If I knew then what I do now. I would have been a much better parent. I would have instead of cringing at not understanding how to support my kids when they were anxious or felt overwhelmed and devastated by not achieving, I would have included one more word, one mighty word. I would have acted with the same tenderness and understanding perhaps with the same encouragement, but I would have added the word, yet.
My precious child, you will get this you just haven’t got it yet!
‘Yet’ just three letters, yes there are other words, other synonyms which may describe time or at some point in time but ‘yet’, conveys there is still time. It is not the negative ‘but’ or the blaming ‘because’ it is just an unaccusing but definitive ‘soon’. It carries with it faith in them, faith in their ability to achieve and encourages that mistakes or failures are just part of the course, part of life.
Change is constant and it is part of our world, change is not something we get ready for now, change is constant. Part of our lives, as a result, we are always in a state of development if we view every ‘mistake’ as final in this changing world our souls will be crushed. Mistakes are part of the learning journey. Seeing errors as just a step in the progression of our journey places it in the perspective that it deserves, it is not a final destination that defines us it is not the final result.
When we accept, failure, mistakes, errors as just feedback, we can have conversations around that concept. It opens up avenues of discussions about how to get better and achieve, changing our focus to the future and on moving forward not dwelling and ruminating on the past, the unaccomplished. We have learned that what we think of we become so what a beautiful thought to instil in a child, that they are just a magnificent work still in progress.
‘Yet’ acknowledges that you haven’t reached the goal and it implies that you will undertake actions to achieve these goals. There is no fault no personal liability, no ruminations, just a decision to be made about how to move forward. By stepping outside the situation, you remove the emotion, by eliminating the feeling you can work hard at the problem and the steps needed to undertake to change this situation. Of late in educational terms this is referred to as being in the ‘learning pit’, once children realise they are in the learning pit they can then choose some strategies to help them escape it.
The marvellous aspect of ‘yet’ is that it is also laden with the notion that you will attempt this goal again and even if you don’t achieve it you will reflect upon the purpose the effort and the strategies employed. This is a crucial aspect of being resilient that you will respond to the facts from the feedback as just feedback, just information, just data not judgment, laden with guilt for not achieving. The feedback that is not laden with the possibility that you are just not smart enough or intelligent enough, instead it is input, loaded with opportunity.
For more information do check out Carol Dweck, Ted Talk
Also consider, if you haven’t already watching, http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance?language=en
Consider activities on developing a positive mindset a Growth Mindset.
I encourage you to be a better parent than I was and include the word ‘Yet’ in your conversations with your children. It is the difference between success and ‘not yet.’