Talking About Failure With Kids


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — All of us will experience failure at one time or another. But how can you help your kids cope when they make a mistake?

Failure … It’s a part of life that even young kids have to deal with. So how can you help your little ones bounce back when they mess up?

Research shows a parent’s reaction to a child’s failure has major implications. In one study, investigators interviewed fourth and fifth grade students and their parents. They found the way children perceived being smart was related to how their parents responded to their failures. Parents who saw failure as debilitating were more likely to have kids who believed intelligence was fixed. Experts say when your child makes a mistake, like getting a bad grade on a test, don’t immediately try to bail them out.

“There’s learning that happens when children experience some challenges academically, in a way that may not happen if the parents become involved and want to make sure that every answer is correct.” Angel Harris, PhD, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at Duke University told Ivanhoe.

When kids fail ask them how they’re feeling about their setback. Let them be open and honest. When you give advice, don’t focus on their abilities. Instead, concentrate on what they can learn from the experience. Emphasize that failure is just a chance to grow. And remember, it’s your reaction that may have the most impact!

A 2014 study looked at the effects of helicopter parenting in college-aged students. It found kids who are protected from failure are more depressed and less satisfied with life in adulthood.

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.

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