WATCH: A gentle reminder from a 4-year-old future "best football player" to never give up
Every so often, even when life continues to knock us down, we see or hear something so moving that it gives us the motivation we need to actually keep calm and carry on. Like an inspiring little boy making headlines for feeding the homeless, or just a movie that leaves us feeling some kind of way.
I mean, remember when Alfred asked Master Wayne why we fall, just to remind him that it’s “so we can learn to pick ourselves up”?
We felt that.
So when we came across this video of Arat Hosseini, a 4-year-old Iranian little boy with aspirations of becoming the “best football player in the world”, we felt particularly driven, and we think you will too.
The video shows the curly-haired boy trying to jump high enough off the ground to land his feet on top of a plastic chair.
Arat tries quite a few times, knocking the chair over and falling down on multiple occasions.
But he keeps going.
He jumps, falls, pauses, and jumps again. He picks himself up and goes again.
After a pep talk from his dad and a kiss on the forehead, he focuses all his attention and energy on the chair, stretches his arms back to give him a little more momentum and finally, sticks the landing.
Apart from the sheer satisfaction of completing a particularly challenging feat and the avalanche of hugs and kisses that followed, Arat also probably learned a skill that he will carry with him for the rest of his life. And we’re not talking about jumping high enough but instead, getting up, every time he fell down.
- Also read: 5 valuable life lessons from 4-year-olds
Failure and grit
In recent years, in some or other way, we’ve all become helicopter parents hovering over our kids wanting to protect them from every and anything that might pose a threat. Some of us have even taken on the role of a lawnmower parent, smoothing our children’s path, making sure nothing gets in their way, and for the sake of our extended metaphor, gets them down.
But as unpleasant as failure may be for kids, it’s important to build their grit. Mandie Shean, a lecturer at Edith Cowan University, explains that failure teaches children many important life skills, essential for the development of a “growth mindset” – one that understands that failure is not associated with incompetence or weakness, but only means that in order to complete a particular task, children need to persevere and try harder, or differently, if a task so requires. Added to the development of this mindset, children also begin to understand that if they do X, Y happens, teaching them that particular natural consequences result from our decisions.
Shean therefore believes that, “Failure is a gift disguised as a bad experience”, and when we let our children experience failure, we‘re making them more resilient. This will ultimately empower and equip them to better deal with future experiences of failure, proving to be just as valuable a skill, if not more so, for Arat, that he will probably carry with him for the rest of his life.
And 10, 20, 30 years from now, even if he doesn't stick the landing, we know for sure that when he falls, he’ll just pick himself right back up again.
How have you helped your child deal with failure in the past? How do you approach the situation when they're feeling despondent? Send us your tips and tricks to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish it on the site.
- Protecting your kids from failure isn’t helpful. Here’s how to build their grit
- Teach your kids to see difficulty this way and they're more likely to succeed
- "Fail early, fail often, fail forward": Why failing could be the best thing that's happened to your teen
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