One afternoon two brothers were playing at the pond on their father’s dairy farm, and they noticed a frog enjoying the day jumping around the edges. The brothers watched in fascination. After a few minutes they caught the frog, and they devised a plan to play a trick on their father.
After they caught the frog, they kept it hidden and at milking time they quietly put it in a bucket of fresh milk their father always used to feed a calf. They were excited to see their father’s face when he found the frog swimming in the milk bucket. However, an unforeseen disruption to their well-planned surprise, causing the boys and their father to forget all about the bucket of milk.
Later that night the boys remembered the frog, but they realized that they couldn’t do anything about it until morning. They were up early and in the barn at the same time their dad arrived.
Their father was the first to notice the bucket and he was curious about what he saw. When he showed it to his sons they were surprised because there was no milk in it and the frog was gone. However, what they did find was a bucket full of butter. When the dad learned what happened he laughed with them and then used the moment to teach a great lesson.
“Well,” he said, “that frog was one of those energized, undefeatable type frogs. He wouldn’t give up, so he swam all night trying to get out of that bucket until he churned the milk into butter, then his escape was easy. He simply jumped out and went home to tell his family about his great adventure.”
Listening and taking advantage of the moment to teach a lesson is a resiliency skill we should use with our children regularly. Letting them see our sense of humor and our fun side will create a bond that will strengthen our relationship. Stepping away from our serious self will be good for us as well. As an aside, this father also took a moment to teach his sons the lesson of perseverance of the frog. After all he keep paddling until he escaped. It would have been easy to give up and never get out of that bucket until the next morning.
Here's to Failing Forward,
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