This Family Rule is the basis of all success stories you ever hear. You will always regret something you never try rather than something you tried and failed. This is true for big and small risks. Talking to that girl you like in school may seem like a big risk at the time. If you do it and she rejects you, at least you tried and you can move past it. If you never talk to her you will always wonder “what if,” you will fantasize about what could have been.
I teach my children to take risks, big or small. When they come to me with a question I will lay out both side of what possibly could happen in my opinion or based on my life experiences. The basic question should be, “Would I regret trying this and failing OR Never trying it and now knowing?” The answer is 99.99% of the time to try it.
Try, Try and Try again
With trying many different things comes failure. You will have to teach your child what to do when failure happens. Is it worth it to you to try again? Yes? Then lets learn what happened this time, tweak it, and try it a different way for next time. If your child is not used to failure or has been taught someone “owes” them something for trying, you are setting your child up for a life that no one will want to hire them and they probably wont have many friends as an adult either.
My oldest was a very sore loser when she was little. Her dad and I decided before she was 3 years old that we would have to make sure not to let her win any games that we played so she would learn how to lose gracefully, learn what she could do better, and then try again. I think it could be the best thing we ever did for her. She has fun with games now, she is able to play sports and get into the game to have a great time, win or lose.
My daughter competes in drama and music and does very well. She generally gets the lead and the solos because she has been taught how to learn and better herself instead of just showing up and expecting to win or to get the prize (plus she does have talent). (By the way when she was 3, she started winning on her own because she saw the strategy of these games and destroyed us hehe).
Small Safe Risks
Starting small with things you know they will probably like is a great way to start encouraging your children to try new things. Food, sports, books. My children were raised trying new things all the time. I would tell them, “try it, if you don’t like it that’s fine, but at least then you will know.” Every time they are served a food they should try it. They sign up for softball, football or music and they don’t like it, finish your commitment and don’t do it again next year. I think they may like a series of books and they read the first 2 chapters and don’t like it, don’t finish the book. You tried it, I’m proud of you for that.
My oldest has always been a thrill seeker but big rollar coasters have freaked her out. I made her a deal that I would go on a swirly ride and a spinny swing ride (I don’t like hights or going around in circles) and she would go on the biggest ride in the park, Medusa. This ride was long! It had 7 upside-down experiences and even more ups/downs/twists/turns. After much deliberation all the way through the line she got on the ride. About 5 seconds into the ride she had her hands up screaming and laughing. She loved it. Its one of her best experiences (mostly because I was so sick after that I couldn’t even go on any more rides). I still owe her the swirly ride.
Would You Rather
Would You Rather Game Book: For kids 6-12 Years old: Jokes and Silly Scenarios for Children” target=”_blank”>Would you rather is a great game. No seriously it is! It teaches your child to think creatively. It helps them think of consequenses down the line, how a decision can actually effect their life. This is a skill most children don’t grasp now-a-days. Kids are taught to blame someone else no matter what the circumstances were leading up to the fact.
This game allows kids to weigh the decision of the choices they are given and choose what they feel is the better option. If someone else chooses the other option it inspires a respectful debate where both sides make their point. Sometimes minds are changed, sometimes you just have to pick the lesser of the two evils. Either way, your child is being taught to have an open mind, weigh their options and make their own decision.
When you grow up learning the best way for you to make decisions and take calculated risks, the bigger risks don’t seem as scary. Later on in life you can wiegh your options to take the job across the country, start a family now or later, jump on an opportunity as an intern to learn as much as possible in your field just to gain the experience.
Learning not to try things and live with no regrets will give your child the ability to know who they are. What a blessing to know that. You are able to find a partner to lift you up instead of change you. You are able to read, learn, understand why you do the things you do, your personality traits that are not going to change, and what you would like to work on. You then attract other people who are confident and daring like you. You can go far with this blessing, whatever your definition of success.
Try, Fail, Tweak, Suceed
Teach Them HOW To Make Decisions
Show Them It’s Great To Take Risks
Peace and Balance,