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Teaching your child that failure is a success!

Most of us hate failures and most of the times the fear of failures prevented us from moving forward. Frankly speaking, we’re afraid to fail because we’re afraid to look bad and being judged. In actual fact, failure is a part of life. Sometimes we need to fail in order to learn and grow, therefore we should learn not to look at failure as an ending event.  Who cares what people think?

It’s important to teach from young about failures. It is especially not easy, as a mom, to teach her own children about failures. Why? Because half of your heart you do not want to demoralize them, you will be wondering will the multiple times of failure result to having limiting beliefs. The other part of your heart, you want them to learn and to grow. I do allow smarties to face failures and strictly speaking, many times. The most recent one is the experiment that they have tried and didn’t work out as they expected. You can read more about it at Science Experiment: Vinegar Launcher.

After each failure, of course, it doesn’t feel good but, as adults, we will need to explain why it happens, how it happens and what should they do and how to work on it or improve it or work around it. Is not an easy task as there are no right or wrong answers to it. Life has no answer sheet, or does it?

So how do we teach our children about failures? Here are some quick tips:
1. Not everyone is a winner
Every parent hopes their child is the winner and every time when a child does something either you are praying so hard to make sure the child wins or assisting the child to make him/her win one way or the other. This is actually a terrible example to set and teach. Yes, winning is important and winning makes you feel great. Losing is as important as it helps a person to grow. It makes a child think how to improve further, how to get better next time.

2. Everyone has their own talent
You child may want to be a swimmer just like Joseph Schooling but he/she doesn’t have the stamina to swim the long distance. You child may want to be a singer but he/she carries a tune well. We don’t keep pushing for it when they can’t do it. Not everyone is cut out to do what they want. We need to find what other gifts our child has. Every child has their own unique talent and we need to help and guide them towards that. If your child can’t sing, maybe try musical instruments.

3. Persevere
As mentioned earlier, losing can be really demoralizing. We have to teach and guide our child how not to give up that easily. In other words, persevere. As a parent, we teach them how to set a realistic goal, how to work towards it and ask them what are the ways to work towards it. Be there to share your child’s frustration if he/she doesn’t get it and be there to compliment even if he/she doesn’t get it. Compliment your child for trying instead of giving up. Don’t use rewards, bribery or threats to make your child get there. In the long run, these won’t work.

4. Fail with dignity
Failure is not the end of the world. Do not let failure pull your child down. Admit that it didn’t work and find out what’s wrong. Don’t put your child down. Instead, focus on what your child can learn from it and use that as a jumping-off point.

As a parent, we want to protect your child as much as possible especially when it comes to failure. It’s very heartbreaking to watch your child’s hopes and dreams being dashed. In our society, we all have been conditioned that we need to come out on top otherwise you are a person who will not succeed. Avoiding failure and disappointment is not the success formula. It is essential that your child learns how to encounter failure and overcome it with dignity and a fuller understanding of what went wrong and how to get it better. That is effective parenting.

Is not a sin to fail, so support your child to persist beyond failure so that it can help them to prepare for setbacks in life in the future. Experiencing failure is a learning foundation that will help them thrive not only now but also into the future. As the saying goes: If you have never failed, you have never attempted anything that matters enough to you.

This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. Natasha

    What a great blog post! Just love it to bits.. I hAve two girls and I m definitely going to follow your advice

    1. YoungSmarties

      Thank you, Natasha! I’m using this on my kids too. Hope it helps 🙂

  2. Love this post! It’s so important to teach your children all these values you mentioned above, and I love the quotes you picked out to go with each value.

    1. YoungSmarties

      Thank you, Betty! Quotes are short and sweet and they are easier to remember, I find… 🙂

  3. I think perseverance is our word of the year. There is so much we’ve been through as a family. Failures have made us stronger and taught us to be resourceful. This is a great post with a lot of good examples. I love your perspective.

    1. YoungSmarties

      Thank you for loving it. Yes, is not easy to go through failures but perseverance is needed in order to pull through it.

  4. This post is AMAZING! So many parents believe the “everyone should get a trophy” stigma… I personally think it is causing the children of our society to be babies forever. Up coming generations are very entitled and I think it has a lot to do with not teaching what you are showing here <3

    1. YoungSmarties

      Thank you, Renee! Yes, nowadays children think that they are entitled to everything in the world and there is not such thing as failure. They don’t realise that there are many things to learn from a failure.

