Why It’s Okay to Let your Kids Fail Sometimes

falling down

Being a mother is not an easy job. It is hard and risky in which no cumulative wisdom is gained that even other generations tend to repeat the same mistakes the previous ones have already made. I guess it all boils down to simple common sense.

When the idea of seeing our children fail crosses our minds, it just seems like it’s something we wouldn’t really want them to experience. You see, our idea of good parenting is often associated with protecting (sometimes overprotecting even) our children from feeling any discomfort, pain or disappointment. We want to see them always succeed and be happy and contented with their lives. What kind of parent would actually wish for his/her child to fail and get hurt?

This may sound as a surprise for some but, sometimes, you just need to let your children be. Let them fall down, get hurt, and learn from the experience. But Proverbs 22:6 has a reminder for us, “train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” As much as we should give our children enough freedom to make choices and learn from their own mistakes, we should also be doing our job as parents in teaching them diligently about the word of the Lord, His great plans for us, and how we can live our lives according to His will. Experts have actually said that the experiences children have during the first five years have the bigger impact on their development, that is why we should be training and teaching our children these imperative lessons early on before we let them out to make decisions and choices on their own.

After doing our duties and responsibilities in molding our children… Let go. Allow your children to fully live and experience life both its ups and downs. I know it’s easier said than done because seeing them fail makes us feel like we’re not good parents; but know that it’s during these times when they would need all the love, support, and motivation they can from us.

Look at it this way: if we have never tasted failure, we will never experience the evolution of anger or disappointment to healing and growing emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I know it’s hard to let your children go through all of these but we should never deprive them of truly learning all of the important lessons life needs them to know like:

  • Developing important coping skills especially when they feel upset, frustrated, angry, and sad
  • Building up tolerance for discomfort
  • And learning to confront a problem with responsibility and acceptance

Always remember that children need to be taught how to think, not what to think. Let us show them our love and support whether they succeed or fail. As a matter of fact, a quote from the book Golden Son by Pierce Brown said, “It’s not victory that makes a man. It’s his defeats.” It’s about the journey, what we learn, and how we improve through it that matters more.


SUZETTE MADAYAG is a mother of three and currently works for LIGHT as a Product Development Officer. She has been in the Microfinance industry for about 13 years.

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