This post is sponsored by GoldieBlox and TheMotherhood.com. All opinions are my own!
Recently we’ve had some issues with Sophie where she’s balked about doing activities she’s required to do in school – specifically writing a story and drawing pictures. She loves to read and is pretty much a voracious reader, but she doesn’t like to write stories or draw pictures because she thinks it’s “too hard”. Translation: what she comes up with is not good enough for her standards. She wants it to be perfect, and she sees her efforts as failure. So, she’d rather just not try.
UGH. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that Sophie has conquered some pretty difficult obstacles already in her young life. Therefore, her mother thinks she can do ANYTHING! The truth is, the girl who I was told would need 3-4 years of speech therapy stood up in front of a room full of strangers at her district speech meet a couple of weeks ago and got a Superior rating – the best you can get! So she’s definitely an overcomer. And she’s motivated to do something she wants to do.
I’m afraid now I’m going to have to teach her how to overcome her mindset. Now I am going to have to teach her the value of working hard and being willing to fail, to learn from failure and that it can make you so much better.
I recently shared two things with Sophie to help her understand how failing is only bad if we let it keep us from trying again. One was this awesome trailer about girls and failure from GoldieBlox. I love the message – and to be honest, Sophie is more prone to believe something from her favorite toy maker at this point. If Goldie says it…it must be true. Check it out – it’s awesome and inspiring, and a great conversation starter for you and your girlies!
The other thing I shared with Sophie was my own personal story of failure. I am sure this is *shocking* to you, but I have a few. Ahem. One that I thought might resonate the most with Sophie is the story of the first test I ever failed. First and ONLY, I might add. Because I definitely learned from it!
So I told Sophie of how when I was a freshman in high school, I signed up for Honors Algebra II. I had taken Algebra I in 8th grade, and had gotten an A with no problem so when the guidance counselor suggested I sign up for Honors Algebra II, I did with no qualms.
Well. Up until that time I had never had to study for math. It came easily to me. But I found out real quick, on our 2nd test that I was going to have to study REAL hard for Honors Algebra II. I got a 64% on that test. I was COMPLETELY shocked when the teacher returned it to me, and very ashamed. I cried the rest of the day at school. I was shocked because I don’t think I knew I was capable of failing. It hit me really hard – both the failure and the fact that it was possible. I know that may sound crazy, but I was 14 and school had always come easily to me.
As upset as I was by that failure, I was determined to learn from it and get past it. What I learned was that if I wanted to do well in this class, I was going to have to work really hard to keep up. I was going to have to get my dad (a math teacher, thank goodness!) to help me after school with homework and I was going to have to study really, really hard for test.
That test did set me back the first quarter, and I think I got a B, but I pulled it up the second quarter and my semester grade was an A. Whoop! I really, really worked for that grade. It was the first grade I worked super hard for and I was so proud. I found out that what I lacked in natural ability in that instance I could make up for with practice and hard work.
Math in high school got harder, and I had to work harder. I took Trigonometry and Probability & Statistics the next couple years and I had to study and work really hard in those classes. But I knew I could do it if I wanted to do well – and I did. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. And at the end of my high school career, I was one of our class Valedictorians, with a 4.0. I didn’t let math stop me from achieving that goal.
So, I told Sophie this. And I told her that maybe writing stories and drawing don’t come a naturally to her as memorizing a poem or learning her math facts do, but that if she wants to do well, then we can practice together and work hard so she can do as well as she wants to. My mom helped out by getting her a book that teaches how to draw animals, and we’ve already had fun approaching her drawing obstacle from that angle.
As Sophie and I built with GoldieBlox the other day, we encountered some failures, too. The instructions were simple and easy to follow but we had some other obstacles in our way. For instance, when it was time to put up Goldie’s zipline, we had trouble finding a good surface in our old house that the suction cups would stick to (we have plaster walls and woodwork galore!) It took us quite a few failures, but we finally figured it out!
First attempt looked great, but the suction cups wouldn’t stick to our woodwork for long!
So, we had to get creative!! After several failures we realized there just wasn’t a good place for two suction cups to go in our downstairs. The solution?? One suction cup stuck to our glass front porch door:
And one end of the rope tied – not stuck – to Jonah’s basketball hoop. We made it work – even though we had to think outside the instructions!
Goldie enjoyed her ride on this zipline! She got a little crazy, too!
We had a blast putting together GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit, learning from our failures, and playing with the Goldie action figure, too – and Sophie and I want to pass the fun along to you!
First of all, we have a special 20% off discount code good through April 5 on your entire order from GoldieBlox.com!!! Order through this link and use discount code Spring2015-s2se3t6a and WHAM! You’ll get 20% off these great toys just in time for Easter!
Secondly, we also have a GIVEAWAY for ya! One lucky lucky winner is going to get the GoldieBlox action figure with zipline as well as GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit, so you can build with your daughter and teach her about learning from failure, too!
To enter, simply comment on this post telling about one of your biggest failures and what you learned from it.
One winner will be chose at random at 6pm EST on Tuesday April 7, 2015. Good luck and GO Goldie!