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Failure is an Option: How to Help your Kids Deal with Failure

Before you jump to conclusions, let me explain. Recently, I came across a book that contained heartfelt letters from a father to his son. One particular statement struck a chord with me: 

"You know son, you are the joy of my life. I hope you pass your driver’s test today. But, if you don’t, it’s ok, just keep working on it till you do." Isn't that special? It made me think about how we as parents often want our kids to succeed and fear their failures. But, what if we embraced failure as a crucial step in their learning journey, just as the father did in this letter? 

Kids often fear failure and oftentimes we fuel that fear by shouting at them or blaming them for failure. But, what if we saw it as an opportunity to help them grow and become better? In Carol Dweck's book, "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," she explains the concept of a growth mindset. People with a growth mindset see failure as a chance to improve and grow, rather than a reflection of their intelligence. So, how can we cultivate a growth mindset in our kids? Here are a few tips: 

Show empathy 

When your kids fail, listen to them and empathize with their disappointment. Let them know that you understand their feelings and that everyone experiences setbacks sometimes. 

Focus on effort

Instead of solely praising the outcome, celebrate their efforts. Encourage them to keep trying, even if they don't succeed right away. 

Encourage exploration 

Kids are naturally curious and competitive. Encourage them to try new things and explore different interests. Create a safe environment where they can learn and grow without feeling pressured to be the best. 

Failure is a part of life, and teaching our kids how to handle it with resilience and a growth mindset will prepare them to face life's challenges.