by Nicholas Forcier - Director of Admissions & Enrollment
We should use the word “yet” far more often. It helps us to remember that there’s still time: time to achieve mastery, to do something important, to change someone’s life, to make a contribution. And it creates a sense of urgency to continue working toward the goal. I remember when my son started learning how to play hockey, and he told me that he wasn’t very good because he couldn’t skate backward. I said, “Yet. You can’t skate backward yet.” If that five-year-old version of him could see himself now, he’d understand.
As adults, it’s imperative that we remind our kids that there’s almost nothing they’ll be good at right away. I know a lot of parents who move their kids from one activity to another quickly, trying to figure out which one will “stick”: they try tee-ball, then karate, then dance, and so on...I don’t judge them for that; we want to see our children happy and we believe that we’ll know what they have a natural talent for as soon as we see it. But I’d rather see our kids want to be great at something because they love it, rather than loving something because they’re good at it. The latter is easy; the former builds character, strength, and resilience.
We need to model that behavior for our kids. We have to be willing to fail in front of them to show them that sometimes failing can be good. After all, you’ve just learned another way not to do it. I’ve fallen on ice hundreds of times in front of all the people in the ice rink because I refuse to stop trying to skate backward. Still can’t do it. Not yet, anyway.