Lesson 79: The Greatest Gift to Your Child

What is the greatest gift that you as a parent could give to your child? Kids nowadays have adequate materials but are lacking of spirit. There is a common trait among all the kids that I encountered these few years. Regardless whether they are introvert or extrovert, well behaved or not, they are afraid of FAILURE.  

Recently I met an active boy. When he could not recall the lesson, he cried. When he lost in games, he cried too. When he could not perform well in small matter, he would throw tantrum and weep his heart out. I met kids who were afraid of failure but he was the most extreme one. Some other kids were well behaved but were afraid of socializing. There were no other reason except afraid of failure. For instances, there was a timid boy who had little friends. When I asked him the reason he did not talk to friends, he replied, "I tried but they scolded me. I'm afraid that the other people will do the same."

It is normal to be frighten of failure. It is a feeling which we all had experienced. However, the kids nowadays are different from the older generation like us. They are much more frighten of failure. They will not try again if they had fail.


It is an "instant" age where speed is required for everything. Learning must be fast, information transmission must be fast, and gaining results must also be fast. Everyone is desiring for fast pace results, even for kids. There were kids who used to hack the games in order to raise their level in a short period of time. I guessed the games would not be fun, isn't it? However, the kids answered, "Coach, it's fun to up level faster!" On the other hand, they also wished to gain the results in learning other things. Hence, they tended to give up when they could not get the results they wanted immediately.

Hence, what could parents do to help their child?

Parents give great impact towards their child. Jay Chao, Taiwanese Artist gained support from his mother in learning piano and cello since young. Even though his father and teachers looked down on him, and his employer at that time, Jacky Wu, did not appreciate his music, his mother was the only one who still showed concern, care and even helped him to build good relationships with his colleagues. Jay Chao was about to give up but he managed to hang on, create one song each day thinking of the sacrifices of his mother. In the end, he became popular when he grasped an opportunity to release his first album.

Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of Huffinton Post received great influence from her mother as well. Growing up in a single room apartment in Greece, she always hear encouragement from her mother when she encountered failure, "Failure is not the opposite of success, it's a stepping stone for success." Thus, she has been believing that she could achieve her dreams, as how her mother believed.

Sara Brakely, the founder of Spanx established Spanx at the age of 29 and later on became a billionaire. She shared that when she was young, her father would ask her the same question every single week, "What did you fail this week?" He would be disappointed if she did not encounter any failure. Hence, she would crack her head searching for failure everyday. As time passed, failure became a must and positive occurrence. She has been frank to reveal her mistakes and solving the problems with her employees in the whole process of establishing her company. There was no giving up but only problem solving.

Failure will come even if it is not call upon regardless of the matter that your child is doing. It is a path which you must pass through before your dream comes true. What matters the most is how do we help our child to perceive failure. When your child fail, would you say, "Good! Let's find a way to solve it!" or "Too bad! Fail." The way you perceive failure would affect the way your child perceive failure.

Barrack Obama had a difficult childhood in Indonesia where his peers lobbed him rocks and racial epithets. His mother said, "He's ok." when a friend tried to help. Obama did handle it positively. However, children do need parents' help when they encounter bullying.

You have to make people like it. Then they will do it. 

Jay Chao, Huffington, Sara Brakely and Obama have one thing they like in common, that is challenge. The greatest gift for your child is to make challenge into the thing that they like. I guess nobody would like failure, wouldn't we? However, it is not difficult to equip with the spirit of challenge.

Do you make your child 'like' to challenge the problem or holding them back saying, "let daddy/ mummy help you?" when a problem comes to your child.

Do you make your child 'like' to investigate for a better way to solve a problem when your child did not perform well?

Do you make your child 'like' to challenge his limit when he fail again and again?

As a parent, a lot of unexpected problems may arise when you are raising and educating your child. Many parents tends to be upset and disappointed towards their kids. It is the same issue as your child is facing, that is, you as a parent are afraid of failure too. Educating a child is much more tougher than working or doing business, isn't it? The kids never improve regardless of your efforts. This time, give yourself and your child the greatest gift of loving to encounter failure, to investigate and to challenge!
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