With kids heading back to school and fall sports programs starting back up, it’s important we keep our kids in tune with what matters. One of the most important lessons, and maybe THE most important life lesson, we have been trying to ingrain in our oldest son, is that it’s okay to fail as long as he tries. You never know, just like Sophie the Skunk Who Sometimes Stunk, failing at one thing could mean finding success in another.
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My oldest son is just 6 years old, but for the past few years we’ve tried to get him to understand that’s it’s okay to fail. As adults, we know that failing is a part of life and if we don’t fail sometimes, we aren’t learning. Every day is an opportunity to learn!
Since he’s a young kid, it’s natural to feel like failing just isn’t an option. In his eyes, it’s win and succeed, or nothing. But it’s important to us, and we tell him all the time, it’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to lose. As long as you try. We’re trying to build his confidence and teach him to never give up.
So when I got the chance to get a copy of Sophie the Skunk Who Sometimes Stunk, I knew it would be the perfect book for him. The story of Sophie reminds kids that it’s okay to not always be the best at something. Like Sophie, kids can give new hobbies their best effort and trust that even if they don’t always make the team or get a part in the cast, it is better to try and fail, than to never try at all. Sophie the Skunk Who Sometimes Stunk is one of the most relatable books my son could own right now.
Sophie loves to sing and dance, but she doesn’t make the cut for the Talent Show. That doesn’t stop Sophie from continuing to sing and dance at home, though. It’s something she loves to do and one failure isn’t going to stop her. Maybe singing and dancing in front of an audience just isn’t for her. So she tries her hand at sports and guess what – she’s great at them! Failing at one thing could mean finding success in another.
Author, Kathryn Evans, says:
My goal is to show kids that sometimes it’s a good thing to not be the best at something. You might discover a new talent you may have not noticed before.
Had Sophie not failed at getting a part in the Talent Show, she never would have known she was so great at sports.
I sat down a few days ago and read Sophie the Skunk Who Sometimes Stunk, with my son. As we were reading I tried to explain each page so he’d really understand the lesson of the story, and tried to correlate it with activities he’s going through now so he’d understand better.
One thing that stood out to me, was that Sophie wasn’t the best at reading. But she read extra and more than was expected, and as a result she received a reading award at the end of the year. All because she kept trying and wouldn’t let herself give up. My son learned a lot of reading skills in kindergarten, but still has doubts about his abilities. We know that if he tries, his reading skills will shine. It was a perfect place in Sophie’s story to remind him that just like we tell him all the time, you just have to try.
So as your kids head back to school or start a new extracurricular activity, don’t forget that it’s okay to let them fail or not be good at something. It’s okay to not understand a math problem. It’s okay not to know how to draw a portrait. It’s okay to miss that soccer goal. Just encourage them to continue trying and do their best. And if they want to try something different, there’s nothing wrong with that either. They may find exactly what they’re amazing at and shine brighter than ever.
It’s okay to fail as long as you try.