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March 04, 2009

Failing. It's Life.


Yes, the economy stinks. Yes, we are currently in a recession.  Yes, companies are downsizing, closing, and/or declaring bankruptcy. Why?  There are many individual reasons why our economy is the way that it is, but most of them come back to one reason: Poor Choices.

Don't worry though.  One word is going to make everything better: Bailout.

Basically, the government will go behind everybody and attempt to "fix" all the problems they have despite the choices they made to put themselves in their predicaments.   Now this opens its own can of worms, which I am not touching, but I do think this term of "bailing out" and the message being sent to our children deserves some discussion.  

There are so many reasons why people fail: unprepared, limited/no resources, lack of knowledge, ignorance, and face it just plain poor choice making.  Failing is part of life.  However it is important to remember that failing is not the end.  Yes, failing may even mean you lose everything and hit rock bottom, but once your down there is only one way to go.  That's back up.  Basically, it's what you do after you fail that is critical.  Once you fail, you must learn from those mistakes, make better choices, and in doing so ensure that you don't fall into the same pattern that made you fail in the first place.  You have to rise above your circumstances and pave a new way.  A new way that will lead you to success.

Unfortunately, all we hear about today are companies being "bailed out".  These companies are not learning from their mistakes, but rather are waiting for somebody to come behind them and clean up their mess.  I can't help, but wonder what message this is sending to our children.

As a mom I strive to teach my child responsibility.  Even as I sit here and type, I'm watching my son clean up the bottle of bubbles he just spilled on the floor.  Sure I could have grabbed a towel and cleaned it up for him, but what would that teach him?  Make a mess and mom will clean it up?  No thank you.  He must learn that when he makes a mess, he must clean it up. In turn hopefully he will also learn how not to make the mess in the first place.

I do want my children to know though that it is okay to fail sometimes.  They are not always going to win at their soccer games, be the best at everything in school, do a back-flip the first time in gymnastics, or succeed at the multitude of other things that I hope they will attempt throughout their life.  It's okay.  Failing builds character.  It's what makes you stronger and helps you grow as a person.

Of course, nobody wants to fail, but unfortunately it is part of life.  I can't change that.  Not allowing my children to fail though is doing them a disservice.  Instead I will be by their side cheering them on, offering advice, encouraging them, and providing support.  But, I most definitely will not be there "bailing" them out. 

This is an original post on Philly Mom Blog

You can find Mel Tuttle blogging daily at A Box of Chocolates.


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