7) Reward them for failure, if they tried their best
The most successful people on earth are experts at failing and likely learned how to fail early in life. Kids need to know that there are rewards for failure if you try your best. They need to see failure as an opportunity for growth and not a setback. What’s important is not just that they succeed but that when they fail, they learn how to use that failure not as a stumbling block but as a stepping stone for success. And the reward need not be extravagant. Something as simple as a lunch date with mummy after her recital, even though she did not play perfectly but I know she tried her best, has worked well for my daughter. Positive reinforcement through rewards can be a great way to teach your child how to deal with failure.
6) Persistence is what matters
Most, if not all, of my best accomplishments came not from an inherent intelligence but rather from my persistence in learning. From studying medical school notes over and over again until I learned the material well to exercising daily, even when I don’t feel like it. I know for a fact my child is not a genius. And so, she will have to be persistent in her learning to excel in anything she puts her mind to. In the wise words of Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Persistence builds resilience. The more your child falls and stands back up the easier it becomes for them to do so in the future.
5) Encourage them to learn from their mistakes
It is difficult when my child comes to me in tears because she got an unwanted score on a test even though she tried her best. What I’ve found to be even more challenging is to try to shift her focus from her failure to what she could have done differently. What has worked for me to make this transition is to share with her a similar failure I had as a child and what I learned from it. Somehow, this honest revelation on my part seems to calm the tears and allow the ideal transition from disappointment to hope for her. Nelson Mandela once said “I never lose. I either win or I learn.” Henry Ford said “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” If they fail, ask your kids what they did wrong and what they can do differently next time for a better outcome. Teaching your child to be self-critical in a healthy way can be the difference between raising a resilient and confident child versus an anxious and discouraged one.
4) It’s all about having the right attitude
Courage is the right attitude. And I have learned that it takes courage to teach courage to a child; since most kids learn best by following one’s example. Winston Churchill said “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” He also said “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Having the courage to continue is the right attitude. Reward your child for bouncing back quickly and re-directing their efforts after a setback. Eventually, they will get to a point where when a failure occurs, they look for ways to improve their outcomes right away and not dwelling on their weaknesses.
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3) Failure is part of success
Robert T. Kiyosaki, the author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” said, “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” Teach your kids that failure is a natural part of achieving true success. The earlier they get comfortable with managing failure and using it to attain success the better.
2) True failure is when you stop trying
Chris Bradford, a martial artist and author says “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” In teaching your child what failure is not, also teach them what failure is. Be patient with your child. For some kids it can be a long process but continue to encourage them and don’t give up. Your belief in their abilities will teach them faith, persistence and resilience.
1) Share your personal failures with your child and how you overcame them
Children mostly see their parents as role models of what they would like to become. Sharing your struggles in life and how you made it through shows them that you are human and it’s ok to have challenges and setbacks. It is what they do with those challenging experiences that count. They will not only love and respect you more for your honesty, but will see that it is possible to become a better person if they approach failure the right way.
What tips on how to deal with failure work for you? Share your thoughts below!