Failure is a part of life. No one can be perfect 100% of the time. Failure isn’t fatal, but many adults view it as something to avoid. Teach your child that failure is a part of life, it’s only a temporary condition, and can lead you to success. A child that deals effectively with failure is equipped to deal with the world successfully.
Make your child impervious to the potential pitfalls of failure
- Failure is a learning opportunity. When we fail, we learn that our approach wasn’t the best choice. Explain to your child that failing means you need to try again with a new approach. Most kids readily accept this fact.
- Failure isn’t personal. Failure says nothing about the person that “failed.” Failure is the result of a behavior. Failing doesn’t mean that a person isn’t capable, smart, or a good person.
- Tell your child about a time you failed, but were ultimately successful. Share a story about your own failure and show your child that failure happens to everyone. More importantly, tell your child how you overcame your failure and experienced success at the end.
- Teach your child that persistence is important. With enough persistence, any failure can be overcome. It’s important to try again.
‣ If you think about the adults you know that struggle in life, you’ll find that they’re not persistent in their efforts. Teach this fact to your child.
- You can’t always get what you want. Life can be disappointing. You can’t hit every shot or get every question on a test correct every time. Some “failures” can’t be undone, but life must go on. Failure can be an opportunity to deal with disappointment.
‣ Disappointment occurs throughout life. We don’t get the job we want. Our offer for a Saturday night date is refused. But you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
- Success can be more meaningful when you’ve been forced to deal with failure. Allow your child to experience success after initial failure. This means you’ll have to encourage your child to continue trying after failing. When they’re successful, point out how good they feel. Success is rewarding.
Dealing with failure is a part of life. When a child is able to deal with failure effectively, he loses his fear of failure. Most adults never learned to embrace failure and make every effort to avoid situations that might result in failure. True success can never be achieved if you’re limited by a fear of failing.
It is painful to watch children trying to show off for parents who are engrossed in their cell phones. Children are nostalgic for the ‘good old days’ when parents used to read to them without the cell phone by their side. – Sherry Turkle
Next Chapter: Teach Your Child to Set and Achieve Goals