We naturally want to help our children succeed. However, as parents, sometimes the very best thing we can do is help our children succeed by learning to fail. Life isn’t success after success. Life is a series of failures. Often times, perseverance through these failures makes the achievements we make feel that much greater.
So, how do we help our children learn to succeed by failing? Encourage them to take risks outside of their comfort zones. Setting them up for constant success doesn’t allow for the skills needed to reach real accomplishments. The attempts to do something they aren’t good at right away shows them that it’s okay to fail and that these failures can slowly turn to success with practice and persistence.
When they do try, emphasize their efforts as much as their success. It’s likely not going to be perfect the first time. The encouragement of the “trying” is just as important, if not more, than the encouragement when they do have success. “Good trying!” “I’m so proud of how hard you’re working!” These are great tools to help encourage your child to keep going in the face of adversity.
Failing teaches problem solving skills. If you want to succeed, and you continue to try, you’ll have to learn a different way to get to the result that you want. Failure helps your children to pick up and keep going in a new way that may, or may not, work this time.
One of the best ways to show your children how to learn to succeed by failing is to illustrate how you yourself learn by failing. You are your children’s greatest teacher. They are always watching. If they have a parent who gives up and talks about how they can never get anything right, you’re going to have a child modeling your behavior. Make sure your self-talk is positive. The same self-talk you’d want your child to have.
Our little ones are going to try. They are going to fail. They are going to fall. They are going to have to know that it’s okay to get up, brush themselves off and try again. We may be able to clear obstacles from our children’s lives when they’re little, but the greatest gift we can give them as they grow is teaching them to come back after failure and keep pushing on to success.
Ready for your little one to try, fail and try again? Come join us for a class. Clap for their trys and their successes!