kids and the benefits of failure

Wisdom cries out in the street;
    in the squares she raises her voice.
At the busiest corner she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge? Proverbs 1:20-22

IMG_4607The best perk when it comes to being self-employed is the flexibility. The pay is pitiful, and the “benefits” are non-existent, but the ability to write my own schedule is priceless.

So yesterday, right in the middle of the long Thanksgiving to Christmas gap between seeing my grandchildren, I hopped in my TDi and motored north to Richmond for lunch and bowling with Naomi’s family.

It was a surprise for the kids, and their reaction when they walked into Chili’s was beautiful.

Then we headed over to the “Uptown Bowling” complex, where we enjoyed all sorts of fun employing the minimum possible level of skill, rolling heavy, directionally challenged balls down a long wooden shoot; the pins were not intimidated.

12376115_10100614964777952_1339907082688653123_nBut, to watch the children wrestle the heavy bowling balls, almost too big to maneuver, and then peer intently down the lane as they rolled, laboriously, toward the target… Such a precious image.

GOOD PARENTING: I appreciate the way Naomi and Craig allow the children to take responsibility for their own fun. “There’s the bowling ball; there’s the lane; you make it happen…”

They offer instruction, guidance, support, and encouragement; but they don’t insulate David and Beks from the important work of learning, the trial and error of real experience.

I am concerned, sometimes, that many parents don’t allow their children to engage enough of the critically important experience of failure while they are still in the safe reach of family. The best learning, problem solving, and emotional growth occurs in the context of practice, failure, repetition, and successive approximations.  Our grandchildren’s parents seem to be handling this very well.

GOD’S RICH BLESSINGS: I drove back to Wake Forest just in time to attend mid-week Bible-study with my men’s group. There we talked about some of the greatest gifts we have been privileged to receive, and to give, during our lifetime of Christmases…

IMG_4604-001Thinking about God’s generosity some more, I’d have to say I am newly surprised, every year, at the signal blessing that is the gift of these beautiful children.

“For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding”Proverbs 2:6 


(the following sequence of images is priceless!)

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