Failure is Not an Option


All week long my daughter has been nagging me to take her to the park, and all week long I’ve been saying no. Not because I’m mean or don’t want her outside having fun, but because I just didn’t want to go. We have a pretty nice swingset, plenty of outdoor activities for her, and most importantly, a large pool. This summer is moving along at an alarming rate. The playground will still be accessible a few months from now. The pool will not.

Yesterday I finally gave in. The sky was overcast, I didn’t have anything pressing to accomplish, and I knew it would make her happy. Plus, I was tired of her asking. I assumed that it was the company of other children that she was looking for, something that seemed reasonable.

That wasn’t the case at all. There were several other kids her age and she ignored them all, strange for my daughter, who is extremely outgoing and social. It wasn’t a day for running and playing. It was a day for training. Alaina was on a mission to “practice her climbing.”




She can occasionally be whiny, like all four year olds, but for the most part Alaina is pretty even-tempered. The only things that can always be counted on to get her blood boiling are being told she is “too little” to do something, or even worse, if she tries something and fails.

Apparently the last time Alaina was at the playground with my wife, she got stuck atop a corkscrew pole that several older girls had talked her into climbing. I heard this story after remarking on how weird it seemed that all she wanted to do ย while there was to go up and down the pole, over and over, until she was comfortable doing it by herself. When that was accomplished we moved on to other climbable obstacles.

My daughter was determined. That BS wasn’t going to be happening again. She was going to practice her climbing.




I absolutely love this about her. In her four years there has never been a challenge that she has backed down from, and I hope this quality continues. Too much pride isn’t healthy, and there is a competitive edge to her that we might need to monitor, but for now we will be at the park, “practicing her climbing”. ย Because failure is not an option.





37 thoughts on “Failure is Not an Option”

  1. Good for her! My youngest is like that with certain things. I remember when he was a toddler and his older brother (of five years) could do things that he couldn’t. He would get so frustrated when he would try to do the same things as his big brother but he would also keep trying. It’s good not to give up.

  2. My boy is constantly biting off more than he can chew by trying to copy what bigger kids are up to on the climbing equipment. Glad she managed to win in the end.
    x Alice

  3. My daughters are like this too, especially my second and third. They see their older sister climbing and being able to do things that they couldn’t and away they go figuring it out and on several occasions exceeding what my oldest had achieved to that point.

    It took me a while to get comfortable standing back and just giving them the space to climb without constantly telling them to be careful. Now I just sit back and enjoy watching what they can accomplish.

    1. It took me a while to stop hovering over her all the time. She’s always been a bit overambitious in what she’s trying to do, but more times than not she succeeds

  4. Love this – i had a moment like this last week when I took two of mine to the Crocky Trail. My 7 year old backed out of going down a vertical drop but revisited it as the end and just chucked himself down it! #twinklyyuesday

  5. My boy is a bit of a thrill seeker and has some guts that always surprise me for a not yet three year old! Sounds similar to your daughter and it’s always so fun to watch! Well done for being the parent that lets her get on with it ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    1. The complete lack of fear is kinda scary sometimes, but she’s usually pretty good about accepting the few times when I do try and hold her back.

  6. My boy is exactly the same – he gets in such a strop when he can’t do something! Luckily the local park has been mastered so I actually get to relax a bit when we go…


    1. It can be pretty stressful. I try hard not to be one of those “hovering” parents, but its a difficult thing to resist sometimes

  7. She is just like my son, Alfie. If he is told no he has to do it. There is a climbing frame at our park that all the bigger boys use and he HAS to go on it, I was petrified watching him gingerly walk over the hoops suspended in the air but I then realised that actually by me guiding him and teaching him rather than preventing him is the best option! As always a wonderful post and she clearly is a strong willed, independent little girl ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. What an awesome post and what an amazing reflection of a proud daddy.

    I love her determination too. It’s so important and is lovely to witness in young children.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day!

  9. That’s a fantastic attitude to have in life, and it sounds like she’s been mulling it oer in her head, trying to figure out the best way to succeed. That’s great. Nothing wrong with being competitive either, although I think it does need to be channeled. Well done to her. #justanotherlinky

  10. What a lovely little moto to live by and im sure she will rock at everything! Beautiful photos and even better memories made! Lovely read! Thanks for sharing! Suz x

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