Failing IS Part of Our Process

Linda, Lourdes, Lela & Niara (Left to Right)

Last week when the girls arrived at auntie Professor Pam’s house for science they were met with a bountiful table of fruit and scones. She welcomed them to the table and invited them to eat.

Then she told them each to get a grape and stand up. The girls followed her instructions with curious eyes, wondering what was happening. She told them to balance the grape on their forehead for 10 seconds. Grapes went on the heads…grapes rolled off. Again, she commanded and started her count over. 1…2…3…4…Grapes went on and grapes rolled off. Again.

Lourdes was the first one to keep her grape steady on her head for the entire 10  seconds. You may sit, Professor Pam said. And one by one, after adjusting bodies and placement of grapes, each girl figured out how to keep the grape on their heads for a whole 10 seconds. You should have seen their victorious faces!

But what does balancing a grape on the forehead have to do with science they wondered.

What did you expereince? Professor Pam asked them.

My niece Linda trying to balance the grape on her head.

It was hard, one answered. They all said.

That is right. Why do you think I had you do that?

To show that sometimes things will be difficult, Linda our 9th grader, responded.

Exactly! My main objective this year is to get you to understand that failure is part of our learning process

Professor Pam went on to explain that they can have high standards for themselves (in our Village anything below 93% is considered toxic waste) because when they fail at something they can go back and rework it until they get it right. So much is learned through the failing, thus it is a critical component of our process and allows the kids to master the material.

Oh the dog really wanted to try this too!!!

She told them  they should never feel ashamed when they get something wrong–that in fact it is normal. She also explained that  “I don’t know” is a great answer.

As a scientist, her life has been mastering trying and failing and trying again. Scientist are risk takers and you can’t be a risk taker if you have a fear of failing, she told the girls.

So, she said wrapping up her class, we are going to master failing this year as we learn about astronomy. What I will be looking for is what you do when you fail.

As a parent, I was so grateful for my girls getting this message at this young age. They walked away empowered and ready to leap. I have seen this truth carry over into every aspect of their life, it literally changed how they saw themselves and I am ever grateful.

I Want to Hear From You! What life lessons have you shared with your children? How have you communicated to your children that failing is normal? How did they respond?


Until next time, Stay Encouraged & Be Blessed!!


3 thoughts on “Failing IS Part of Our Process

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