6 Ways to Assist Your Child in Overcoming Fear Of Failure
Failure is an inevitable part of life. Children who are taught to fail and bounce back become stronger and more prepared to tackle life’s obstacles. When children are afraid of failing, they are more likely to experience anxiety and meltdowns when things go wrong. But how do parents teach their children to fail gracefully?
It’s difficult, but parents must strive to take a step back and allow their children to make mistakes. They can’t fail and try again if you’re continually looking over their shoulder directing them. That is an essential event for them to learn from and grow from.
When your child fails at something, let them know you understand their frustration and disappointment. Jumping immediately to bouncing back doesn’t allow youngsters enough time to process their emotions.
Then you may turn failure into a learning opportunity. Talk about what went wrong and how they might do things differently next time when your child is ready. Or, rather, how they might try again. Assist them in weighing the advantages and disadvantages of their options.
You can also discuss your own errors or failures. Demonstrate to them that these situations are a part of life. It’s perfectly fine if things don’t always go our way.
Therapy can help children who are afraid of failing so much that they are unable to function.
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Teach How To Overcome Fear Of Failure
Emphasize Effort, Not Ability
In a similar vein, it’s critical to prioritize effort above ability.
Don’t feel sorry for or soothe children who “don’t have the adequate aptitude.” Demonstrate that it is not about talent when it comes to performance. It all comes down to effort, practise, learning tactics, and determination, among other things.
This isn’t to say that if your child is struggling, you should simply advise them to “try harder” (especially if they have truly made an effort). Instead of expressing something ability-oriented like, “It’s okay if math isn’t your greatest subject,” you can talk about particular tactics that might work next time.
When we praise our children, we do the same thing.
Carol Dweck and her colleagues tested hundreds of fifth-grade students in a variety of experiments, praising one group for their ability and the other for their efforts.
A challenging test geared for 8th-grade kids was given to both groups. The group that was rewarded for their effort put in a valiant attempt, despite making numerous errors. When the group that was commended for intellect made mistakes, they were disheartened, viewing their blunders as a lack of competence and a sign of failure.
Because of divergent attitudes about mistakes and failure, IQ tests for the “effort” group increased by 30%, while it declined by 20% for the “ability” group.
Adapt Your Attitude Towards Failure
Children learn by watching us, therefore we must be aware of our own reactions to mistakes and failure.
Carol Dweck and Kyla Haimovitz of Stanford University discovered that children learn their attitudes about failure from their parents. Children learn one of two things from seeing their parents: failure is either “enhancing” or “debilitating.”
When you make a mistake, try to keep a positive attitude or laugh about it. Discuss what you’ve learnt from your mistakes (past or present) with your child, and be willing to pick yourself up and try again.
When your child is having difficulties, try not to show any signs of fear or nervousness. This is something he’ll notice. Instead, make an effort to maintain a positive outlook.
Never quit up if you fail because F.A.I.L. stands for First Attempt In Learning.
Taking it a step further and encouraging and celebrating your child’s blunders is a fantastic idea.
Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, recalls her father encouraging her and her brother to share their daily failures around the dinner table. He took this as an occasion to congratulate them on their effort: if they hadn’t failed, they hadn’t attempted anything difficult that day.
Sara’s father instructed her to jot down the “hidden gifts” or lessons she had learned from each encounter when things didn’t go her way or she felt humiliated about a mistake.
Kelly Holmes, the author of Happy You, Happy Family, has also shared an unusual method for teaching her daughter to spell words.
When her daughter misspells a word, Holmes smiles and high-fives her, exclaiming, “High-five, you’re learning!” Her daughter’s attitude toward spelling and her spelling test results have both improved as a result of this method.
Demonstrate Unconditional Love
According to UC Berkeley professor Matt Covington, your self-worth, or sense that you are valued as a person, is strongly tied to your fear of failure.
Children frequently associate their self-worth with what their parents think of them. They may believe that if they do not maintain good grades, excellent athletic or artistic performance, faultless behaviour, and so on, their parents would not love or appreciate them as much.
This idea, unsurprisingly, leads to a fear of failure.
You can boost your child’s self-esteem by emphasizing that you love him unconditionally, even when he makes errors or makes terrible decisions.
