As a parent I often avoid using the term failure around my daughter. I don’t want my child to think I am a failure or worse yet that she is one. However, without ever talking about failure or letting her see that I fail from time to time I am not doing a very good job teaching her about failure.
Plain and simple – there is no avoiding failure. We all experience it, struggle with it, our kids struggle with it, no one is immune from failure. Failure is a very important part of life. If everything came easy we wouldn’t have the stress we need to push on as humans. Many of us may think we know it all but in reality most of us know very little and will make mistakes. Each day we are faced with several opportunities to fail and each day we are given the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and succeed.
If we shield our children from failure they won’t understand what it means to learn from our mistakes. They won’t have the challenges that spark new ideas and create new opportunities to help them achieve their goals. Instead they will grow up as victims thinking that life (and everyone else) is out to get them. The last thing this world needs is more ‘victims.’
What Parents Should Teach Their Children about Failure
We should teach our children that failure is a part of life, it is a test. Failure builds character, makes people stronger and if a lesson is taken away it can make us wiser.
Sometimes there are negative consequences that come with failure and we should teach our children that these consequences are different than those for disobedience. We should never punish our child because they failed, instead we should lift them up and help them come up with a better plan of action for the next time.
One of the best ways to teach your child about failure is to allow them to witness your failures and then follow-up by showing them how to take away key points that will possibly lead to success the next time.
Behind every story of success there are dozens of stories about failure. Through failure we learn and achieve greatness – this is what we should be teaching our children.