Last week, I posted about my realization that I need to challenge my girls more and let them fail occasionally. However, I know how hard it can be to watch your children struggle and/or fail. So, today, I would like to share some tips I have found for supporting your children when they fail (or are afraid of failing).
Prayer should always be your first response to problems (and joys) in your life. Pray for your child and pray with your child that God will give him the strength to handle the situation.
2. Give your child a hug and reassure him/her with words.
Make sure that your child knows that you love her and will always love her, even when she fails.
3. Allow your child to share his/her feelings about the situation.
Let your child know that it is ok to feel bad about not being able to complete the task. Encourage him to share feelings verbally or through writing/drawing.
4. Share stories with your child about times you have struggled or failed.
Children need to know that others struggle too and that failure is a part of growing. They will feel much better about their failures if they know that you sometimes fail too. You might also want to share with your children how you felt about the failure and how you overcame it.
5. Help your child create a plan for achieving his/her goal.
Sometimes, our children fail at something that we know they can accomplish. In these cases, they may just need help figuring out a plan for success. These times are a perfect opportunity to sit down with your child, discuss goal setting, and help her set goals. Just be sure that your child has dealt with her emotions before attempting this.
Good luck as you help your child work through his/her failures. As hard as it is for you and for them, remember the benefits that come from failure!
Marla is a former special education teacher and homeschooling mom of two little girls (ages 3 and 5) and is expecting #3 soon. She has her PhD in Special Education and loves to put her knowledge to use teaching her children and sharing learning/teaching ideas. She blogs about raising and teaching her children at Marla's Motherhood Musings and her family's experiences living in Zambia at Our Life in Lusaka.