Even though you do your best as a parent or a nanny to shield your children from harm, it’s not always possible to prevent disappointment and failures. In fact, your child will experience just as much failure, if not more, than he will success.
Learning how to deal with failures and grow from the experiences teaches a child resilience, confidence and maturity. As your children embark on this developmental milestone, it’s important for you to be right by their side as the supportive and enthusiastic cheerleader, guiding them through this teaching moment.
Listen, Love and Let Them Fail
As your child walks in from school and slings his book bag on the floor with a frown that can be seen for miles, it’s likely he has received a low grade on an assignment, failed at an attempt to conquer a task in class or was rejected by the girl of his dreams on the playground. To the young mind, these setbacks can be devastating. However, you have the opportunity to teach him how to learn from the failures he has experienced.
Parents and nannies play a very important role in helping children deal and learn from failure.
Lois Clark, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences at Ohio State University Extension, suggests the following strategies to support and encourage your child when he or she is coping with failure:
Model Positive Reactions
Beyond helping your child see the benefits of a failure, think long and hard about how you manage and handle your own failures to see what your children are learning through your example. As the role model, your children observe your behavior and reactions closely, according to Melody Brooke, Texas-based family therapist and author of “Oh Wow This Changes Everything.” “If our children see us responding by drinking or being angry, then that’s what they will learn to do,” she says.
Instead, model positive reactions instead of negative responses when you experience your own setbacks. If your child is upset about a poor grade or his performance at a sporting event, refrain from belittling him or telling him what he did wrong.
Instead, Brooke suggests asking him how he feels about the end result and validating that his feelings are real. Positive reinforcement that you support him in his efforts and love him for both his successes and failures will encourage the child to continue trying until his weakness becomes a strength.
“Failure is how a child learns and learns to develop confidence,” says Brooke. “We can encourage this learning and self confidence development only if we respond positively to the failure ourselves.”← Year-End Bonuses for Nannies | Technology Free-Zone: How to Limit Your Child’s Tech Time →