Why you should let your child fail and make mistakes

Why you should let your child fail and make mistakesWhy you should let your child fail and make mistakes is an interesting statement, don’t you think? It sounds counter-intuitive, but it really does make sense, if you think about it carefully.

Frequently children are taught that failing is inherently a bad thing; something about which they should almost feel a sense of shame.

The adults around them presumably believe that this will in some way motivate them to work so hard that they don’t fail.

However, failure is inevitable for everyone, at least occasionally.

The importance of mistakes:

However well-intentioned adults might be in their approach, the logic of stigmatizing mistakes is at best misguided.

The problem is that it encourages children to adopt a strategy of not trying, so they don’t fail. If they don’t try then they can’t fail, right?

Teach them this approach and kids have an easy way to neutralise any problem in future. Just don’t bother in the first place. But how can that be a good thing?

If they don’t try, how can they ever master any skill, or indeed anything?

Mistakes are an important source of experience. From our mistakes, we learn lessons that we will never forget.

We also learn about what we’re good at and what we enjoy doing. And that’s important because those factors will point us in the direction of where we might find a successful niche for ourselves in life. Our raison d’etre.

Character is important too:

Being challenged is essential for children and young people. It gives them an opportunity to prove themselves and, in doing so, build character, confidence, and growing in self-esteem.

However, if they don’t try and they don’t rise to the challenges they’re given, how will they ever grow in character?

No one ever started out as a master of anything. It doesn’t matter which line of work you consider or which subject you study, every expert started out as a complete beginner.

And it doesn’t matter how talented you are, you’ll still make mistakes and experience failures along the road to mastering your craft.

Lessons learned is experience gained:

The lessons young people will learn from failure are far more valuable to them than anything anyone can tell them. They can read textbooks as many times as they like but there’s no substitute for real, hands-on experience.

When you get your fingers burned you never forget how it happened and why. In other words, a lesson learned.

There’s no success without failure:

Success is never achieved without some failures along the way.

Every successful man or woman will tell you that. It really is inevitable and it’s all part of life and learning. It’s how we gain that valuable commodity known as experience.

There’s no such thing as failure.

There are only outcomes we didn’t want. And every time we try, we refine our skills and know-how until eventually, we get it right.

What we refer to as failure is nothing more than a form of feedback.

And of course, trying something and failing does not make you a failure. Failure’s an outcome, it’s never a person.

Remember this: It’s better to try and fail than to spend your life wondering what might have been.

Put simply, you cannot fail. Either you’ll succeed or you’ll learn a lesson but either way, you’ll win.

You only become a ‘failure’ when you give up and stop trying.

Encourage children to do their best:

If you have children, encourage them to do their best and accept that they will fail occasionally.

Tell them that it doesn’t matter, providing they make sure they learn any lessons that follow from any given undesirable outcome.

Make sure they understand that failing is a positive thing because they’ll learn valuable lessons and they’ll get better and grow the more they try. Children should never fear failure.

Just encourage them not to give up and make sure they never stop believing in themselves. All young people need encouragement more than they need critics.

They are as good as anyone:

The most important message to your child is that they’re as good as anyone and, if they try and keep trying, they will succeed.

And if after trying hard it doesn’t work out for them, for whatever reason, then at least they’ll know that they gave it their best shot and they won’t spend their lives wondering what might have been.

Teach your children that failure is an inevitable part of life and learning and it should never be feared.

If you want your children to succeed in life, then encourage them to fail.

Encourage them to have a go and to keep trying until they get to where they want to be.

And remember this too: Kids should not fear failure but neither should you either.

Wherever you are on life’s journey, never be afraid to have a go. Never forget, you’re as good as anyone and people who try hard are better than most.

You’re as good as anyone,” is a mantra you should encourage your kids to repeat to themselves daily, and you should repeat it too.

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