I read a few weeks ago Derek Robertson’s post about failure and found it really interesting. I’m not so sure that the word fail has such negative connotations for children. My own children ( 10 and 8 ) use the words “fail” and “epic fail” in a very interesting way. When I asked them to explain what was different between a fail and an epic fail in their eyes, they were happy to supply me with their version. Apparently a fail only becomes epic if you draw attention to how great you are before undertaking something. It is not the severity of the consequence that they would consider the difference. That is a bit different from what my understanding was as I was definitely focussing on the consequence.I was relieved to hear their version, as it downgraded my recent jump attempt on my mountain bike from an epic fail to just a fail, despite the fact it cost me financially in the shape of a new helmet to replace the broken one and physically; with about an acre of gravel rash. I think they own the word and by using it in their everyday vocabulary rob it, to a large degree, of any negative connotation.
Older boy also spends a substantial amount of his time on Minecraft and through information garnered from online conversations with his pals on xbox live and help videos on YouTube they have constructed fantastic online shared playgrounds and are continually experimenting and learning from each other. What one knows by teatime – everyone knows by bed time. They don’t consider anything they undertake to be a failure beyond the fact that they need to make improvements. Quite clearly they do not assume that they are failures just because they need to adapt, develop, rethink and restart.