• The Secrets Behind Failure | Luke Reynolds | Episode 197

  • failure“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” The sentiment is admirable and practical; realistically, you shouldn’t expect to succeed the first time at something you’ve never done before. However, our current cultural pressures regarding success and failure do expect that very thing, and nowhere is that pressure showing more effects than in our kids—in school, in extra-curriculars, in college applications, even in hobbies that should be purely for fun. We forget that in order to learn, you have to fail—and that’s where Luke Reynolds comes in. He joins Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler to help us readjust our own views on failure, learning and success; and to teach us how to help our kids re-learn that failing the first time doesn’t make them a failure as a person or at life.

    Listen to the Mighty Parenting podcast on your favorite podcast app:

    Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Player FM | iheartradio | Castbox | Podchaser | Overcast |

    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    It’s a very dangerous thing to equate speed to intelligence or ability. It’s actually the depth with which we do things and the joy we derive from doing something that matters and helps us avoid burnout.

    High Points From Our Conversation on the Secrets Behind Failure:

    Quote about failureLuke Reynolds took a good hard look at his students and saw that failure wasn’t okay with kids. Even though we say it’s okay we still feel shame when it happens.

    We say it’s okay to fail, but grades tell them something else. When they get a C or D, parents ask what went wrong and what it takes to get an A.

    What can you do to do better? “What’s wrong with me?” This pressure goes beyond parental expectations to peer culture.

    We don’t celebrate the attempt, we celebrate the result. 

    We can grow by celebrating the attempts. Celebrate what you’ve already come through instead of focusing on how to do it better.

    Nobody is born with perfectly complete knowledge of everything. Failure is a necessary part of living and evolving, as a student and as a person.

    All of life is about learning and growing.

    In movies, we often see a short montage of how somebody trains for success. This is a deeply flawed message—it tells us that 1) what matters most is success and 2) to succeed only takes a short period of time.

    Sometimes it’s not about trying harder, but also about trying a new path.

    Parents think they know their child’s motive when we often don’t. Ask!

    Ask good questions and listen with your whole self.

      • “What about _____ got you excited?”
      • “What about _____ did you envision?”
      • “What do you like about _____?”
      • “What don’t you like about _____?”

    First discern the what. What was your child hoping for? What did they want? If the motive is healthy, then let them keep trying. If it’s not healthy, then encourage exploration of other activities/opportunities.

    Myth: The faster you do something the better. It’s easy to perpetuate this in today’s culture, where everything needs to be faster, brighter, louder, more efficient. However, in rushing to completion we often miss valuable lessons, fun, and experiences that occur during the process of the task, job, activity, etc.

    When our minds and our bodies are in a calm state we accomplish more than when we’re hurried and rushing.

    It’s not going to happen overnight, but once you and your child put in the work to accept that failure is not only necessary to learning, but can teach you important lessons—and sometimes even be fun! Ever exploded something in chem lab by messing up chemical proportions the first time?—then your goals, emotions, relationships and lives will be the better for it.


    Building Resilience With Timeless Advice For Teenagers | Lisa Shumate | Episode 89

    Career Anxiety In College And High School Students | Dennis Trittin | Episode 92

    The Surprising Reason Kids Can’t Handle Disappointment or Failure | Dr. G | Episode 112

    Our Guest Luke Reynolds:

    Luke Reynolds discusses failureLuke Reynolds is a passionate believer in the power of stories to transform lives—especially stories that help us understand that we all fail and flounder sometimes. Luke has been a public school English teacher at both the secondary and middle school levels, and he currently is an assistant professor of Education at Endicott College. He completed his PhD at Boston College and focuses on teaching, writing, and reading as three crucial paths towards compassion, kindness, and connection. Luke and his wife, Jennifer, have four sons and live in Massachusetts, where they endeavor to conduct as many family dance parties as possible in their living room. His latest book EVEN MORE FANTASTIC FAILURES released from Beyond Words Publishing and is available now.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://lukewreynolds.com/. 

    Our Sponsor:

    The Art and Science of Saying No: Ditch Guilt, Find Time, and Enjoy Your Life More www.sandyfowler.com/saying-no