Give your children permission to fail. I could list many wonderful things my mother instilled in me, but her fear of failure was so overwhelming that she would discourage me from attempting many things because there was a chance I would not make it. She never doubted my abilities, only the prejudiced eyes of a small town. The result was that I hesitantly approached every audition, every interview, every attempt to put myself out there with great dread. Winning was exhilarating—loss was devastating. That was the untold lesson she taught me.

When I had children of my own, I was determined to gift them with permission to fail. It was harder than I imagined, but the reality is that we all fail at times, and then we pick up and move on—and so does life and the rest of the world. I had to hold on to my heart several times as I walked with them through some harsh defeats, but the truth of this story is that many more victories and incredible opportunities occurred than failures. I also learned their few failures seemed to hurt me more than them. They were surprisingly resilient!

James 1:2 says, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials” (CSB). I made it a point to remain joyful with them and believe with them that God had other plans that did not include this activity. The result was strong children who believed they could attempt anything, because the worst anyone could do was say “no.” Failure will never be avoided fully, so give your children permission to have that experience and bolster them up through it. Just consider it a great joy!

— Daphne Murrell 

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