He had never really been on a hockey rink or even laced up a pair of skates. Yet I knew he would feel the pressure to give it a try, because most of the other boys at the party were going to do it. Not really sure if I should encourage him or discourage him, I cautiously tried to monitor his level of fear or nervousness.
But in the end, it was me who was the frightened one, and worried about Nicholas getting hurt. He was actually excited about trying something new, and I'm still not sure if it's how we have parented him or how much is actually his personality.
Maybe it's both.
Certainly, my son was not thinking about failure (or falling) at all. And that is something we can teach our kids...that failure is nothing to be afraid of Experts will tell you it's a necessary component to life, and that we can learn and grow from it. No one likes to fail or even see our children experience failure, but it is inevitable, and part of our life experience.
Seeing my 8 year-old on the ice, trying his best and continuing to get up after falling down (sometimes very hard), it taught me a valuable lesson. That sometimes we have to let our kids take risks, and try new things, despite what we may perceive as dangerous. A creative child, a child with a healthy self-esteem is one who is willing to take chances and follow their own path... that's the key to a life with no regrets... a gift that will ensure a happy adventuresome life.
For me there was nothing better than to see my kid trying to ice skate, with a big smile on his face... unembarrassed and unafraid of falling. Wow!