Four Foundations,  Parenting

Failure or Future: It’s up to You (Re-play)

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We all want to comfort our children after they suffer any kind of failure or disappointment. It’s only natural.

Instead, they ask a simple question: “What happened?”

The question is asked kindly and respectfully, but the intention is clear: to help the child understand why she didn’t reach her goal. Where did she go wrong? Was she unprepared? Did she not work hard enough? Or is her talent simply in another area?

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This kind of questioning may seem rather sophisticated for a young child, but will teach an important lesson: failure can be viewed as a springboard to improvement, not as a dead-end or a reason for self-pity.

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Would most parents like to provide a disappointment-free life for their kids? Probably. But stop and think for a moment: Is that realistic? Do you know anyone who has not had to confront disappointment or failure? Given that reality, don’t we do our kids a greater kindness when we support them in learning from disappointment than when we try to shield them from it entirely?

Parents who react to their children’s failures in this manner provide skills that will last a lifetime. In other words, they raise people who are able to recognize their own competence — and never give up.

2 Comments

  • lynne

    All parents would really do whatever it takes for their children to have a disappointment free life, but as we all know it, life has its own ups and downs, which is the only way for us to learn. If we are over protective with our children in whatever situation, they will never learn on their own, thus, making them weak and dependent on us, we are here to guide them, help them and support them but not to manipulate and over power them. Thanks for sharing . Great Read.

  • Sherill

    Failures and trials must not be stumbling blocks but rather stepping stones! What matters more is the number of times you get up when you fall. This experience makes you all the more prepared for life’s challenges!

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