Drug testing

Handling Failure -- Teaching Kids How to Profit From It

There is nothing pleasant about failure, at least not at the time that it happens! Failure embarrasses us, feels bad, and often costs us money. Little wonder that people avoid failure like the plague.

As parents, we unwittingly pass on the message to our kids that it is bad to go wrong or fail. Teachers punish pupils directly or indirectly, for making mistakes. Their peers never let them live it down. Friends and loved ones try to discourage us from venturing into the unknown, all for the fear of making mistakes and failing. In the final analysis, we have become a people who think we are "better safe than sorry." We become "once bitten, twice shy."

However, failure can be a blessing in disguise. Through it we can learn what doesn't work. Then we can find what does. Failure is a much better teacher than success. Success makes our heads swell; failure makes us stop, look and listen. If we add "Learn" to this sequence, then failure becomes the first step to success. Stop-Look-Listen-Learn; that's the way to profit from failure.

The role of failure is expressed in these words of wisdom:

I've missed more than nine thousand shots in my career. I've lost almost three hundred games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. -Michael Jordan

Failure is an absolute pre-requisite for success. You learn to succeed by failing. -Brian Tracy

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent. -Marilyn Vos Savant

I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed? and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep on trying. -Tom Hopkins

If we give our kids the right perspective on failure, that it can be a spring board to success and not a hindrance, then we will prepare them to handle the real world out there, where nothing good comes easy. We will teach them to build realistic expectations ? that success does not come easy, that winning comes from losing and learning, that when we lose, we must learn from our losses, and you cannot get success without first failing.

Practical examples

Here are some "failure scenarios" and ways that we can teach our kids to learn from failure:

Scenario 1: He spills his food all over the floor.

Lesson: We show him where he went wrong (wasn't looking where he was going, ran instead of walked etc) and how to do it better next time to avoid the spill. We express confidence that he can do it properly in future and praise him when he does. Now he knows how to avoid the mistake, and has the self-confidence to keep on trying till he can do it right.

Scenario 2: She gets her sums wrong.

Lesson: We show her where she went wrong, and the right way to do them, as often as it takes her to get them right without help. We give her more sums to re-enforce the learning. We express confidence that she can get them right next time, and praise her when she does. This way, we provide an atmosphere where it is safe to keep on trying, because if she "fails" she will be helped and not ridiculed. She learns that it is OK to try and fail, because you can keep on trying till you succeed. And you will succeed, if you don't give up.

Scenario 3: He loses his job

Lesson: We analyze the situation together, identifying where he went wrong and what he could have done to achieve better results. We express confidence that he will get it right next time, and praise him when he does. The support he receives boosts his self-confidence. Self-confidence strengthens the resolve to keep on till you win.

Scenario 4: She gets pregnant

Lesson: We talk about the choices we make and having to bear the consequences. We discuss how this will affect her life. We may express disappointment, but also show her that we love her and are there for her. We discuss plans for the baby, and preventing a re-occurrence of this situation. Supporting her through this trying time tells her that she is valued by you, even though she has failed you. Show her that you expect her to make wiser choices in future, and that you believe that she can. This way you boost her self-esteem and strengthen her resolve to be more responsible in future.

While you may not agree with some of these recommendations, please note that the focus is on making a learning experience of the situation. It is important to teach children not to be afraid to make mistakes (though we do not plan to make them!). Rather, when failure does happen it's a sign that our strategies aren't working and it's time to make a change.

Adults all around the world spend huge sums of money on personal development seminars, trying to get rid of the fear of failure. But you can give your children an edge; give them those success lessons right now!

Failing does not make us failures. It is failing to learn from failure that undoes us. We must teach our kids that failure is the first part of success. The sooner you learn all the things that don't work, the sooner you learn what does. And that means success, by learning from failure and winning!

Copyright 2005 Oma Edoja

This article may be reproduced but only if left as is, with the writer's resource box below, accompanying it.