You don’t expect your child to be flawless, but make sure he understands this as well. Avoid giving the wrong message to your child by worrying over his schoolwork, correcting all of his incorrect answers, or telling him exactly what to write or how to finish an assignment.
This may make your youngster believe that you are more concerned with his performance and grades than with his learning process. He may be concerned that if he does not meet your high expectations, you will be dissatisfied.
Make an effort to alleviate your child’s anxiety. Explain to your child that you will always adore him and that you are proud of his effort, perseverance, and progress. You can also show your admiration for the way he answers.
Carry out the “Worst-Case Scenario” drill.
Tim Ferriss, an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker, uses a three-column brainstorm to do a “Worst-Case Scenario” exercise. He lists his worst-case possibilities in the first column. The second column is a list of options for reducing the likelihood of these events occurring. He explains how he would recover from each of these circumstances in the third column.
“You walk away from that exercise understanding, ‘Wow, I was getting quite nervous and worked up over something that is absolutely preventable, reversible, or simply not a very big problem,” says Ferriss.
Similarly, if your youngster is afraid of trying new or difficult tasks, the “Worst-Case Scenario” exercise may be beneficial. Begin by gathering a piece of paper and brainstorming with your child.
Pose the following questions to your child:
- What’s the worst that could happen if everything goes wrong?
- Is it likely that this will occur?
- What is the most likely scenario?
- Is there anything you can do to keep this from happening?
- What would you do in the event that the worst-case scenario occurred?
The goal is to assist your youngster to realize that, for the most part, their fear of failure is unfounded. Your child will also learn that he has the authority and control to prevent unpleasant consequences, giving him a sense of power and control.
Assist Them in Concentrating on the Solution
Can you imagine finding your child’s homework on the table, completely forgotten, and then simply leaving it there? Jessica Lahey went ahead and did just that. The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed is her first book.
Even though Lahey knew she would be at her son’s school later that day, she left the homework on the table. Her son wrote a list of everything he needed to take to school each morning after that. The list can still be found on the refrigerator today.
We don’t have to go to this degree, but we do have to allow our children to fail. Rather of protecting your children from issues, assist them in focusing on solutions.
Discuss what they did, the implications of their actions, and how they can avoid these outcomes in the future.
Ask questions such as:
- What went wrong, exactly?
- What can you do to repair or prevent this from happening again?
- “Helping them come up with a strategy,” Jessica Lahey adds, is her favourite aspect of talking to kids about their mistakes. It’s also her finest advice for parents who wish to assist their children overcome their fears of failure.
Allow your child to discuss ideas, but you can also provide suggestions, such as, “Do you think working with your teacher after school would be beneficial?” What if you got a head start on your homework?”
You’re teaching your youngster not to react to failures with frustration, disappointment, or giving up if you use this method. He’ll discover that failure just entails going back to the drawing board and inventing new, more effective ideas and techniques.
Have Success and Failure Conversations
According to a new study conducted by French researchers, children who were taught that learning can be tough and that failure is a normal part of the learning process did better on exams than children who were not given such assurances.
Depending on your child’s age, you might be able to have a candid conversation about achievement and how tough it can be to accomplish.
If you’re not sure where to begin, consider the following ideas:
- Use the “iceberg analogy” to discuss success. You just see the tip of the iceberg when you look at successful people. You don’t see what went on “below the surface,” or what it took for them to succeed: failures, rejection, grit, work, discipline, and tenacity, to name a few.
- Demonstrate how failure can be advantageous since it leads to success (when we learn from it and try again). Explain that failing teaches you about what works and what doesn’t, that you progress, that you learn to keep going rather than giving up, and so on.
Overcoming Fear Of Failure Bottom Line
Failure fear can have a long-term detrimental impact on a child’s confidence and performance, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. Try using these six ways to assist your youngster to overcome his fear of failure:
- Accepting and even praising mistakes might help you change your mindset towards failure.
- In both success and failure, place a greater emphasis on effort rather than skill.
- Demonstrate your unconditional affection for your child.
- To address your child’s fears, use the “worst-case scenario” exercise.
- Allow your youngster to make mistakes and assist them in concentrating on the solution.
- Discuss achievement and failure in an open and honest manner.
Our children will recognize that giving up is not an option as they learn to embrace mistakes, and they will have the confidence and fortitude to take on new tasks with zeal.