What? Allow my children to fail? Yes, it is healthy to allow your children to fail yet many parents will argue this point. I’ve heard people say:
- failure will hurt my child’s esteem
- failure will make my child feel insecure
- failure will make me look like a bad parent
- failure doesn’t teach my child how to be a success
These arguments are actually not true. Let’s take a look at each one.
1) Failure will hurt my child’s esteem. The truth is, failure will help build a child’s esteem IF we don’t get angry with them or focus on their mistakes. When a child learns to accept failure and learns from their mistakes, it will have a positive impact on how they feel about themselves and it WILL increase their esteem.
2) Failure will make my child feel insecure. Failing is certainly not a good feeling and it can bring up temporary feelings of insecurity. This is why is it so important to support your child when they do make a mistake. Make sure they understand that it is okay to fail and that you still love them. Encourage them to talk about how they feel, ways they can improve and be ready to help them if needed BUT don’t do everything for them. Allow them to make the necessary changes and cheer for them.
3) Failure will make me look like a bad parent. Parents should be more concerned about how their child feels than how they look as a parent. No child is perfect and neither is any parent. WE ALL FAIL and we need to accept this fact. Pursuing perfection and encouraging your child to be perfect will only result in FAILURE! If you feel bad when your child fails, then you need to work on your own esteem and understand that FAILING DOES NOT MAKE ANYONE A FAILURE!
4) Failure doesn’t teach my child how to be a success. Actually failure does teach your child how to be a success. It teaches a child that everything in life isn’t going to go the way they expected and that they need to make some changes. Failure helps people learn and grow. Failure teaches accountability. Failures are just stepping stones to success.
Giving your children the freedom to fail helps them make decisions and learn from the consequences. Love them, support them and have open communication with them. The result: A RESPONSIBLE ADULT!