“I would prefer as a viewer to watch the mistakes. I am my own blooper reel, as it happens.” ~Craig Ferguson
I came from a household of “pride,” too much of it, and unfortunately it cost me a loving and united relationship with my parents and older siblings. However, I have chosen to look at the deeply dysfunctional events as positive tools rather than negatives. And one example that I’ve tried to unravel and change within my own family circle is our pride. Admitting when we fail is HUGE and it supports many healthy traits for our children to follow in error. ~C. L. Baker-Smith
“All parents want to see their kids succeed, but it’s just as important to teach your children how to fail. Failing can be reframed as trying, practicing, and putting in effort — and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. After all, it’s unrealistic to be good at everything on your first pass. Kids who can’t tolerate failure are vulnerable to anxiety and it can lead to bigger problems when they do inevitably fail.”
Coming from an extremely prideful family made ‘my’ mistakes all the more unbearably shameful. Because my parents never talked about their faults, and ‘if’ there was an infraction on their part, the words, “Im sorry,” would be followed with a “but you…”, which to me, meant what I did caused them to do what they did. And this is a false belief, because we must be held accountable for our OWN actions. Everyone has a choice, whether we want to admit it is another one. ~C. L. Baker-Smith
“There is so much pressure on kids today to be the best that it’s important parents let their children know that failing will happen sometimes and that it is totally okay. In fact, it’s brave to try something new, knowing that it might not work out.”
Guidelines that Foster Positive Youth Development
- Acknowledge that you don’t expect them to be perfect.
- Let them know your love is unconditional, regardless of their mistakes or lapses in judgment.
- Don’t rescue children from their mistakes. Instead, focus on the solution.
- Provide examples of your own mistakes, the consequences, and how you learned from them.
- Encourage them to take responsibility for their mistakes and not blame others.
- Avoid pointing out their past mistakes. Instead, focus on the one at hand.
- Praise them for their ability to admit their mistakes.
- Praise them for their efforts and courage to overcome setbacks.
- Mentor them on how to apologize when their mistakes have hurt others.
- Help them look at the good side of getting things wrong!
Here are a few more tips for helping children develop resilience:
- When you see that your child is struggling or having a hard time, empathize with him. Be sure not to brush off his feelings. Try using language like “I know you’re really disappointed and that you wanted to do better.”
- Explain to your child that everyone fails and offer a story about a time when you yourself failed. You can model for your child how to handle frustration and disappointment. Remember, kids are always watching and taking cues from parents.
- Look at failure as a chance to teach your child a lesson about resiliency. Talk through what went wrong and use problem solving skills to come up with a plan for what to do next time.
- If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Remind your child that they can try again and use this failure as a learning experience.
Perhaps the most important thing is to step back and let your child stumble. We all want to protect our kids, but it’s important to allow them to fail rather than swooping in and fixing the problem. Failure teaches kids the skills they need—like resiliency—to be successful adults.
“Adults understand that making mistakes is part of life. What’s important is how we learn from them.”