Help your child deal with failure by letting them fail
Unfortunately the reality of life is so that everyone will taste failure at some point. Usually it finds us for the first time during our childhood. It is a shocking experience and one that leaves a very bitter taste in our mouth. Like every child, our instincts tell us to run to our parents when this happens. If your goal is to help your child deal with failure, this is a key moment for a parent.
Do not try and deny the fact that they failed
As a child the things you will fail in are basic and small. A bad grade, a failed test, a bad performance in your chosen sport, and so on, are typical childhood failures that realistically mean pretty much nothing to us as adults.
Despite how we feel about our childhood failures today, it is important that when we become parents we don’t deny the fact that our child failed. It’s important to be understanding of their situation.
They failed, it feels bad, and probably it will feel so for a while. The important thing is for your child to realize that out there in the world there is failure, and it is unavoidable that they too will go through it. The point is failure exists, and it is normal for it to happen.
We’ll go through this together
This is the second step you need to take when trying to help your child deal with failure. Show them that you are there and your love and support are still the same despite the fact that they forgot a line during the school play.
Keeping in mind the first point, you need to be there for them, as a companion, but never as someone who will take the failure completely away from them. Remember you want to help your child deal with failure and not take failure away.
Set realistic expectations and teach patience
Trying to help your child deal with failure is a process that takes place even before any failure comes up. If you are able to constantly set realistic expectations, your child will find it easier to accept failure.
They will be aware that somethings are beyond our reach and we can never get everything, all the time. Patience is also very important if you are trying to help your child deal with failure.
Having been taught patience, they will be able to understand that a failure today doesn’t guarantee another tomorrow. If they can move past failures by looking forward to doing better next time… Congratulations! You are raising a future leader.
Communication is key
Let your child talk to you. If necessary ask them how they feel, let them explain. It can be uncomfortable but when you help your child deal with failure you must allow them to feel the feelings that come with it. It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to feel bad.
The lesson should be that these feelings are normal, and that eventually they will pass. To help your child deal with failure let them understand that failure sucks and it’s like that for everyone.
This step is twofold. First you need to lead by example and show them how you deal with your failures. Something that comes up again and again, when talking about behaviour and children, is the fact that children always copy their parents.
If they see you deal with the anger and sadness that failure brings in a good way, they will probably do the same. The other part is making sure they understand that everybody fails! This ties into the idea that failure is normal and part of life, and can help teach your children that.
What to avoid
To help your child deal with failure properly, you need to know what to avoid on top of knowing what to do. Starting with what we already mention, don’t take failures away, let your child go through them.
It is important that you teach them to never, ever compare themselves to others. Don’t give them too much flattery when they don’t fail. This can lead to them valuing their actions based on the praise they get. Don’t let opportunities go to waste.
For example if you have to cancel some plans due to the weather or something similar. Use that to teach your children how to deal with failure.
Since we begin this post on how to help your children deal with failure with a quote, allow us to finish it with one too.
There is this quote circulating around Facebook and other social media networks, it goes like this “My parents taught me to be kind and nice, but they forgot to tell me that the world isn’t so at all.” Despite the fact that it might be cheesy.
There is some truth to this. Don’t forget to let your children know that life can be a bit hard from time to time, and that is okay.