“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
- Winston Churchill
Failure is not a step backward; it’s an important stepping stone to success. We'll never learn to move out of our comfort zone if we don’t overcome our fear of failure.
As parents and educators, we have an enormous influence on how our children see the world and the opportunities around them. Is failure an opportunity to learn and grow, or is failure a negative event that interferes with success? How we answer this question has a large influence on how much our children think they can improve by working hard, a study indicates.
"There is a fair amount of evidence showing that when children view their abilities as more malleable and something they can change over time, then they deal with obstacles in a more constructive way," states Gail Heyman, a professor of psychology at the University of California at San Diego.
However, communicating this message to children is not so easy. How parents respond to their children's setbacks can determine their child's mindset. Thinking about the way we respond, what we say, how we act and how our children interpret this information, is important. When your child is having a tough time or is experiencing a setback, try not to focus on their abilities, but how they can learn from it.
Studies show that those who fail regularly and keep trying are better equipped to respond to challenges and setbacks in a constructive way. They learn how to try different strategies, ask others for advice and persist.
Let's face it, we are all going to fail at something at some point. Did you know that J.K. Rowling was rejected by 12 different publishers before one picked up Harry Potter? Bill Gates launched a business which completely flopped before starting Microsoft. Even Steven Spielberg has dealt with failure; he was rejected 3 times from the USC film program but persisted and was eventually accepted to California State University.
As J.K. Rowling said "I'm normally proudest of myself after I've done something that frightens me." Often, our greatest victory is the one that’s most difficult. Let's try to remind ourselves and our children that failing is an opportunity to learn about ourselves, try something different and in the process, achieve success.
Every student has a different learning style. For an individualized plan customized to your child's needs, please contact Dana Aussenberg at danaaussenberg.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.