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:

During their first sit-down, President Trump and Brazil’s new far-right leader, President Jair Bolsonaro, arranged to sign several bilateral agreements, including one that lets the United States use Brazil’s Alcantara Aerospace Launch Base for satellites.
Last week, marine experts at Seaside Aquarium fielded a call about a bizarre sea creature found buried in the sand at a beach in Long Beach, Washington.
Two Bronze Age women — one likely a teenage priestess — probably didn't travel far and wide across Europe, as previous research suggested, but instead were real homebodies who likely never left what is now modern-day Denmark, a new study finds.
It's the moment warm weather fans have been waiting for: the first day of spring has officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere.
Dinosaurs and alligators may both be reptiles, but the similarities were thought to be few and far between. Dinosaurs are commonly thought to have been warm-blooded, while alligators are cold-blooded, meaning they can not regulate their own body temperatures. Now, a new study suggests that both dinosaurs and animals have more in common than previously thought – their ability to hear.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, while selling her "Green New Deal", said that the world will end in 12 years if nothing is done to address climate change.
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton repeated a long-held conspiracy theory during a visit to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston last week.  
For some creatures, the magnetic field that hugs our planet serves as a compass for navigation or orientation.
An astronomer at Columbia University has a new guess about how hypothetical alien civilizations might be invisibly navigating our galaxy: Firing lasers at binary black holes (twin black holes that orbit each other).
Skygazers are set for a treat this week when the third and final supermoon of the year occurs.

Organizing a Car Wash Fundraiser

The key to a successful car wash fundraiser event is... Read More

Exams Cause Stress For Parents Too

When it comes to exams, or indeed any academic work,... Read More

Are Public Schools A Menace To Your Kids? -- 11 Danger Signals

Parents, do you have children who do poorly in school,... Read More

How Do You Find the Best Car Seat to Protect Your Child

Choosing a good car seat for your child's protection is... Read More

10 Signs That Your Teen Is Using Drugs

Did you know that over 75% of teens aged 16-17... Read More

10 Universal Laws for Parents of Teens

1 "Law of Belonging": The greatest need of teenagers (after... Read More

Sibling Fighting - Reduce Sibling Rivalry by NOT Keeping Score

Recently, a much-anticipated game of mini-golf with my children soon... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: 4 Dangerous Myths

MYTH: All teens have to rebel, and the teen years... Read More

Aptitude, Achievement, Processing Deficit - What Does It All Mean?

You are sitting with the professionals who know about learning... Read More

Adderall and Its Side-Effects

Adderall is a stimulant medication used in the treatment of... Read More

Family Meals: When Dinner Schedules Dont Match

Mealtimes together deserve an important place in any family. Around... Read More

EEG Biofeedback as a Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

In this form of treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder... Read More

Teacher Tips: Your Room Set-Up and ADHD Students

Thank you to all of our professional educators who dedicate... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Late vs. Too Late, and 5 More Sure Fire Tips

Late vs. Too LateEvery now and then, I'll hear a... Read More

How Effective Is EEG Neurofeedback Training in Treating the Symptoms of ADHD?

Many research studies have shown the overall effectiveness of stimulant... Read More

The Disadvantages of Home Schooling

"Home Schooling ? Look Before You Leap"Are you considering home... Read More

Toilet Terrors And Other Potty Training Fears

Potty training fears, often called toilet terrors, are common among... Read More

Help Your Children to Love Reading

It is so important to create an environment that promotes... Read More

Entering Their Imaginative World

In dealing with children with autism spectrum disorders, its all... Read More

Teach Your Child About Money

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

Babys First Month at a Glance

Congratulations on your new baby! You have just brought your... Read More

Back to School Success: The Parents Job and the Students Job

Q. With another school year starting, we are not sure... Read More

An Overview of Alternative Treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Since so many would rather avoid the use of stimulant... Read More

They Call it Puppy Love

My son is 6 yrs old. He came home the... Read More

Why Scrapbooking Moms are the Secret Weapon in the War on Terror

There is a front line and a back end to... Read More

street lighting fixtures street light savings Pete's produce ..