We all fail from time to time!
That can be hard for kids because they want to impress, and they want us to be proud of them.
When something goes wrong, it’s easy for many of them to see disaster rather than opportunity.
But, mistakes can be a chance to start over. In fact one of the most highly correlated traits of successful individuals is that they don’t let mistakes derail them.
Achievers succeed despite their mistakes by using their failures as learning opportunities.
Helping your child understand the importance of failing and learning from mistakes is critical for success.
But how can we help them when they despair over a poor test score, a missed goal, a disappointing performance, or a knuckle-headed decision?
Here are strategies to help your child learn one of the most valuable lessons-how to bounce back from failure by Marilyn Price-Mitchell.
1. React Well.
Your reactions are critical. When you fly off the handle about a poor report card grade, you risk pushing kids away when you need to keep them close. Keep calm, talk, and then listen. Acknowledge that you don’t expect them to be perfect, and that you forgive them.
2. Recognize the mistake.
Help kids recognize what went wrong. Ask the simple question, “What do you think went wrong?” They already know, and making them say it out loud to you will help them accept the mistake, and learn from it.
3. Accept the mistake.
Whenever your child makes a mistake, show your support with both your words and your nonverbal reactions. The quickest way your child will learn to erase the idea that mistakes are fatal is feeling your accepting response to their errors. Make a plan to correct the mistakes together; decide together on a timeline, specific actions, and ways to check progress. For example, if you say, “We’re going to have an additional thirty minutes of study time per night every Sunday through Thursday”, your child will know that you’re trying to help in a positive way, rather than being overcome by a negative reaction.
4. Have role models.
Role models come naturally for kids. Besides the athletes and celebrities who get so much of our attention, show them realistic, inspirational, maybe even local people or family members who make great role models. Tell why you admire these folks. When your child finds out that their role model also makes mistake and overcomes it and goes ahead despite them, they will learn to embrace their own mistakes as well.
5. Have rewards.
Everyone is motivated by rewards, so your kids should have a couple to work towards. It doesn’t need to be extravagant, but it should be fun and motivating. Consider encouraging them with some extra time I front of the television, or for video games, or a bit of money contributed to a special dream.
6. Have consequences.
Consequences work just as rewards do. They shouldn’t be nasty, but they should be effective, such as no electronics for a specified time or a temporary cut in allowance. However, you have to make sure that these consequences are not too strict, otherwise your kids will be discouraged.
7. Set a good example.
Let kids know that adults have discouraging moments, too. When things don’t go as planned, let kids know you’re disappointed, but you’re going to work hard to fix it. Seeing you stay positive and determined helps them emulate you and do the same.
8. Show how you’ve learned.
Talk about experiences in your life when you’ve faced similar school-age setbacks, embarrassments or failures. Tell what you did to help yourself. Feeling less lonely is a step to increased confidence. When your child understands that everyone makes mistakes and has setbacks, they’ll be more willing to get back on their feet.
9. Help them.
Help your child correct their mistake. Make sure that your child is the only one affected by the mistake, and if not, teach them to say sorry. Mentor them on how to apologize when their mistakes have hurt others.
10. Stay involved.
Make it your business to know when major tests are being taken, when the competitions are held, when important projects are due. Help your kids stay organized and keep to their timelines. Nag them when all else fails. When you’re informed, you’re involved, and nothing is more powerful than parental involvement.