How to Help Your Kids Deal with Failure by Debbie Potter
How to Help Your Kids Deal with Failure
Pain is unfortunately part of life. As parents, we want to give our children the best life possible. We want to shield them from any disappointment or setback. We want them to have a happy, flawless childhood. These are wonderful goals, but part of their childhood needs to include helping them deal with things that are difficult and helping them learn to accept when things do not go their way.
There is a great article by Sharon Martin where she gives some tips about how to help kids learn this as they grow up. First, accept that you can’t protect your child from heartache. Life is going to have some ups and downs, and your child is going to fail at some things, that is simply a fact of life. Second, allow them to fail. You can’t control everything. Don’t try to fix every problem for them. As a parent, you want to always encourage them to do their best, but sometimes this won’t result in a first place. Talk about mistakes as learning opportunities. Help your child see the mistake, but also how they can grow through it. Encourage your child to try new things; If you only do things you are good at, you limit yourself. Give them the safety net to try new things. We learn and grow by trying new things and making mistakes. Talk about your own setbacks, failures and mistakes. Kids learn so much by watching what we do. Let them see you make mistakes and then model how to handle it. Being honest and
vulnerable helps build a deeper connection with your child. Be a role model. Model self-compassion by using self-talk that models self-acceptance. Don’t put yourself down. Take good care of yourself. Apologize to your child when you make a mistake parenting them. Don’t praise your child for achievements only. When we do this, our begin to get all of their self-worth through achievements. Praise your child for acts of kindness, losing with grace, helping others… Love unconditionally. That sounds easy, but sometimes is difficult. Kids know how to push our buttons and sometimes they do some things that are not very nice that lead you to feel angry and disappointed, but your challenge is to love them anyway.
If I can help you on your journey please let me know. As Christian parents, we need to “be in this” together. I am always available to lend a hand or an ear.