Why you should teach your children that failure doesn’t matter

Failure1. What is success?

We all want our children to reach their full potential, surely?

We want our children to lead lives in which they’re happy and fulfilled, I’m sure you’ll agree dear reader.

My definition of success is continually doing the best I can to exploit my full potential whilst making sure that I enjoy each and every day as it comes. I don’t want to live forever but I do want to live now.

I want to enjoy the work I do. I want to be stretched, growing in character and strength all the time. And even as an increasingly mature I adult, I remain keen to learn something new every day.

My philosophy about life and success I gained from my parents and it’s something I try to pass on to the next generation.

Essentially my philosophy is that it’s better to try and fail than it is to spend my life wondering what might have been. If I have a go, either I’ll succeed or I’ll learn a valuable lesson. And if it proves to be a lesson then it will be one I won’t forget. In other words, I can’t lose.

2. There’s no such thing as failure:

There are two things you should always remember about what we call failure:-

  1. There’s no such thing as failure. Just outcomes you didn’t want and opportunities to learn and try again.
  2. Failure is just an outcome; never a person. A person cannot be a failure, ever!

Unfortunately we often label people as failures and the burden of that label can be become something which is difficult to bear and even harder to shake off. Parents and teachers can often be guilty of this, however unintentionally.

Teach children that it’s much more important to try and they should never, ever worry about failure.

If children can appreciate that failure is just an outcome other than the one they wanted then they’ll be better placed to learn the lessons and do better next time.

And those lessons learned will be more valuable to children than anything an adult can tell them.

If you tell me the stove is hot I may not remember. If I burn my hand on a hot stove, I’ll only do it once and I’ll never forget. That’s a valuable commodity known as experience.

If we keep trying we’ll learn and if we keep learning eventually we can all be successful.

Failure3. Teach your children well:

The best way to teach children about success is to teach them that failure is not a bad thing. In fact it’s an essential ingredient for achieving success.

Teach children never to fear failure. As long as they learn the lessons then failure doesn’t matter at all.

So teach your children to have a go and to make sure they enjoy the experience along the way too.

Let them know that either they’ll succeed or they’ll learn a lesson. Either way they’ll gain and of course they’ll grow in character as well.

And remember also; we can only truly appreciate success if we’ve experienced a few failures along the road. And to fail occasionally helps to keep us humble too and that’s no bad thing, is it?

4. Force for good

If you think about it, failure is in fact a force for good.

Failure is simply a natural part of life and learning. No one starts out as a master. Every successful person started out as a complete beginner.

Everyone fails occasionally and at any given time we’re more likely to fail than we are to succeed.

Learning from failure makes us wiser of course and it makes us tougher too. It builds character.

Failure is never desirable as such but it’s very useful. It’s also inevitable, at least sometimes.

The only way to avoid failure is to avoid risks and challenges and then you cannot learn and you cannot grow as a person. If you never try anything you can never be anything. And what would be the point of that?

Failure5. Secret to success

The secret to success is to use all your unsuccessful experiences as stepping stones to achieving your aims.

Failure is never final and we should not allow an unsuccessful experience to discourage us or cause us to give up. All too often people give up just as they’re on the verge of success.

REMEMBER: Failure is not, nor will it ever be, a person.

Next time your child gets an outcome he or she didn’t want, reassure him or her that though it might be disappointing, it’s not a problem and nor should they think otherwise.

Always reassure them that a failure is simply an opportunity to learn a lesson and try again. However make sure they recognize the lesson to be learned.

Anyone experiencing failure should simply reflect on their actions and the outcome to discover the underlying lesson within.

Then we simply use the knowledge gained to guide future efforts.

Perseverance and persistence will get us there in the end.

Teach your children well but never, ever allow them to believe they’re in any way a failure. Just encourage them to use the experience of undesirable outcomes to be a bit smarter next time.

Do that and you’ll prepare them well for their life ahead.

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© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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