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Guiding Your Children to Grow Through Failure -- a Gift That Keeps On Giving

Ali Katz


Laws and rules are created within organized societies to regulate interaction and protect citizens. A classic example is the American system of traffic laws, designed to promote consistent traffic flow while reducing accidents. When everyone understands how a four-way stop works, expectations follow. We learn how to conduct ourselves properly and to anticipate how others will behave.

Likewise, the public school curriculum nurtures expectations—expectations regarding skills which are culturally valued. Our schools promote a model of success in our society. Our students are taught how to succeed, not how to fail, learn from their mistakes, grow and evolve.

Intentionally or not, our institutions do little to prepare us to make it through failure with grace. Particularly in the middle and upper strata of our society, we are not taught how to deal with failure. There is such a focus on success that many of us have developed aversions to crisis and conflict.

So how can we prepare for adversity? Since our culture is built around success and we are largely taught to avoid failure, how do we learn to overcome it?

This is where your conscious awareness comes in.

As a parent, it’s your number one job to get highly aware about what you are passing on to your kids and how you are doing that, especially when it comes to models of success and failure.

Most parents simply don’t consider what they are handing down to the next generation, beyond thinking about how much money they’ll leave behind.

We hope to support you to be among the minority of parents who understand there’s a much bigger consideration here.

Maybe you can remember back to a time in your childhood when you thought to yourself “I’ll never be like that when I’m a parent”, only to find yourself now repeating those exact same patterns.

Yes, this is how it happens.

But, now that you’ve noticed it, you can begin to do something different. It won’t necessarily be easy, many of these patterns -- especially around success and failure -- are highly deeply ingrained. You can shift them though with consciousness. I’ll be writing more about this in future articles.

The first step is for you to just notice where you are repeating the patterns of thought and action around success and failure that your parents passed on, that you hated as a kid, and that you want to change for future generations.

We think that this is the most important part of parenting. It’s why we don’t just focus on passing on your money through estate planning, but have a process of passing on your whole Family Wealth (intellectual, spiritual and human assets in addition to money) into the legal life planning process. Through doing so, we help you consciously pass on what you really want.