As a parent, my goal is always to help my children succeed. However, I realized that children really need help to learn how to fail. When we fail, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and ultimately succeed. It’s not necessarily a new idea, but an idea that I now understand better as a parent.
Failure is inevitable. If children are not taught how to tolerate failure, it can make them vulnerable to anxiety and stress, which, regardless of age, often leads to depression. It can also affect children. Gaining the necessary skills to deal with failure is an important part of success.
“I’ve failed many times in my life and that’s why I’ve succeeded.” – Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan, one of the world’s greatest athletes, has been talking about failure for decades. He discussed the importance of perseverance and resilience both on and off the field. His fantastic achievements and hard work have made him one of the most influential basketball players of all time. Was he born a champion? No. Did he have the raw talent to play? No. She was relentless and never gave up. He accepted failure as part of his success.
As the pressure to win increases, we see that more children are distracted by the smallest mistakes. Therefore, it is more important for children to learn how to tolerate imperfection. I argue that learning how to deal with these mistakes may be even more important than any lesson or skill they have at the time of making the mistake. Learning how to fail is a necessary part of achieving any goal. It is an important life skill for children to become more independent and develop in the future.
Teaching children to fail is a process that begins with empathy. Saying “it’s okay,” “trying well,” or “you’ll do better next time” can dampen a child’s emotions, leading to more frustration and despair. Try to change the attitude to sympathize: “I see that you are offended. I know you wanted to do better. ”
Modeling your own pessimistic behavior can also be effective. Sharing your failures and explaining that failure is a part of life can help you overcome failures. Children are not always exposed to the reality that we adults make mistakes and experience failure. It is important to teach our children that it is good when things do not always go according to plan.
Turn failure into a learning moment. When a child fails, there is a good opportunity for parents to learn critical thinking skills, such as problem solving, self-regulation, and open-mindedness. Try to help your child understand what to do next time for potential success. It’s all about balance – we want to create stress tolerance skills by accepting that the situation is “what it is” and also acknowledging what we’ve learned or what we can do next.
Dealing with your child’s failure can be difficult, but learning how to deal with mistakes can only be achieved through exposure. When we protect or try to protect our children from every mistake, we deprive them of the experience they need to solve a problem. We miss the opportunity for them to feel resilient and build the confidence needed to accept new challenges.
Learning to fail can be a painful experience, but success can only be achieved after learning the skills necessary to overcome all the obstacles of life in our path.
James Waddell, LSW, an early youth social worker at John H. Elementary School. Castle and Yankitown are in Warrick County. Youth First, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening youth and families. Youth First offers 78 master’s degree social workers to 107 schools in 13 states in Indiana. More than 60,000 young people and families are served annually by Youth First School social work and after-school programs that prevent drug abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student achievement. For more information about Youth First, visit youthfirstinc.org or call 812-421-8336.