Ways to Prepare Children to Handle Failure

A little failure might really be beneficial to your children if you educate them how to bounce back and deal with it.

In today's competitive society, everyone is under pressure to do well at work, in sports, at school, and in social situations from an early age. It might be a heavy load to bear, but it is especially difficult on children.

When a child is young, the secret to surviving and managing with all of the stresses and failure they face is best taught in them by their parents.

But how are you going to accomplish it?

Our natural reaction is to cover and protect them as much as possible, carrying their fears and concerns on our shoulders, but this doesn’t help in any way. Rather it can be detrimental to your child.  

Learning how to deal with failure is an important part of growing up, and it offers your child the foundation he or she needs to succeed.

Children who do not learn to accept failure are more likely to experience anxiety. When the inevitable failure occurs, whether in preschool or college, it leads to meltdowns.  

And, perhaps more importantly, it has the potential to make children give up trying—or trying new things.

If you're shaking your head and insisting that it's your job to make your child, feel like a million bucks, you might be interested in the findings. High self-esteem did not lead to improved grades or professional success, according to a study of 200 studies published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Social Science and Clinical Psychology, students who were struggling in college performed even worse after attempting to improve their self-esteem.

So, it appears that allowing your child to handle their own problem with minimal parental assistance is the best solution. 

However, there are simple actions you may take to educate him how to cope when things don't go as planned or when he fails.  

Why Rescuing Child Causes More Harm  

As a parent we all have good intentions. We all want our children to be content with whatever they do and the subsequent outcomes. Let's start by determining what will happen if we do not allow our child to embrace failure or any negative reactions they might get from their life.

  • If children do not know what it's like to fail, they will miss out on the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and how to better in the future.  
  • Furthermore, they will lose the guts to take risks and will instead choose to roll with the punches rather than tackle their problems hard on.
  • Worse yet, when we rescue our children, they may learn to assume that everything always works out—which we all know isn't the case.
  • Kids who are continually pulled out of problem situations will learn to avoid situations where they might fail.

Now identify what might happen if we let them find their own ways?

  • When we allow our children to experience failure, they learn to solve issues in novel ways.
  • Rather than declining challenges, the child will most likely seek out better opportunities for their future.

So, let's rephrase the question: Should you allow your children to fail?

Making mistakes is an unavoidable aspect of life.

Mistakes or fail in something are opportunities to learn, and they will aid us in adapting to new and tough situations when we face them in life.

Making errors and learning from them will provide our children with more self-confidence and resiliency in the long term than intervening to save them from failure.

So, how can parents assist their children in developing the ability to deal with failure positively?  

To achieve a balanced result, several approaches may be required.

How Parents' Attitude Towards Failure Shapes Their Children’s Response

Really? Is it right?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

According to research, parent's attitude towards failure — whether they see their own failures as a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow or as a negative experience that impedes progress — has a significant impact on how their children perceive their intelligence.

Parents have this strong effect on children from an early age, sending messages about what failure is and how to respond to it - According to Kyla Haimovitz, a psychology professor at Stanford University,

You must question yourself: even if I want my children to have a development mentality, do I have one myself?  

  • Parents who have regarded their own failures as crippling in the past will teach their children that intelligence and talent are full static. This provides little motivation for children to attempt again or to persevere in the face of failure. Why put out the effort if their parents are unknowingly teaching them that nothing, they do would improve their ability or intelligence?
  • Parents who regard failure as an opportunity, on the other hand, encourage their children to have a growth attitude. Kids will grow to perceive failure as merely a stumbling point to be overcome if they watch their parents not react harshly to their own shortcomings. A chance to learn, grow, and better, hopefully.

However, while a parent's mindset is typically a major driver of the mindset adopted by their children, a child's temperament, particularly their tolerance for irritation, often takes precedence.  

To put it another way, even if a parent has a very optimistic growth perspective, a child's temperament may make failure tough to accept.  

The question now is how parents can assist their children when they experience failure or disappointment in their life. We've tried to include a variety of viewpoints to offer you a well-rounded picture of what parents should do.

Ways to Prepare Children to Handle Failure

1. Listen, Sympathize, and Concentrate on Learning Possibilities Rather than Abilities

Even parents who honestly see failure as a learning opportunity may find themselves at a loss for words when their child fails.

