We can fail in a lot of areas: work, investing, sports, you name it. But, we can’t fail our children and their future. Failure at academics is not the end of the world.
How do we avoid messing up? By spending as much time as possible with our kids and making them a priority. We do it by loving them, using encouraging words, and hugging them whether they feel comfortable with it or not. Harry loved his father because he was a good dad. Here are the 10 things to teach your kids about overcoming failure.
We don't all get distinctions
Somewhere along the line, we became a society that preaches instant gratification. Like a giant carnival, our slogan became “everybody wins all the time.” We know it’s not true. It’s also a terrible example to set. Losing is every bit as important in human growth as winning. Rewarding your child for doing nothing will teach him just that. Nothing.
Everyone has Different Talents
Remind that that not everyone will perform great at academics. Some are talented in sport, public speaking, entertainment, art, mechanics, etc. The best way is to help that kid find their talent and nurture it. When they find their talent or passion, help them identify the good role models and good habits.
Teach them to lose with dignity
What is one of the most flattering descriptions a person can hear? “He sure has a lot of class.” “She sure was a great sport about it.” Are you teaching your children how to fail with dignity? How a person accepts failure is an easy indicator of the character within. It also almost guarantees future success. Respect is gained outwardly and inwardly. Some kids can't handle failure and they react badly when they fail.
Help them to learn from their mistakes
“I think and think for months. For years. 99 times the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.” Who said that? Albert Einstein. Mistakes humble you. They can hurt. Yet without them, we are stagnant. Every mistake we make is an educational experience. Help the kids to reflect on their actions and misactions so they can identify where they went wrong and learn how they could have done it better. Every success is built upon a foundation of errors and corrections.
Help them realise that their story can help others
When we fail, we gain experience. It’s important to share that knowledge. Use it to mentor others experiencing similar difficulties. Instill in your children the responsibility to share their mistakes in hopes to save another from making the same. Help children to own their story so much that they can share it with others. Make them see that their failure can help others who are on the same path.
Help them to Leave it All on the Field
Boxing legend Joe Frazier once said, “If I lose, I’ll walk away and never feel bad because I did all I could. There was nothing more to do.” The most common phrase in sports has to be “leave it all on the field!” Explain to your kids to never cheat themselves on effort and they will always gain from it. No matter the outcome.
Teach them to persevere
Determination wins many victories. We should not allow our children to give up on themselves. Maybe your son has brought home two straight failing test grades in mathematics. He thinks there is no way he will ever get it. Help him pick himself back up and try again. Perseverance eventually will lead to positive results and a lifelong lesson never to be forgotten.
Teach them to identify winning tactics
It might sound obvious, but knowing how to win is the easiest way not to lose. For instance, your son is selling popcorn for the Boy Scouts. He knocks on 200 random doors and sells 20 packages in 4 hours. A lot of effort for little gain. The next day he sets up a stand in front of a busy grocery store. Uniform on. Charm intact. He sells 200 packages in 1 hour. Which was the most successful tactic? Game planning is an essential part of a successful life.
Teach them the ethical definition of success
Looking into the future, what do you wish for your son? I’m guessing happiness tops that list. He’s a respected and honest man. Has a loving wife and a family of his own. I highly doubt you would look into the future and hope he has an awesome car, seven hot girlfriends, and he’s shallow and in it for the money. Yet, that is exactly what is marketed at him. Eternal failure. Society teaches shallowness to be equal to success. As a parent, it is up to you to define success.
Teach them to laugh about it
There are times in life we are going to do really stupid things. The ability to laugh about it sure makes those moments a lot easier to deal with. When you make mistakes in front of your kids, set that example. Don’t curse and scream at the sky. Just shake your head and laugh. It happens.