A Message From The Chaplain

I read an interesting article recently titled, ‘What did you fail at today?’ which initially produced mixed thoughts in my mind.

The usual questions we tend to ask our children when we see them after school would be, ‘did you have a good day?’ or ‘what did you learn at school?’ I know as a child I wasn’t usually ready for long explanations to questions such as this, and usually didn’t provide my Mum or Dad with much information.

Timing, I found as my own children grew up, was the essence of getting meaningful answers that gave insights into the day and how they were managing.

This article made the point that at university and elsewhere, many students, while impressive on paper, seem to be unable to cope with simple struggles that then impact their lives significantly. One university is now offering an entire course on how to fail!

It did get me thinking that failure is often viewed as a result of ‘not trying’ or an ‘end outcome’. It doesn’t have to be, though.

Failure / Disappointment can be where true learning starts in order to grow.

Thomas Edison's teachers said he was "too stupid to learn anything". He was fired from his first two jobs for being "non-productive". As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. ... Edison replied: "I didn't fail 1,000 times, I was working persistently to achieve a goal".

I think our BLP program (Building Learning Power) goes a long way to equipping our students in important areas such as resilience, being resourceful, listening and interacting with others, as well as reflecting on our actions.

It’s important and necessary to encourage and celebrate your children’s successes, but when disappointments come, don’t see them as failures – see them as great learning opportunities. Encourage and talk with your children about ways to move forward, or what different actions could be taken in the future to improve the situation if it occurs again. Sharing your own personal stories with your disappointments can help to normalise setbacks for your children so that they can ‘pick themselves up again’ and have another try.

We also have a loving God who journeys with us through life’s joys and setbacks. He’s always there for us and Jesus experienced this Himself when He walked the earth. He can pick us up and take us forward, if we ask for His help.

Don’t be afraid to seek His support and comfort in whatever you may be facing.

God bless

Rowan Thurman


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