We live in a culture that values perfection and believes that we must strive to be better than others. However, instead of allowing them to learn from their mistakes, we make them feel much worse.
Knowing how to react when your child makes a mistake, experiences failure, or has a setback is a crucial skill for parents to master. Whether your child loses a soccer match, is defeated in a board game by a sibling or a friend, has a poor report card, or experiences any other sort of setback or disappointment, there will be many occasions in their life when things do not go as planned. The way you react in these situations has a big impact on your children’s social and emotional development.
Some parents respond to their children’s setbacks by soothing them, depending on the occasion and circumstances. Others may concentrate on what the child did incorrectly or be concerned that their child is not performing well. Parents may get angry with their kid or with anyone they blame for the setback—a referee, a coach, a teacher, or a judge—in some instances. Whatever you do, it has an effect on your children.
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How Our Behavior Affects Our Children
Your reactions to your children’s setbacks may go unnoticed, but they may have a long-term impact on how they digest a setback and go on. Reactions can also have an impact on how resilient and self-assured children grow, as well as how they manage mistakes and setbacks throughout their life.
Researchers at Stanford University discovered that a parent’s attitude toward a children’s setbacks and mistakes, whether good or negative, might influence the children’s perception of intellect and, as a result, their future.
The researchers posed a series of questions on failure and intellect to 73 parent-child pairings. The students were in 4th and 5th grades.
There was no relationship between parents’ views about intelligence and their children’s beliefs about intelligence, but there was a link between parents’ attitudes toward intelligence and their children’s beliefs about intelligence, according to the research.
See also: How To Help Your Child Adjust To Change
It may have something to do with the message that parents’ emotions give to their children, according to researchers. For example, parents who are anxious and worried about a low test grade could be sending the message to their child that intellect is fixed and that they will not progress.
Parents who emphasize what a child may learn from a poor test score, on the other hand, may send the message to their children that intellect is not fixed and that they can improve their grades by studying – a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset.
See also: How I Discipline Ungrateful Children
How to Get the Message Across
There are several strategies to ensure that your child understands that failure is not a reflection of their intelligence or aptitude. When your child experiences a setback, here are some crucial ways to respond.
Keep an eye on your children’s reaction. Take cues from your children’s emotional response to the loss. Are they content since they gave it their all? Are they resentful of themselves for failing? If they’re angry or unhappy with themselves or with the loss, attempt to help them transform that emotion into a drive to do better next time.
Concentrate on the future. Rather than dwelling on the defeat, concentrate on how to improve the situation in the future. Remind your child that whatever went wrong could be a valuable learning tool for determining what to do or not do in the future.
See also: Examples Of Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset
Consider yourself a bystander. Keep an eye on how you respond to your children’s blunder. Would you consider this individual to be helpful and supportive? Do you believe they’re talking in a friendly, relaxed tone? Or would they come out as harsh, critical, or pessimistic? Imagine yourself encouraging rather than discouraging others.
Instead of focusing on the end result, emphasize the process. Discuss what they liked and didn’t like, as well as what they believe could be done better next time. Help them focus their attention on future planning rather than on winning, and encourage them to focus on the joy and satisfaction of learning rather than on winning.
Don’t feel sorry for your child. When you’re trying to console your child, avoid showing pity, since this might send the wrong message—that they aren’t competent. “Rather than saying, ‘I’m sorry you can’t do this,’ identity what went wrong and work toward a solution,” Dr. Haimovitz advises.
Maintain a healthy perspective on the setback. Tell your child that the outcome does not define who they are and that they are talented in a variety of areas. Tell them about occasions when you’ve failed before and what you did to improve the situation the following time. Assuage their fears by reminding (ego state) them that everyone makes mistakes, and their brain can adjust to heal from that mistake by learning from it. One of the most essential aspects of being human is that we don’t always get it right.
Make an enjoyable activity together. By doing something they enjoy and are excellent at, you may enhance your children’s self-esteem and confidence. Taking a break from the situation at hand may allow them to concentrate on fresh methods and ideas for dealing with the problem more effectively in the future.
Avoid attempting to correct their error. Helicopter parenting is when you go in to remedy the problem yourself. Helping entails showing them how to figure out what they need to accomplish on their own.
Remind them of your unwavering affection. Finally, tell your child that you will always have their back and will be there to chat with them about their feelings and ideas in the event that they make a mistake which is using the inductive parenting style. Make sure they understand that your love is something they can depend on no matter what, and that they can come to you with any problems.
Shaming Does Not Teach
When we shame and guilt children for their mistakes, we aren’t motivating them to be better and do better next time; instead, we’re filling their hearts with a lack of self-worth; we’re blinding them to all the wonderful qualities they possess; we’re blinding them to the pure inner motivation that drove them to try that thing that didn’t go so well.
When we punish children for their mistakes, we teach them that mistakes are unacceptable and that individuals who make mistakes are unacceptable; they will go out into the world carrying this misery with them and passing it on to their children and others.
