So much parent energy and time is spent helping our kids be successful that we forget to encourage our kids to fail. It’s counter-intuitive!
But failing is part of the learning process.
Just watch an infant learning to walk and you’ll see that for every step forward there are countless stumbles. He fails more than he succeeds.
Anything worthwhile learning usually involves many failed attempts to get it right.
There’s a low tolerance for mistakes
Kids learn many things through trial and error including how to walk, how to feed, and how to dress themselves. Then when they’re older children learn how to form friendships, how to read and how to master many skills through trial and error.
The difference is that adults tend to be less tolerant of mistakes as children get older.
Parents become impatient. Schools assess performance. Kids compare themselves against the progress of their peers.
Develop a positive approach toward failure
Kids take their initial cues from their parents about how they should interact in the world so your attitude to mistakes, both big and small, will have a huge impact on their attitude to failure.
How would you feel if your young child sets the table with knives and forks upside down?
Would you correct them straight away or would you acknowledge their best effort and next time you remind them how to do it properly?
If you want your child to take learning risks then I suggest you take the latter approach. He most likely got it wrong due to lack of skill. He’ll only get the skill he needs if he has confidence to learn. Keep his confidence up by thanking him for his contribution to the family. Patience, like faith, is a virtue if you want your child learn.
Teaching kids to fail is counter-intuitive but it’s important if you want to them to embrace all the wonderful opportunities that world offers, rather than restrict themselves to safe options where success is assured.
Want to learn more about how failure can make your child successful?
I’ll reveal how you can transform failure into success and many more magic confidence-building strategies in my ground-breaking Cracking the Confidence Code online course next year. It’s part of the Parentingideas Club 2016 Education Program. Find out more.
A popular presenter, Michael Grose speaks to parents, teachers and principals on a regular basis.Michael comes from an education background, and has conducted post-graduate research into what makes healthy families tick.He's given over 1500 parenting presentations, including the first parenting seminar in Parliament House, Canberra.Michael is married with three adult children who have all successfully flown the parent nest.