  • Before you say anything, show your child that you're listening to their worries, concerns, and whatever else they need to express. Allowing them to vent is an important part of helping them feel better.
  • Next, make an effort to understand your child's condition. Failing must have been difficult.
  • This is also an excellent moment to compliment them on their efforts. "I'm really proud of you for going out there and putting your heart and soul into it."
  • If you feel compelled to respond to your child's disappointment, focus on what the child took away from the experience rather than their talents.  

According to research, concentrating on what child learnt implies that they can still develop - that their failure isn't a set reality that can't be changed.

• "What did the math quiz teach you?" (Despite the fact that you received a D)

• "I'm sorry you weren't selected for the college track team. Is there anything you could do to increase your prospects between now and next year?”

• "It's sad you didn't sell as much lemonade as you expected. What do you believe you could do differently the next time to boost sales?"

2. Enlighten the Brain Science

Failure is something that most children are afraid of. But what if they knew that making mistakes helped them grow their brains?  

Thankfully, there's plenty of evidence to back you up!

Child’s fear of failure might be broad, such as a need to always be flawless, or more focused, such as a desire to get an A on their next test.  

Here are some scientifically validated suggestions for addressing certain specific (and widespread) fears:

If your child is afraid to make mistake, tell him this:

Every mistake he makes causes electrical signals to fire, which aid in his learning.

Talk about a study that found his brain "sparks and expands" when he makes mistakes, and what that means. When people make a mistake, the brain has two possible responses, according to Moser. The first, known as the ERN response, is a spike in electrical activity that occurs when the brain is torn between a proper reaction and a mistake. This brain activity occurs whether or not the person giving the response is aware that they have made a mistake. The second reaction, known as a Pe, is a brain signal that is supposed to indicate conscious attention to errors. This occurs when a person is aware that they have made a mistake and they pay conscious attention to it.

If your child is afraid of making any guess

Tell her:  

Making an inaccurate guess that she believes is correct and then being corrected is even better! Making a bad guess and then learning the proper answer makes it easier for her brain to remember the correct response in the future.

If your child is apprehensive about tackling difficult material.

Tell her:  

• It is TRUE that when learning difficult subject, he (and everyone else) makes more mistakes.

• It's also true that he remembers things better. In fact, the harder someone has to struggle to comprehend something, the longer it stays in his mind and the more profoundly it is absorbed.  

It's simple to get kids enthusiastic about the idea when they grasp the brain science behind why mistakes help them learn.

3. Tell them it’s Okay for Failure to be Familiar

As your children try new things, make sure they understand that they will experience some failures. Reassure them that this is normal and anticipated. Make a point of emphasizing the benefits of learning from your failures and how we may do so.

Properly communicate them to allow themselves to be a beginner. No one begins out being excellent. It's fine if you don't win a science competition. Why? Because no one knows what else will be coming forth 😊

It's possible to see failures through rose-colored glasses when kids (and adults) sincerely believe this. Failures, rather of being setbacks, become opportunities for lifelong learning and accomplishment.

4. Emphasize “Failing Forward”

Failure is both valuable and unavoidable. Rather of shielding children from it, use it to aid their development.  

"What did you learn from this?"  

"What would you do differently next time?"  

These are examples of questions that focus on the positive sides of failure.

Failing forward, which was originally a business term, simply means learning from your mistakes.

Other strategies for moving forward include:

  • Tell them to read books or you can share the inspiring stories.
  • Teach them not to be discouraged by failure, but to look on the bright side and keep going.
  • Proudly planning for future blunders ("I can't wait to see the other ways you learn to do this!")  
  • Discussing lessons learnt from your failures, such as more compassion for others, knowing how to handle an issue, or even learning how to forgive yourself.
  • Looking for stories about famous people who failed on their route to fame.
  • Doing "The Stairway to Success" activity (part of the Resiliency) with your child, especially if he or she is interested in sports.  

5. Focus on a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset allows children to learn from any environment. It also affects how they react to failure.

According to a recent study published in Developmental Cognitive Science, children with growth mindsets had a larger brain response after making a mistake than children with fixed mindsets.  

The study, which was published online in the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, is one of the first to look into children's perspectives and how their brains work. The average age of the participants was seven years old.

