Kids can often feel discouraged or even embarrassed when they experience failure. It isn’t something anyone enjoys experiencing, but it is necessary for personal growth. After all, there is no rainbow without the rain. We place an importance in teaching our students that failure is normal and a perfectly acceptable part of life. We like to have our students remember that FAIL is an acronym for First Attempt in Learning!
Here are some tips on how to ease your kids through failure:
1.Let failure happen and tackle it with a growth mindset
It is a perfectly natural instinct to want to prevent your kids from failing or struggling. However, as people, it is inevitable that we will make mistakes. At Tutoring Club, we want to avoid having students feel pressured to be perfect or make them feel that making mistakes is unacceptable. If your kids fail at something, don’t let them dwell on it and don’t reprimand them. Instead, ask your kids what they learned from their failure or what they can do differently the next time around to achieve better results. By taking it as a learning curve, they can feel less discouraged. Over time, experiencing failure can help your kids build grit and resilience.
2. Praise their efforts
Regardless of the outcome, we always acknowledge our students’ hard work. It can be as small as complimenting them on being a good sport or commending their efforts. The little words of affirmation can lift their spirit and provide a huge boost in self-confidence!
3. Explain the Learning Pit
The Learning Pit is a great analogy for the stages of learning and it is often taught in schools. When students first take on a new challenge, they may find themselves having feelings of doubt or uncertainty in the beginning. After that, they may be stuck in a “pit” of discouragement where they tell themselves that it’s too hard or they can’t do it. As students learn to tackle these tasks, they make it out on the other side of the pit having learned new skills. Looking back, remind them that they should be proud of their achievements and urge them to reflect on how far they’ve come.
4.Be a Role Model
Avoid hiding your failures from your kids. Whether it’s not getting the promotion you wanted or losing at a competition, let your kids witness your failure and more importantly, let them see how you handle it. You can also discuss with them your past failures and how you overcame them. Remember that your kids practice the art of monkey-see, monkey-do! When they see you taking on failures head first, it will encourage them to do the same.