As an adult, I experience failure on a regular basis. Just the other day, I experienced it at least three times in the span of 24 hours. I say at least because let’s be honest, I can only recall three but I am sure there were plenty more. I’m the first to admit that I’m far from perfect.
However, the thought of my children failing is terrifying. I often find myself brainstorming ways to help them to succeed and shine. I know how wonderful my kids are and I want them and everyone else to know and see how awesome they are too. While failure is painful in the short term, fearing it for my children is only hurting them in the long run.
When it comes to our children, the idea of failure scares us. It means that our children feel big, scary, and uncomfortable emotions. Not only are these emotions hard for our children to experience, they are hard for us to watch our children go through. As parents, we feel it is our job to protect our children from hurt and pain. To keep them safe and happy. Our instinct is to protect them from these big, scary emotions. This is exactly what we want to stop ourselves from doing.
Failure can be uncomfortable whether we are the ones experiencing it or we are watching our children go through it. However, instead of viewing it as a bad thing, let’s embrace it. It is a learning tool. In fact, it is an inevitable and vital part of learning.
By allowing our children to experience failure, we are helping them to build skills and a better sense of self for the future. Here are 5 benefits to allowing your children to experience failure.
Preparing children for the real world
Failure will happen. Your child will experience it at some point no matter how hard you try to protect them from it. Yes it’s harsh but it’s real life. Allowing them to experience it now prepares them for failure they will experience later in life. Let you child experience failure so that they become better at coping for the future.
Decreasing the fear of failure
Not only is failure scary, but the unknown is scary too. The more we avoid something to scarier it becomes. By allowing our children to experience failure we are allowing them to be less fearful of it.
Raising stronger children
Failure brings up struggle and difficult emotions. It also teaches children that they can handle these things. When your child experiences failure, they are showing themselves that they can persevere through challenge. Challenges help our children grow and become stronger.
Teaching children about strengths and weaknesses
When your child is young, they think they are the best at everything. The best artist. The best runner. The best jumper. The best nose picker…literally everything. And of course you want to encourage them and tell them how wonderful they are. But let’s be real. Your child cannot and will not be the best at everything. Failure, just as success, teaches your child what they are good at and what they are not. This provides children with an opportunity to develop a better and more realistic sense of self.
Increasing problem solving
Failing means that you did not meet your goal. This means that you can brainstorm another way to approach your goal and try again. This process of brainstorming encourages children to improve problem solving skills, which are vital!
Let your children get out there and get messy! Not just messy like in the dirt, but messy in all senses of the word. Perfection is overrated and not realistic. No one has ever learned, grown, or flourished from perfection. While it may seem contradictory, failure is vital to helping your children develop a full sense of self and success.