  5. Few months back I too wrote a post on how letting kids fail to get success is a must..that is the theory I believe in so that they can become strong as an individual and know that it is not necessary to win everywhere they think too..

    1. YoungSmarties

      Oh you did? I’m going to read up too!

  6. Well this is something that every parent needs to know about! To deal witht heir kid’s failure is not something every parent can handle well! Nice work!

    1. YoungSmarties

      Thank you! Yes it is not easy to handle this kind of matter as there is no right or wrong answer to it.

  7. I think learning how to deal with failure correctly is important and its something i lot of parents are missing nowdays

    1. YoungSmarties

      Agree with that! I suppose some parents will feel that if they are doing it correctly.

  8. I agree that it’s very important that children learn to accept and learn from failure.

    1. YoungSmarties

      *thumbs up*

  9. Great advice! Yes, everyone has their own unique talents! Don’t imitate, use your own talents to the fullest! That’s what every child should be taught!

    1. YoungSmarties

      Totally agree on that!

  10. Jenni Petrey

    I couldn’t agree more with your post. Every point is valid and they’re all points that I am trying to get my children to understand. My daughter’s favourite word at the moment is “perseverance!”

    1. YoungSmarties

      Wow! That’s great! My son’s favourite word at the moment is “resilience!” 😉

  11. We go to the park and watch the skateboarders and bike riders do their tricks over and over and talk about how they are practicing. We don’t focus on the failure at all. We show them how sometimes it takes more than one try to do something the way you want.

    1. YoungSmarties

      That’s the real life example that we have to show the younger generation on what failure and success is about! Seeing is believing!

  12. This article is great to teach parents and also a reminder to ourselves too!!!
    My husband makes us (especially kids) shake hands with each other n say “good game!!!” after every game …

    Jamie chaw

    1. YoungSmarties

      That’s really nice of him to do that!

  13. I think it’s very important that we don’t bubblewrap our kids too much as they are growing up.. if not they will have a terrible time adjusting to failures as adults and we certainly can’t always be there to protect them then!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    1. YoungSmarties

      Yes agree, definitely no no to bubble wrap.

  14. All good points especially perseverance. Telling children real life example of how someone failed multiple times and kept on persevering until he/she found success would help too.

    1. YoungSmarties

      Agree and nowadays I use Jack Ma as an example that Asians usually relate to, although young kids may not be able to understand just yet…

  15. Love this post, can relate 100%!!. I compliment my kids for putting in efforts and trying their best. Results pass fail secobdary(although the Mrs might not agree). School years is the best time to make mistake, before they step into society.


    1. YoungSmarties

      *hi 5* totally agree with what you said too! Best time to make mistake is when they are young and we are around to guide them.

  16. I loved this post. Kids should be able to take the failure in their stride just like they shouldn’t let the success go in their head.

    1. YoungSmarties

      Thank you! Agree with that, it is really easy to get the success into their head and is hard to swallow failure.

  17. Definitely easier to learn how to cope with failure now. Encountering failure later in life can be devastating if one has never built up that resilient character to withstand it. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. YoungSmarties

      Yes, I always try to remind myself too that is ok to let them experience failure now than later.

  18. Perseverance is an important skill we all need to learn and failures are part of life like success. We just need to take failure as a stepping stone .

    1. YoungSmarties

      Failure as a stepping stone…Bingo!

  19. Your sharing resonates strongly with my beliefs, especially the internal struggle about allowing the kids to fail and not wanting to demoralise them too much. I think the fear of failing also has to do with the personality of the child as some are more able to let the feeling of failure pass quickly but some just hold on to that and get upset over it.

    – Mary @ Simply Lambchops

    1. YoungSmarties

      Agree with that, the most important thing is still the child and how we can “customised” the method of teaching to different child.

  20. I always believe that kids need to learn resilience and resilience is not only being able to ‘tahan’ failure but to rise up again and again from it…and learn from it. Very much aligned to what you’re sharing here. Thanks for promoting that message.

    1. YoungSmarties

      Yes, resilience is the key and we really hope the new generation can ‘than’ failures and grow up to be a useful person.

  21. JoAnne Mbonigaba

    What a great blog that speaks to the heart of what I think is a such a key thing to teach our children, you only lose when you give up. Love the quotes and pictures you chose to share.

    1. YoungSmarties

      Thank you so much for loving it, JoAnne 😉

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