“Parents are a really critical force in child development when you think about how motivation and mindsets develop,” says Kyla Haimovitz, a professor of psychology at Stanford University.
“Parents have this powerful effect really early on and throughout childhood to send messages about what is a failure, how to respond to it.” Parenting hacks to help your child cope with failure.
The most beautiful leadership role we play in our life is that of a parent. It is easy to produce kids but it is difficult to parent them positively. Even though every parents only objective in life is to raise happy, healthy and wise kids, it is not easy to achieve. We are constantly judged for our decisions, style of parenting and lifestyle. Like any other leadership role, it needs planning, execution and parenting hacks.
I understand that we all want our kids to win and excel in every activity they participate. Isn’t it necessary to teach our kids the idea of failure.
I, also, understand that as a parent my job is to safeguard my kid from any harm. Isn’t it necessary to teach our kids to deal with their problems on their own?
There is a very fine line between protecting our kids and teaching them to face their problems on their own. Children who fail to tolerate the idea of failure are exposed to anxiety and it can lead to bigger problems. In this age of social media, we glamorize the idea of success and forget that it has an effect on kids who cannot deal with it.
Here are 8 ways to teach children failure is the only secret to success
1. Definition of success
My definition of success can be different from yours. It is extremely important as a parent to define success. In India, most parents define success as getting 99% in board exams or getting an admission in the A- List college. I find this definition really shallow and unacceptable. Ask your child what is his definition of success. Talk to him.
2. Reading books
As a parent, I will consider myself a failure, if my daughter doesn’t indulge in reading books. When you read books you learn new things, understand human emotions and explore new ways to solve a problem.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”- Charles William Eliot
3. Parent-kid play time
Keep aside your PSP, Tablet, and iPhone; play some board games with your kid. Teach your child strategy games and challenge them to play with you and win. This will not only ignite the fire of competition but will also teach the idea of the positive/negative outcome. I still remember how we used to have Chess competition in the family where every family member used to get involved. My grandmother is still the champ in the game of chess. Play Chess, Monopoly, Chinese Checkers, Black Jack, etc.
4. Read problem-solving stories together
Get some problem-solving stories and read it together. Provide multiple solutions to the problem and ask your kid to choose one. Teach your kid to break down his problem and find a solution on his own. Here are the basic steps to problem-solving: Identify your problem and break it into manageable parts. Let him do some brainstorming.
5. Ask your kids for help
When kids get involved in helping parents in managing and organizing things. They practice to handle a task on their own and get the most important message that you TRUST them. Next time, when you organize a Christmas party ask your kid to become an event planner.
6.Learning from mistakes
We all make mistakes. This is inevitable. Let them identify their mistake and learn from it. Every failure is a learning process. I read something very beautiful today – We always tell our kids to confess their mistake and when they open up, we end up scolding them or punishing them. The very idea of learning from mistakes can help when we help them understand their mistakes.
Teaching kids to say, “Thank you” comes under the umbrella of good manners but truly instilling a sense of gratitude isn’t easy. It is important to teach our kids to treat others with dignity and respect. Gratitude makes us optimistic and less materialistic. It makes us deal with short term failures and setbacks in a most positive way. Start with Thank You notes and teaching respect to elders will go long way. Let them work, make their own bed, don’t buy everything for them and be a good role model.
You should also teach your kids to help others as well. There are several people such as Anthony P Orlich who speak about volunteering and encourage everyone to find their interest and use that to decide how to volunteer. You can help older kids do this too. Focusing not just on what they can do for themselves but for others as well is a good way to develop character.
Self-compassion is more important than self-esteem. When you feel compassion for yourself the way you feel for others suffering, you get emotionally and mentally strong. Instead of judging and criticizing yourself for various shortcomings and failures, self-compassion makes you kind and understanding. Perfection is an illusion and its definition changes with time, place and experiences. Children are a mirror image of their parents, in a stressful situation the way you behave they pick it up and the words you use are the words they pick up. “It’s okay, this didn’t work the way I wanted it to but I tried hard.” Help them understand their emotions.
And at last, teach them to Let Go!
Former United States President Harry Truman was once asked why his father was a failure. Mr. Truman replied, “My father was not a failure. After all, he was the father of President of the United States.” Everyone has a unique style of parenting but the sole aim of all parents is not to fail our kids and their future.
What is your idea of Failure? How do you teach your kids to deal with failure/loss?
Lots of Love