Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Preparing for Failure...

Failure is ineveitable...it will happen.
It's how you choose to handle it is your choice.

We had our first home school "failure" last week.
W. usually has no difficulty with his phonics work.  He breezes through it with little trouble.
Then there was the "test" to see if he understood the concepts from the last ten lessons.
Usually he passes with a "A plus 100%" (Where he came up with the grading I know not.)
But last week he got one problem wrong (he read the word "no" with a short o.)
I want him to understand that sometimes you get things wrong.
You are not perfect...neither am I...we all have to deal with getting things wrong.
The X went next to the word no.
"Will it stay there...erase it mommy I need to get it right."
"You will get it right, sometime...just not now."
I tried to let him know a 96% is nothing to sneeze at.
We found 96 on the 100 wall chart...pretty near the end!
But it continued.   
For the rest of the day he tried sneaking to the book to erase the X.
He cried.
He didn't want to show daddy his "failure."
I tried to show him on the 100 chart where "failure" was.
He wasn't buying it.

I have been known to not handle failure very well.
When a plant dies.
When I wasn't perfect at school.
When a client wants a different therapist.
Yup...that kid is a lot like me.
Dratted perfectionist personality.
I used to get upset as well.
I used to burst into tears like he does now.
I now am able to keep it inside (for the most part.)
I am able to move on.
When my husband and I were dating, his mother and aunts bought me a book for my birthday.
It was A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.
I love the quote:

"Those were the Rommely women: Mary the mother, Evy, Sissy, their daughters, Katie, and Francie, who would grow up to be a Rommely woman even though her name was Nolan.  They were all slender, frail creatures with wondering eyes and soft fluttery voices...They were made out of thin invisible steel."
                                             -Betty Smith

Sometimes I long for that...to be made of thin invisible steel.  
Strong, invincible...letting life roll off of me and not bothering me.
This is how I desire to deal with failure.
I am thankful that I am able to deal with it.
I can rationalize that I am not perfect.
It was a lesson learned over time.
My dear husband helped me learn this lesson over the years as well...
(while talking me down from my hysterics when I had an exam on neuroanatomy and dysarthria.)

But how do you teach a child to deal with their need for perfection?

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