While there is a lot of focus, of late, on the importance and learnings of failure, at work and also in life, going through the phase immediately after what you have termed as a failure on your part is not easy. It’s very difficult. It looks great when you read such stories of failures in fiction books and the occasional movies.
Having gone through bankruptcy myself in mid nineties through business mishappenings, I can understand the emotions and feelings facing failure, and the huge consequences that come with it. It took six years for me and my life partner to come out of the financial mess. But the insights and learnings that we got out of the failure is immeasurable. In fact more valuable than the program that I did from IIM Ahmedabad in the late nineties that was central to our recovery. While you may not be prepared to fail you should be ready to learn from the failure(s) and mistakes.
As parents, it’s very important to let your kids, fall and/or fail. Small or big. You don’t have to motivate them to fail but you can always support and help them. My parents never scolded or offended us post our business disaster but supported us right through the recovery phase in innumerable ways. Their tolerance for our failures was a huge contributing factor in our growth.
Here is an interesting article on the subject of patents letting their kids fail.