After making a mistake in the study, children with growth mindsets were considerably more likely to have this greater brain response. Furthermore, after making a mistake, individuals were more inclined to improve their performance on the job.

According to previous studies, people with a fixed mindset refuse to admit they've made a mistake. As a protection mechanism, some people will start talking about something else they're strong at.

However, new research suggests that if fixed-minded children pay more attention to their mistakes, they may be able to recover as effectively as their growth-minded peers.  

While failure is inescapable, children with growth mindsets may convert negative situations into positive learning opportunities by concentrating on what went wrong and what measures they could have done to remedy it.

As a result, children with growth mindsets are more likely to improve their performance.

6. Train Children to Accept Failures

It is critical to assist children in learning from their mistakes in order to help them grow as individuals. But the good news is that children may be taught to cope with failure. This will assist them in dealing with stress and disappointment.

We all know that any event that appears little at first can quickly escalate into a serious crisis for children.  

As a result, you must remember the following three sentences and train your child accordingly.  

“It’s okay to be sad;

It’s okay to cry over and over again;

But it's not reasonable to accept that this is THE END."

Encourage your child to repeat the affirmation more often to help them set this into their mind.

7. Help them Celebrate Failure while Parenting

People make mistakes all the time. Some of history's greatest figures rose to prominence because they believed they had the ability to accomplish good. When you read this list of failures, you'll get an understanding of how the people on it worked hard to overcome their setbacks and become role models for others.

Another thing to keep in mind is that every fall has a lesson for your children since it reveals where they failed, where they may improve, and where they can extend.  

Learning from mistakes is more essential to your child than receiving good scores.

  • Show your child the bright side of failure every time he fails.  
  • Tell him that putting forth the effort was more essential than succeeding.  
  • They must also comprehend the importance of seeking assistance if things fail, attempting new techniques, and determining where they went wrong.  

They will learn to appreciate failures in this manner.

8. Share Your Own Failure Stories to Your Child

Parenting isn't easy in this extraordinarily difficult environment. It is necessary to change the preconceived attitude that "Success is Everything"  

You must teach kids to embrace and use fall as a learning tool in their lives. Rather than only presenting your children renowned people's success tales, you can groom them by telling them about your failures and allowing them to be near to reality and accept defeat gracefully.  

This section contains your personal failure experiences from your life. What's the point of keeping it a secret?  

Allow your children to benefit from your mistakes as well.

This would have a great impact on them, and as a result, they would never dread failures and would approach them with a storming brow of determination.

9. Discuss Your Children's Abilities

Explain that certain things are simple for people and others are tough for them. Reinforce the idea that trying again is more essential than excelling in all areas.  

Remind them of their accomplishments.

Apart from being proactive with your children, remind yourself that it's alright for them to fail. You are not allowing your children to develop or learn if you do not allow them to fail. Remember your own personal obstacles in life and how they helped you grow as a person.  

10. Clarify the Difference between "I Fail" and "I am a Failure"  

When you're raising a child, it’s required that you need to teach them the difference between "I fail and I am a failure".  

If your children refer to himself as a failure that means he has decided to give up and is not ready to try again.  

But when he says "I fail," which shows he's ready to accept failure as a part of life and go on with a bang. It seems he acknowledges that he failed to achieve greatness in a particular task, but didn’t leave the hope as well.  

This would enable them to make a significant shift in their lives and break free from the chains of failure.

11. Let Him Make Choices

Your child will build trust in his own good judgment if he is given the opportunity to make decisions from a young age.  

Of course, children enjoy being in charge, but giving them too much power can be overwhelming; instead, offer them two or three options to pick from.  

For instance, rather than asking your 3-year-old what he wants for lunch, offer him to choose between pasta, peanut butter and jelly. At the same time, let your child realize that some decisions are his or hers to make.  

In the long run, if your child recognizes that you care about their opinion later when they fail to do anything, he or she may feel empowered to fix the underlying difficulties on his own.

12. Train Them to Manage Expectations

Children can end up receiving a C grade on an exam, unexpected rain can ruin a vacation, or anyone can become ill at any time.  

You can't stop these things from happening. Right?

But you can help your child feel less anxious and disappointed by keeping her expectations in check.  