To alter that, they’ll have to relearn a difficult lesson they acquired as a child, a process most people would never attempt since they were never informed there was another way. In a society ruled by fear, guilt, and shame, survival is the only way most of us know how to live. If you are an involved parent who cares, as opposed to an uninvolved parent or a permissive parent, then you will likely already know that shaming doesn’t help any situation and does not help in raising resilient children.
Life Is About the Journey, Not the Destination.
Our house is where we begin if we want to live in a world of compassion and acceptance, a world that meets individuals with love. Our children could be the first generation to be more concerned with the process than with the end result.
Sure, he spilled water all over the floor, but he was just trying to bring you a drink of water.
Sure, she ripped a piece of your favorite garment out, but she wanted to turn it into a heart and gift it to you.
Yes, there could be crumbs on the floor, stains on your couch, or a secret disclosed far too soon, but these end products NEVER reflect the process or the goal. We taint the purpose of the heart when we shame children for the final outcome. These stains, unlike those on a couch or the floor, cannot be erased. Using attachment theory instead of fear conditioning we can make our children feel better about the mistake they made.
Failure Teachable Moments for Kids
It’s difficult for parents to see their children fail or make mistakes in school or home, but learning to take a step back and let them work through difficulties, even if they fail along the way, is a crucial part of being a good parent. Making mistakes, as difficult as it could be, may teach children a lot.
Allowing children to make mistakes, in reality, fosters resilience and is an important life experience for developing self-assured and capable children. When children are given the chance to struggle through various circumstances and, on occasion, fail, they are able to acquire and hone essential social and emotional abilities.
When children do not give the opportunity to fail or struggle, they are more likely to have low self-esteem and poor problem-solving abilities. They’re also less likely to take chances or attempt new things since they’re afraid of failing.
When children have battled and triumphed over adversity, they understand that while failure is not a pleasant experience, it is also not the end of the world. They understand how to get back up and try again.
According to experts, parents have a responsibility to teach their children about the value of failure, as well as how to respond to and learn from it. Kids can learn the perseverance and self-control they need to engage effectively with the world around them by making mistakes and failing.
See also: Genius Tips To Motivate Lazy Kids
Children’s Reactions that Allow Them to Learn from Their Mistakes
Instead of the standard “you always do this,” “you never do that,” “what’s wrong with you?” and “Jesus, I can’t believe this just happened,” here are ten responses that can help your children maintain their inner motivation, not give up after a failed attempt, and really perform better the next time:
- Expect nothing less than perfection from your children. This expectation will create a lifetime barrier between you and your child, as well as a lifetime of disappointment on your part, because there is no such thing as perfection.
- When your children make mistakes, love them unconditionally, especially when they are already feeling awful about it. They require your assistance in making them feel better, not worse.
- Don’t concentrate on the mistake; instead, concentrate on the solution so that they can do it themselves next time. Solve the issue. Together.
- Share your own mistakes and how you handled them. Making mistakes is a part of being human, and mama/papa is the finest example there is. Plus, they’ll see you make mistakes anyhow, and owning up to them is the finest lesson you can learn.
- Instead of blaming others, teach your children to accept responsibility and own their faults. This ability will serve them well throughout their lives, allowing them to succeed both professionally and socially.
- Teach your kids how to make apologies when their acts cause harm to others. Making apologies is a necessary aspect of accepting responsibility for our acts and realizing that our actions have direct consequences for others around us.
- Don’t bring up your children’s past mistakes. They’ll most likely recall. And if they don’t, well done!
- Always emphasize the motivation rather than the result. Our motive is the only thing we have control over in life; the outcome is frequently out of our hands. This is yet another EXTREMELY IMPORTANT LESSON FOR THE FUTURE.
- Teach your children that making mistakes is an integral part of the learning process that they must experience.
- Teach your children that making mistakes is a part of life, and that life is a learning experience in and of itself.
These replies will not only strengthen your children’s inner drives and give them the couanger to pursue their hearts and ambitions, but they will also teach the world a valuable lesson. They will show their peers the care and love that you have shown them at home as they emerge victorious and powerful.
As difficult as it is to watch your children struggle and make mistakes, it is a vital experience that every child should undergo. Of course, this does not exclude you from assisting your child with homework, providing comfort, or intervening when they are in danger, but you should periodically give them the freedom to make mistakes.
Take a deep breath the next time your child is in a difficult position and ask yourself if you really need to jump in and rescue them, or whether this is a scenario where you should let them work it out on your own, even if it means making mistakes along the way. Allowing your kid to make certain age-appropriate decisions, even if the risk of failure is significant, helps them develop autonomy and independence while also teaching them valuable life lessons about failure.
They are going to be the change we want to see in the world.
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“GENTLE PARENTING IS A LIFESTYLE THAT EMBRACES BOTH YOUR PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR, NOT ONLY TOWARDS YOUR CHILDREN, BUT TO YOURSELF TOO“— SARA HOCKWELL-SMITH