Raising Overcomers


What do you do when your kid fails?  What is your initial response?  If you are human you want to help them. That’s just instinct and it’s normal. If you didn’t want to help your child we should talk about reporting you to DHS!  You get the point.


So here is where the gray line is…does helping them every time they fail help them?  No. It does not. Failing or falling down is part of life and we all have to get up. The ultimate lesson is learning how to get up on your own…without someone else’s help.  That’s life at its purest. So as a parent if we don’t offer our children this opportunity we literally hurt them more than the fall or fail.


Why is this?  It’s pretty simple. Ultimately, they will fail at something and ultimately you will NOT be there. That means they have to get up and get past it on their own and if they have not learned this skill earlier in life this later time will be much harder. And I don’t know about you, but I would rather my kid learn how to overcome falling down a couple stairs on their own instead of having to learn failure of a relationship later in life or a loss of a job that ultimately puts them in a dangerous mental state that could spiral if they don’t have the skills to cope. I know this seems like a weird analogy but the same things happen in both instances. There is a sense of failure and the presence of pain. Both of which are tough to deal with and have to be handled head on to truly understand them and get back on track.


Failure and pain are part of life. Every day. The skills to handle these situations are developed. They are developed through watching others handle it around them (you) and also through going through it themselves without “training wheels” on. And like I said before, I want my kid falling off the “trike” early in life instead of the “motorcycle on the highway” later in life if you know what I mean. So, letting your kid ride the “trike of life” on their own and getting up when it flips over is critical for their success with future failures, disappointments and pain later in life. They HAVE TO lose. It’s part of life. It WILL happen.  Let them do it on their own. Let them taste it and not like it. Pain and failure are huge motivators to not want it again. It motivates us to do what we need to do to end it and attempt to not feel it again. Don’t shelter your kid from the pain. Let them taste it, feel it and dislike it.  Let the pain teach.


It will be tough to watch in some instances but always remember you are doing them a service. You are equipping them with the skills and more importantly the mentality to OVERCOME.  That’s a skill that reaps many rewards and one of the best gifts you can give someone. So be an example and be a teacher and not a defender. Look for ways and lessons to give them this experience throughout their young life. You owe it to your kids. They will thank you someday for it. Guaranteed.

Brett McDonough