Instead of talking about exciting ideas as if they are certain, regard them as possibilities. If things don't work out in the end, you've to softened the shock — and reinforced the lesson that occasional setbacks are inevitable.  

Set their minds to think "It's not the end of the world." New opportunities will undoubtedly knock on the door very soon."

Reality Check: What Need to Understand  

No Blaming to Others

Train your child that he doesn’t make any excuses or blame others for any failings. Ask to accept responsibility for their actions, own up to their faults, and learn from them.

Everybody Fails at Some Point

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison, American inventor of the light bulb

Your child may not realize it at the time, but everyone fails at something at some point. Below are some instances of famous 'fails' that your child might enjoy reading.

Failure is Usually Not Deadly

Life keeps on despite the failure that have been made.

Actual Champions Try Their Best

If your child can honestly state that they gave it their all, regardless of whether they won or lost, they are true victors.

Remind your child on a frequent basis, especially before high-stress activities such as tests or sporting events that no one can expect to do anything else than their best.

The Minefield of social media

It's all too easy these days to be disappointed. Social media posts might make you feel like a failure on a regular basis.

At the same time, children must understand that there isn't much we can do at that moment. We must accept it as a part of life and go on!

For example, a girl's friends tell her they won't be able to hang out with her, but she later sees them together on Instagram or Facebook.

That really hurts! It’s normal to have frustration, disappointment, despair, and fury are all emotions.  

What does she do about it?  

Making a phone call and yelling will only make things worse.

She could choose to ignore it and act as if she hadn't seen it, but that won't help her feel any better or influence what occurs in the future."

So, how can a parent assist her in accepting what has occurred?  

The child may be able to obtain additional information to help her feel better. Perhaps she can speak calmly to her friends explaining that she saw the images and that they hurt her feelings. Maybe she'll figure out what's going on.  

That leads to another life lesson: we are occasionally left out, and sometimes we are disliked, and we must learn to cope with these realities without exacerbating the problem.  

When to Involve

You can't protect your child from every setback, but there will be occasions when s/he might require your assistance.

  • If failure would give him a great deal of embarrassment. Don't teach your children a lesson of responsibility when he forgets his outfit for the school play. Please deliver it to him.
  • If your child is in danger, you shouldn't let your beginner go into the deep end just because her friends are advanced swimmers. Allow him time.
  • If he's the target of bullying, intervene when your child is being teased or excluded on a regular basis.

Don’t Push Kids into Deliberate Failures

Of course, not every child will succeed in every task, and there's no point in urging that your son play football when he can hardly kick the ball straight.

The goal is to keep child from being shielded from failure by not putting them in circumstances where they are ONLY capable of failing.

Pushing children beyond their limits can only result in genuine frustration and a diminished feeling of self-worth.  

Inspiring Story of Great People Who Turned Failure into Success

Many well-known people from all areas of life have failed – and then used that failure to propel them on to greatness. Sharing some of these stories with your child may help him or her cope with failure and find motivation to continue forward.

Lionel Messi was pulled from his squad at the age of 11 after being diagnosed with a growth hormone deficit, which caused him to be shorter than normal children his age. He went on to become a professional football player.

Before becoming President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln failed twice in business and was beaten in six state and national elections.

When J.K. Rowling originally offered the idea for what would become the world's biggest publishing success story, she was rejected by 12 major British publishers. "I wasn't going to give up until every single publication turned me down," she tweeted at one point, "but I frequently dreaded that might happen."

Michael Jordan, probably the greatest basketball player of all time, missed 26 game-winning baskets in his career and famously claimed, "I've missed over 9,000 shots in my career." I've played about 300 games and lost nearly every one of them. I've been given the opportunity to make the game-winning shot 26 times and have failed each time. Throughout my life, I've failed numerous times. And it's because of this that I've been able to succeed."

Walt Disney was sacked from a newspaper because he lacked vision and came up with no fresh ideas. His first business failed as well, but he went on to build one of the world's most well-known businesses.

Take home message

We should all work together as parents to educate and celebrate our children's failures. Only then will we be able to grow and contribute to making the world a better place to live.

After all, why should our children's shortcomings prevent them from enjoying the rain? Isn't that so?

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