You can be sure of one thing your children will face throughout life, and that is failure. As harsh as it may sound, everyone in all walks of life will be exposed to failure at some point. It is unavoidable, and it can be crushing. While we want to protect our kids from feeling crushed by a failure, it can actually be one of the best lessons they can learn.
Your child can learn so much from failure. Disappointment can be so beneficial in helping your child deal with similar situations later on in life. You can’t always be there to protect them against failure or disappointment, so the best thing you can do is watch them fail, and help them rise above it.
There is no better way to learn than by learning from a mistake. Not only will you be helping your child cope emotionally with failure and disappointment, but you are giving them the tools they need to actually learn from not succeeding.
From young, you can help your child overcome disappointments and failure, from not being able to do the monkey bars like the other kids to not making the school soccer team. Each milestone and each age will present its own challenges for your child, and instilling the same mind-set throughout is the best way to give them the independence and confidence to deal with these situations on their own.
We can’t all be winners – The sooner your kids learn that they can’t be the best at everything, the sooner they will be able to accept defeat. Society nowadays tries to protect kids from this, by making ‘everyone a winner’, but this isn’t healthy. Your child will expect this throughout life, and it just isn’t going to happen. Your child will never set themselves to work hard for something if they are awarded that winning feeling every time they participate in something.
Help them find their talent – Failing in different areas could be a great way to help them find what they are good at. If they really aren’t making it as a singer, but figure out that they are great as a backup dancer – they can then focus on that. Failing will help them decide what they are good at, and what they are willing to work hard for. It also pushes them harder to avoid failure next time.
Don’t let them be sore-losers – There is nothing worse than a sore loser; someone who can’t accept defeat and throws their toys after losing. Teach your child to accept defeat graciously, and others will notice this. He will stand out among the crowd and will be recognized for his class. By being positive about defeat, your child will know that it is a learning step, and not something to be ashamed of.
Keep them going – Failing means trying again, and that takes perseverance. Most people don’t find success on their first try, and only the most successful people try and try again. Giving up after the first attempt is the best way to ensure failure, so have your kids understand that by trying again, and learning from their mistakes, they are that much closer to sure success.
Failure teaches winning – Nobody ever gets it right the first time. By failing, you are learning what not to do, and by learning what not to do, you know what to change to make yourself successful next time around. By eliminating unsuccessful factors, you will be left with tactics, knowledge and skills that will help you win next time.
Help them understand what success is – They need to know that success isn’t winning every soccer game. It is getting out there, trying your best and enjoying the game. At the end of the day, happiness trumps all trophies and awards. Helping them understand this will push them to enjoy things, rather than only playing to win.
Failure is inevitable, and unfortunately to help our kids grow, we have to watch them fail time and time again. This failure and defeat will build their character and help them prepare for success, but only if you teach them how to deal and learn from it. Guide them through the tough times, and they will soon see that hard work pays off, and there is nothing quite like accepting defeat graciously and with an open mind.