Psychology of Parenting
Teach Your Child How To Turn Setbacks Into Learning Opportunities

Teach Your Child How To Turn Setbacks Into Learning Opportunities

The majority of children are terrified of failing, and as parents and educators, we naturally want our children to succeed. But what if we recognized failure is good and a crucial step on the path to learning?

Failure is an unavoidable part of success (NOT it’s opposite). When we fail, our brains really grow and evolve in significant ways. Amazing things can happen for childrens once they grasp this notion (and for us).

“Think about your worst mistakes,” advises resilience expert Rachel Simmons. They most likely instilled in you more bravery, strength, and knowledge than any amount of accomplishment could.” Rather than allowing children to be afraid of failure, we can help them see it as a learning opportunity.

Here are seven methods to educate children about the gift of failure, as well as how to do it effectively.

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Teaching your Child To Turn Setbacks Into Learning Opportunities

Focus on Growth Mindset

We already know that instilling a development attitude in children strengthens them. It also affects how they react to failure.

According to a new study published in Developmental Cognitive Science, children with growth mindsets had a bigger brain reaction after making a mistake than those with fixed mindsets. As a result, they were more inclined to enhance their performance.

Failure is unavoidable, but childrens with growth mindsets were able to convert setbacks into good learning experiences by concentrating on what went wrong and how they could improve (growth mindset) it.

Allow Failure

Failure is beneficial to children. We all know this, but it’s difficult for grownups to accept. In fact, many parents associate successful parenting with keeping their children out of trouble.

Jessica Lahey, an author and teacher, explores the implications of this approach in her book The Gift of Failure. She claims that the only way to learn particular coping and problem-solving abilities is via difficult situations. Key brain connections cannot form if childrens are shielded from hardship.

“Allowing for small setbacks now teaches a child the skills to deal with, and perhaps even avoid, bigger ones later.” – Jessica Lahey

Simmons advises that we confront our own anxieties of allowing children to fail by asking themselves the following questions:

If I wasn’t frightened (or worried) right now, how would I parent?
Is the mistake’s repercussions lasting or life-threatening?
What will he learn if I take a step back and let this play out?
Allow children to make mistakes. It will make them (and you) stronger. “Failure isn’t fatal,” as they say.

Accept (and even celebrate) Failure.

Failure is a fantastic teacher. So why not rejoice each time it occurs, knowing that a fresh opportunity has just presented itself?

Here are some ideas for celebrating mistakes:

Allowing children to brag about their mistakes and what they’ve learnt
Fridays are now known as “Failure Fridays” (a day of the week when you read about a famous person who failed)
When your child makes a mistake, give him a high-five.

Explain the concept of ‘The Learning Pit.’

Stumbling blocks are an important part of the learning process. The Learning Pit, created by James Nottingham, is a simple and effective method to frame this concept for children.

When confronted with a difficulty, we must all enter “the pit” of uncertainty. Thoughts like “I’ve failed” or “I’m stuck (fixed mindset)” are just indicators that more in-depth thought and learning is taking place.

Teach childrens the metaphor of the “pit” and make it a part of their everyday lexicon. For instance, during a difficult activity, inquire, “Who is in the pit?” “Who has climbed out of the abyss?”

Kids of all ages can then be partnered up in the classroom to cooperate.

Explain the Science of the Brain

Failure is something that most children are afraid of. But what if they understood that making mistakes helped them grow their brains? Thankfully, there’s plenty of evidence to back you up!

Kids’ fears of failure might be broad, such as a need to always be flawless, or more particular, such as a desire to get an A on their next test. Here are some scientifically validated suggestions for addressing certain specific (and widespread) fears:

If your child is afraid of making a mistake…Tell him this:

Every mistake he makes causes electrical impulses to fire, which aid in his learning.
Discuss a research showing that when he makes mistakes, his brain “sparks and develops,” and what this means for failure (Moser et al., 2011).
A wonderful poem about making mistakes is included in our Growth Mindset Printables Kit! Print it out and post it in your growth mindset area, classroom, or anyplace else you want to encourage kids that making mistakes is OK!

If your child is afraid of making a mistake,

Tell her this:

One of the most effective methods to study the topic is to make educated assumptions.
It’s even better if she makes an inaccurate estimate that she believes is correct and then gets corrected! Making a bad guess and then learning the proper answer makes it easier for her brain to remember the correct response in the future.

If your childis afraid of taking on a difficult assignment,

Tell him this:

True, he (and everyone else) makes more mistakes when studying the difficult subjects.
It’s also true that he remembers things better. In fact, the more someone works to comprehend something, the longer it stays in his mind and the more thoroughly it is digested.

It’s simple to get childrens enthusiastic about the possibility when they grasp the brain science behind why mistakes help them learn.

“Failing Forward”

Failure is both valuable and unavoidable. Rather of shielding children from it, use it to aid their development. Questions like “What did you learn from this?” and “What would you do differently next time?” move the attention away from the negative elements of failure and onto the positive aspects.

Failing forward, which was originally a business idea, simply means learning from your mistakes.

Elaine-Taylor, a professional coach and a mom,

We may educate our children to “fail ahead into life” by just being there for them when they fall, according to Klaus. “Mistakes are human,” she adds as a mom of a child with special needs. To be human, they require our permission.”

Other strategies for moving forward include:

Reading books like Charlotte Foltz Jones’ Mistakes That Worked
Discussing the lessons you’ve learnt from your mistakes, such as how to have more compassion for others, how to solve an issue, or even how to forgive yourself.
Taking pride in foreseeing future blunders (“I can’t wait to see how else you learn to do this!”)
How a Failed Invention Led to a Potentially Life-Saving New Idea,” a one-minute video

If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.

Dr. Carol Dweck

Teach the Mindful Approach

Even with these tactics in place, failure can be demoralizing at times. When coping with any major emotion, such as grief or anger, teaching children to be attentive is essential. Kids can learn to respond rather than react to severe feelings of failure with practice.

The connection between mindfulness and resilience has been extensively established. According to recent research from Florida State University, attentive college students are more likely to profit from hardship. They stayed confident in their academic skills even when faced with apparent failure.

Kids may learn to accept and respond to failure, as well as their sentiments connected with it, by taking a thoughtful approach.

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