I found my daughter, sitting in the corner most spot of her room. Head bent, curled against the wall. She looked distraught. This was surprising, Rachel is one of those people, who are always happy, almost every time she will greet you with a smile. She has a great circle of friends, plays basketball, and has a good image in front of teachers, so figuring out the reason for her sadness was hard. I went to her, sat down with her, hugged her and asked her what happened.
My little girl couldn’t even speak. Then she told me that she failed her 5th grade. Suddenly, I found myself searching for a reaction, a reaction which will be good enough to not make her feel guiltier. I have taught her, two hours every day. I have seen her do her homework diligently. And looking at her condition it was pretty obvious she didn’t do it intentionally. Her every tear was a proof that she didn’t want to fail. And while telling me she was so scared.
I told her failure is a part of life and real failure is when you accept your defeat. We hugged after that, I made her favorite pasta, and we opened a bottle of coke and watched a movie.
She told me that she didn’t expect me to be so calm about it, she thought I would be furious.
This is what we as a society need to really learn. The school seems so easy to us but it’s not. It is tough. Especially with the kind of competition that’s taking place nowadays. Nobody cares if your ward has an amazing personality, has had more experience than most if it doesn’t reflect on her report card. What is wrong with us? What sort of rat race have we set up for our children, just because we went through the same torture? Why? Why do our children have to fight and stress for being on top rather than learning?
The whole point of education is making our children good citizens and most importantly great human beings. How will they even listen to the voice of their soul if they will be obsessing only about their marks because these days marks are basically your ticket to heaven in terms of the college education. What’s worse is peer pressure. Students judge other students who get fewer marks on their test. They judge their IQ, caliber and many things. But how does a piece of paper decide if you are good enough, how does it have that much power?
I told my daughter that day,
“Rachel, you didn’t fail, you just learned one more way to avoid failure in future, and all I will ever want from you is your best shot towards life in general.”
Failure is a part of life, don’t scare your child, but make your child accept it in the calmest way possible. Because the sooner they realize ways to accept it, the better they will be in avoiding setbacks in future. Failure is that part of life which no one wants to face, hence don’t blame your child for it. She must be sad herself and you are harping on it won’t make it any better. Support her through it. She deserves it, and most importantly she needs it.