Even though much of my work is focused on mentoring teens, I spend just as much time speaking with moms. I hear about their hopes and worries for their girls. One common theme that’s popped up centers around raising capable kids. Everyone wants their daughters to be able to take care and advocate for themselves. It might seem backwards, but one of my secrets to raising capable kids is to let them fail.
I was given permission to share the following story:
I had a mom recently whose daughter was really excited and motivated to try out for the school play. The mom was concerned because her daughter didn’t have play experience before and the kids in the class could be particularly cruel. She wanted my advice about what to do. I suggested that if her daughter was excited and wanted to do it then she should let her. If she made the play it was a great learning experience. If she didn’t make the play it was a great learning experience.
Even though we want to, we can’t protect our kids from everything. We can guide them and help pick them up when they fall down. I think it’s important for girls to know that even when things don’t work out the way they hoped, they can learn and grow from experiences. Capable kids have the ability to trust themselves, which starts with their parents trusting them too.