Oma Edoja is a published writer, motivational speaker and infopreneur. She works with adults and teens, helping them set goals, overcome obstacles and move forward. She is also a mother and former schoolteacher. Please visit Oma's motivational blog http://omaslounge.blogspot.com and her parenting blog http://theparentingmix.blogspot.com for more useful tips and resources.

In The News:

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has revealed an airliner concept design that bears a striking resemblance to a ‘bird of prey.”
With the launch of its Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, India is planning to join an exclusive group of countries that have successfully landed on the Moon.
Marine scientists have released a stunning video of a strange critter, the piglet squid, floating along with its tentacles waving above its head in the central Pacific Ocean near Palmyra Atoll.
The remains of a 1,200-year-old mosque have been discovered in Israel’s Negev desert. The ancient structure is one of the earliest known mosques in the world, according to experts.
If you thought fictional zombies walking around on film were scary, the condition that turns creatures into mindless eating machines actually exists in nature. — in ants.
If creating a Facebook event to "storm Area 51" wasn't ridiculous enough, perhaps storming the Bermuda Triangle will be the coup de grace.
The world rejoiced when Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins safely splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969, after their incredible journey to the Moon.
Perhaps the most famous steps in history, the Mayflower Steps have supposedly been located in a surprising, yet somewhat cheeky spot — under a women's restroom in an English pub.
News of a 4,600-year-old "pyramid" or "pyramid island," supposedly discovered on a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, has been making the rounds online.
It could be described as fate, luck or good timing. A female turtle rescued by a conservation group as an egg was miraculously returned to the same New Jersey wetlands group almost 19 years later to the day that they released it back into the wild.

What Should I Know About Strattera for ADHD?

Strattera came out around January of 2003, and is becoming... Read More

Choosing Names For Twins

There are many reasons for treating your twins as individuals... Read More

Parents/Teens and Money ? 5 Ideas for Keeping the Peace

Children and teenagers are relentlessly bombarded with merchandise that entices.... Read More

Teach Your Child About Money

What are we teaching our children about money? Hopefully something!I... Read More

Really Good News About Your Children?s Video Games

Research published by University of Rochester neuroscientists C. Shawn Green... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Driving and Having a Car is a Privilege, Not a Right

Q. My teenage son is turning 16 early next year... Read More

Time Managment Skills for Children

Time management is an organisational concept traditionally associated with adults... Read More

Raising a Violent-Free Teen in 10 Easy Steps

The disquieting behavior of teenagers in the 21st century, is... Read More

Are You Addicted to Your Children?

Is it possible to be using our children addictively?Anything that... Read More

6 Ways to Communicate Clearly with Your Teen

How would you like to have a closer relationship with... Read More

Safe From Strangers

There are few thoughts as terrifying as the abduction of... Read More

Four Tips For Alleviating Back To School Anxiety

Back to school preparations are in full-swing. Soon, the first... Read More

Diagnosing ADHD in Your Child, an Introduction

Everyone in a private practice setting who works with children... Read More

The Classic ADHD Child Reminds Me of Tigger

ADHD comes in differenty forms, or types. What... Read More

How Many Sex Offenders Live On Your Block?

For any parent, learning that a convicted sex offender lives... Read More

Dads, Give them Household Chores

You have a chore to do around the house, and... Read More

Putting Your Child To Bed

Are you glad for the chance to put your child... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: How to End the Curfew Battle

Q. Things have been relatively calm and OK with our... Read More

Intermission: Wood Chips

I wanted to share with you one of the most... Read More

School Holiday Survival Guide

The school holidays are a great time for the kids,... Read More

Who Are You When the Professional In You Meets Baby?

Are you a professional?Notice how the questions differs from, "Do... Read More

6 Signs You?re A High Maintenance Parent

The children of Baby Boomers, the Echo Generation, are entering... Read More

Its a Sick World

It's no joy to be sick. It's even less joy... Read More

How Children Can Read Faster and Better

For most children, it is easy to learn to read... Read More

Quality Time?

There's a phrase that's become popular over the past few... Read More

induction lighting led bulbs for sale Pete's produce ..