Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently– Henry Ford, Founder, Ford Motor Company
As parents, we can’t see our children fail. Just consider these examples— we cannot watch our child get his arithmetic tables wrong or not becoming part of the school’s athletic or sports team, or not being selected for a performance like a choir or drama. On the other hand, the children also feel a sense of failure when a friend suddenly stops talking to them or no one listens to them- either at home or school. For both children and parents, failure is not an option at all.
However, failures can be converted into learning experiences to enhance and improve our children’s capability to succeed in the future.
Success and failures are a natural part of life and it has always been that way. While success brings a lot of joy and happiness, failure can set back a person—children included— with agony, fear, anger, pain, sadness, frustration, and low self-esteem. How one reacts to both situations completely depends upon age, experiences, and maturity. However, a child can be trained to deal with failures positively and celebrate it.
How to Train Children to Accept Failures
It all depends on how adults react to failures. Children always look up to adults as examples and how we react will influence their response to that situation. If we get angry at a long signal, they learn it and we react angrily at a colleague or friend or relative, they will learn that too.
Helping children learn from failure is crucial to developing them as a person. All of us know that any situation which may seem trivial at first might grow into a major crisis for children at a later stage.
However, the good news is children can be trained to deal with failures. This will help them manage stress and disappointments.
People fail all the time. Some of the greatest people in history rose to glory backed by the conviction that they had the potential to do good. Read this failure list and you will get an idea of how the people mentioned in this list worked hard on their failures to become people that others would follow.
Another point you must remember is if you haven’t failed, then you haven’t tried anything. Every failing has a lesson because it shows children where the failed, where they can improve and where they can stretch. For children, learning from failures is more important than getting good grades.
Every time your child fails, show him the positive side of the failure. Tell him that the effort was more important than failure. They also need to understand that every time they fail, they should ask for help, try new strategies, and understand where they went wrong. This way they will learn to celebrate failures.
- Share your own experience with failures
In order to have your child learn to accept failures, you need to share your failures and how you overcame the failures in the past. You can also ask your child to be by your side when you are doing things that you are not good at— it could be anything.
- Turn your child’s failures into a success story
As soon as you or your child identify a failure, turn it into a success story. Tell your child that it was not a failure, but was done in a wrong way. You have to stay with your child when he’s not successful—whether at school or elsewhere, so that you can talk him out of the feeling of failure.
- Don’t judge any failure
Don’t criticize your child for failing or don’t compare his failure with the success of another child. Listen to everything your child says unconditionally and without prejudice. Also, don’t be blunt on the face. Tell it in a very subtle way so that you don’t hurt your child’s feelings.
- Tell your child that it’s okay to ask for help
While you must help your child do things on his own, you must also tell him that it’s okay for him to seek help if he falters along the way. He can seek help from his fellow students, teachers, neighbors, parents, cousins or just about anyone he is comfortable with.
What your child learns from failures?
Failure is not the end of the world for anyone and neither it’s the end of efforts. While winning has its rewards, failure shows us that there are other better ways to do something. Encouraging and praising your child even when they fail is one of the most effective ways to ensure children celebrate their failure. Both of these are also powerful tools and effective for all ages.
Just remember one point- children just like adults can also learn problem-solving skills through failure. You should help them understand what went wrong and how they can prevent it from happening again.
Every businessman, leader, or sportsperson today come up through sheer hard work and by learning from failures. They have taken the failure in their stride and moved on. They have celebrated their failures and have publicly spoken about it. It’s only through trying and failing, then trying again and succeeding that children can learn about their accomplishments.