Failure is inevitable. It’s impossible to go through life without losing or coming up short one way or another. But what’s most important is how you respond to that failure. Here are 5 things to teach your kids about failure.
Everyone Has Unique Talents
Maybe your daughter wants to be the next Carrie Underwood. Then you hear her sing. Your son wants to be Evan Longoria. He can’t hit the ball off a tee. There are just some things we aren’t cut out for; it’s best to learn that at an early age. The good news is that they are a champion at something. It may not be sports or school or music, but let them try it all. Guide them towards their gifts and encourage them along the way.
Not Everybody Gets a Trophy
Somewhere along the line, we became a society that preached instant gratification. Like a giant carnival, our slogan became “Everybody wins all the time.” We know it’s not true. It’s also a terrible example to set. Losing is every bit as important in human growth as winning. Rewarding your child for doing nothing will teach him just that. Nothing.
What is one of the most flattering descriptions a person can hear? “He sure has a lot of class.” “She sure was a great sport about it.” Are you teaching your children how to fail with dignity? How to leave it on the field? How a person accepts failure is an easy indicator of the character within. The ability to laugh about it sure makes failures a lot easier to deal with. When you make mistakes in front of your kids, set that example. Don’t curse and scream at the sky. Just shake your head and laugh. It happens. If they have a good attitude, whether winning or losing, they are almost guaranteed future success. Respect is gained outwardly and inwardly.
“I think and think for months. For years. Ninety-nine times the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.” Who said that? Albert Einstein. Every time you fail, you must dust yourself off and get back on that horse. Determination wins many victories. We should not allow our children to give up easily. Maybe your son has brought home two straight failing test grades in math. He thinks there is no way he will ever get it. Help him pick himself back up. Try once more. Do whatever it takes to make it work. Perseverance will eventually lead to positive results and a lifelong lesson never to be forgotten.
Understand True Success
Looking into the future, what do you wish for your children? I’m guessing happiness tops that list. Honest and respectable, having a loving family of their own. You don’t want them to aspire to the fast sports car, lots of money and countless hot girlfriends. Yet, that is exactly what is marketed at him-- eternal failure. Society teaches shallowness to be equal to success. As a parent, it is up to you to define what success truly is. It is a battle that you must win.
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