I'm sure we are all familiar with the Silicon Valley's motto – FAIL FAST
Their reason for using such a motto is simple, because like it or not, we all learn best from FAILURE and not SUCCESS.
But how many of us Asians think this way? How many of us dare defy our cultures by wearing failure as a badge of honor?
Unfortunately not so many, and for those who do, society calls them unrealistic day dreamers who are doomed to spend their lives being inadequate, incapable and unsuccessful.
What we don't realize is failure is extremely important for personal growth.
The earlier you start the better, even though we have spent years being brainwashed into thinking failure equals dishonor, we can still choose to break this cycle by teaching our children the value of failing.
But how to do it? Well, celebrated psychologist Erikson gives a clue in his second stage of child development – Autonomy vs Shame
He says children need a healthy balance of both, they need to rise above the errors that come with trying.
Children need to be allowed the independence to problem solve and when they fail, we adults should encourage them to try again or experiment in a different way.
When we criticize or treat their errors as a disgrace, we will never see our children grow to be the best version of themselves.
We will never see, risk takers or visionaries, those movers and shakers who live to be legends and leave their mark on the world. We will only deprive our children their happiness, passion and the purpose in life.
So next time when your child loses a race or brings you a paper filled with scribbles instead of a pretty little drawing of a house, tell them how much you appreciate their effort and how much you love them.
Cheer them on to keep running that race and give them another piece of paper to keep scribbling, for soon you'll see different shapes popping up from those scribbles.
Keep in mind no child develops the same way. So, instead of suffocating them with adult notions of “growth and development” that we have been conditioned to accept in Asia, pick them up when they fall down.
Guide them to success through your unfailing support in the best and worst times of their life. TRUST ME, your children will love you for it and they will grow to realize their vast potentials.
Every society needs visionaries. There is very likely one running around or sleeping in your house right now.
The writer is an early childhood educator based in Malaysia.