemplate appointing someone to a director position unless they have at least one failed brand on their CV. Rather fail earlier than later.
In effect, by protecting our children from failure we are doing them a terrible disservice.
People who succeed in life are people who know how to fail. They are able to look at their failure track record as their own personal reservoir of wisdom.
We should all be teaching our children to fail, and that is best done by focusing on their daily struggle, not on their results.