“Speaking of nudging kids. Do you remember when you were a kid and then trying something that you weren’t very good at and then just completely quitting?” Raz
“What was it?” Raz
“What happened.” Raz
“I couldn’t do a cartwheel. And then I just stopped doing it.” Saujani
I was on a long road trip a few months back, binging on podcasts, and the Ted Radio Hour Nudge with Guy Raz and Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, captivated my attention. Reshma was speaking to the lack of women in certain job fields, and how we can work to close the gender gap by teaching our girls to be brave and accept that failing is ok.
“We are raising our girls to be perfect and our boys to be brave.”
Reshma goes on to explain that from an early age girls are taught to avoid risk and failure, and to play it safe. Therefore, they gravitate toward careers they are good at or perfect in.
“When we teach girls to be brave they can build incredible things. Be socialized to be imperfect. Learned perseverance.”
Reshma’s introduction referring to gymnastics could not be more fitting. Gymnastics is often praised for its ability to teach kids flexibility, strength, and coordination. We often praise the cognitive benefits gained as concertation, focus, and problem solving. Often we overlook the benefit gained from failure and perseverance, and how this will benefit kids in the classroom, in their careers, and in life. Mastering failure, learning how to take risks, and learning how to approach challenges can guide kids not only through school but also career decisions. Whether it is applying for a job, asking for a raise, or going for a promotion.
Gymnastics is about taking risks, learning from failure, and perseverance no matter what level you are at. Every skill, no matter how basic, and in every event there is risk, failure, and perseverance. Let your kids learn in a safe environment that it is ok to take risks, if you fail you try again, not everything in life comes easy, to appreciate their imperfections, and most importantly to be brave.
Ta Da Gymnastics. Teaching kids to be BRAVE!
Listen to full podcast click here: https://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/483080945/nudge