There Is Value in Failing, Part II

In Part I, we looked the life lessons that come with failure. In this Part II, we’ll examine how to help our children recover when they have failed at something.

There are many ways for your child to recover from failure…once they have accepted that failure is meant to help rather than hinder them. Once they begin down the path of this belief, then they can truly recover from failure. Here are some ways to help.


#1 – Ignore the Debbie Downers

When they fail, there will be people telling them, “I told you so,” and, “You should have listened to me.” They need to ignore them! Remind your child of something that they tried that they ended up loving—like riding a bike or trying a different type of ice cream. Let them know that trying new things is a part of life, but there will always be people in the wings ready to pounce when something has gone wrong. Their challenge will be to watch for those Debbie Downers because they will be silenced by their future success!


#2 – Understand that it’s Okay to Fail

One of the best ways to recover from failure is to understand that it’s quite alright to fail, but it’s not okay to give up. Even if your child has failed and that failure was extremely painful, remind them that it’s not okay to give up. Tell them that they can keep failing over and over again if they have to. Keep on trying until they succeed. Success will taste so much sweeter when they reach it. Remember, it’s not true failure unless they throw in that proverbial towel and wholeheartedly give up forever.


#3 – Using Failure as Leverage

When your child has failed in life, teach them to use it as leverage to recover from it and to propel forward. Teach them that they leverage something by using it to help them go further, like a rope when they are mountain climbing! To help them leverage their failures, have them journal the experience.

  • Write out what they failed at and why they failed.
  • Did they have a defined goal?
  • What could they have done differently?
  • How will they tackle those failures in the future when they are faced with them again?
  • How will they learn from this experience to help shape a brighter future?

Failure can be a great a tool to help them grow. It isn’t the end of the road as long as they don’t give up. If they still believe in their goals, they can use the failure as leverage to push past their limitations.


#4 – Revisit Your Goals

In general, one huge thing to consider after a big disappointment is whether you had a clear and concrete goal. Ask your child, “Was the goal SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound)? Did you visualize your goal in your mind?” Sometimes, failure results from not setting good goals, or by not tracking and analyzing them on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis. To recover from failure, help them revisit their goals and redefine them.


#5 – Create a MAP

Want to recover from failure? Create a MAP – a Massive Action Plan. Take their goals and help them lay out a plan as to how they are going to achieve them. What will they do in the face of failure next time? When children have a MAP, they have a systematic way of achieving the goals that they set for themselves. Help them learn to set a solid action plan that will help them push past the stumbling blocks of life, and watch as they slowly but surely recover from any setbacks, upsets, or failures.


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