“Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.” Carl Jung
Learning from mistakes and failures isn’t easy for adults. Imagine how traumatic it would be for our young ones. In today’s world where even a pet’s new collar doesn’t go unnoticed and commented on; it is difficult to discuss somebody’s failure without damaging his/her self-esteem. All children need encouragement to learn and succeed, especially after they have seen a failure in exams. Positive words of encouragement from parents, teachers, and friends during difficult academic challenges are essential for children’s growth and development.
Exams for academic sessions have just got over and new academic sessions have started. Parents might be anxious about their children’s performances in the present year compared to previous years. Parents keep reminding children about their past mistakes time and again in life instead of accepting them and moving on. Many times, insensitive reactions from the parents forces children to take harsh steps such as turning to bad company, drugs, malpractices or the worst ending their life.
Teachers and friends may not always have the time or inclination to motivate children to overcome their failures. In such situations, parents play an important role in encouraging them to continue their life with earnest interest even if they fail in their attempts. Failure in exams should not be the criteria to judge your children as a Loser in life.
Take some time to think about how you talk to children after their failures. Here are some tips on how to help your children to learn from their failures.
How to Help Children to Learn from Failures
1. Perfection is not the aim. Feel free to accept the fact that you don’t expect them to be perfect. This faith will let them look back at their mistakes and will not repeat them.
2. Unconditional Love. Your children are your most important treasure. Do not let their one failure affect your relationship with them. Let them know your love is unconditional, regardless of their mistakes or lapses in judgment.
3. Help to find a Solution. Do not live the life of your children for them. Let them focus on the solution. Don’t jump to rescue them from their mistakes.
4. Tell your Stories. Children learn from your experiences. Do not shy away from giving examples of your own childhood mistakes, the consequences, and how you learned from them.
5. No Blame Game. First step towards progress is to accept your mistakes. Encourage children to take responsibility for their mistakes instead of blaming others.
6. Let bygones be bygones. Reminding past mistakes every time children falter will not help in the long run. Avoid pointing out their past mistakes. Instead, focus on the one at hand.
7. Appreciation matters. The most difficult step is to accept your own mistakes. If your children have taken that step, praise them for their ability to admit mistakes. Once they have taken this step, half of the battle is won.
8. Encourage Efforts. Children may not succeed in their very first attempt. Still, what will keep them going will be the feeling that you are with them. So, praise them for their efforts and courage to overcome setbacks.
9. Empathy. Whenever one makes a mistake, knowingly or unknowingly, someone is hurt. Make them realise the pain others feel when someone hurts them. Train them on how to apologize when their mistakes have hurt others.
10. Hope for the best. Failures are the stepping stones to success, in true sense. Help kids look at the good side of getting things wrong. This way at least they may not repeat the same mistakes in their life. Also, they will not be afraid of making new mistakes in their life.
Whether it involves homework, developing friendships, or playing a sport, learning is enriched through error. Learning from mistakes is part of how we challenge ourselves to learn to do things differently. It motivates us to try new, innovative approaches to problem-solving. Throughout a lifetime, learning from mistakes helps develop wisdom and good judgment. Finally, one can say:
Failure doesn’t mean – “You are a failure,”
It means – You have not succeeded.
Failure doesn’t mean – “You accomplished nothing,”
It means – You have learned something.
Failure doesn’t mean – “You have been a fool,”
It means – You had a lot of faith.
Failure doesn’t mean – “You don’t have it,”
It means – You were willing to try.
Failure doesn’t mean – “You are inferior,”
It means – You are not perfect.
Failure doesn’t mean – “You’ve wasted your life,”
It means – You have a reason to start afresh.
Failure doesn’t mean – “You should give up,”
It means – “You must try harder.
Failure doesn’t mean – “You’ll never make it,”
It means – It will take a little longer.
Failure doesn’t mean – “God has abandoned you,”
It means – God has a better way for you.