In everyday activities, when your teens talk about their failures and mistakes, listen for a tendency to blame others or to give up too quickly.
If your children aren’t doing well in school, do they hold responsible the teacher or say, “What’s the use”?
If their school project turns out unpleasant, do they blame the materials or give up in anger?
If they lose the game, do they blame their teammates or decide they’re just no good?
If your kids are reacting like this, they may consider that failing at one or two things makes them a total failure. Perfectionists, particularly, feel that their self-worth depends on external factors, such as being successful at everything do. These teens need to familiarize the positive side of failure.
Assist Your Children to Practice Failure
Everyone needs accept that no one can be the best at everything, that no one can win all the time, and that it’s possible to enjoy a game even when you don’t win. In short, it’s human to fail and make mistakes; this defect does not diminish our self-worth or reduce our chances of succeeding in the future.
One way to teach this lesson is to organize situations in which you infrequently let your teens fail. If you play card or board games, for instance, don’t always let your kids win.
If you play tennis or basketball, don’t constantly give them the advantage. Let them experience the disappointment of losing in a protected environment. Then encourage them to try again. It’s these little lessons that give our children the confidence and determination they’ll need to master difficult tasks and chase challenging goals in their lives.
Find Opportunities to Talk
In everyoneâ€™s daily life, mistakes are a positive part, so it’s not difficult to find opportunities to talk about this subject with your child. When your teen brings home a school paper with a mistake, for example, doesnâ€™t crack down on the grade alone; talk about the error.
“Making mistakes is one of the ways we learn things. So let’s see what you can learn from this mistake.” Then help your child find me right answer. If your child tries to put together a project and it falls apart it’s finished, encourage him or her to use this event fruitfully.
Ask, “Why do you think it fell apart?” “What can you do differently the next time?” “Let’s see you give it another try.”
Talk about Your Own Failures
You can encourage your kids to risk failure by talking about your own experience with risk taking and by confessing your mistakes and failures.
You might talk to kids about the time you ran for class president and lost, or tried out for a team and didn’t make it, or tried to build a model airplane by yourself but found that you needed help. These admissions give teen permission to fail also.