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Success and Failure, Necessary Topics of Conversation With Children

Parents can help their kids maintain motivation and ultimately become successful by teaching them how to handle failure.

The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou

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For parents, it's really painful to watch their kids suffer. However, being disappointed, being embarrassed, and coming up short it's normal. A common mistake from parents it's wanting to protect their children by not allowing them to have such feelings. Nevertheless, it's essential to understand that when you join a team or start a project, there will be good and happy times but also sad times and disappointment.

A parent's job is to be there when their kid is sad. But, they also need to be empathic and allow them to have those kinds of disappointing feelings. It is crucial to help them keep a perspective on failure, saying things like, "it's just a game; it's not the end of the world." Your child may feel like that, but parents can help them keep the loss in perspective. A key issue here is timing. When a kid fails, and they're devastated, angry or crying, parents should not come in and say, "there are plenty of other games you're going to have." Instead, let them have their feelings and give them a little space. You can discuss perspective much later on. One way to help your kids keep a perspective is to help them understand the value of failing and its importance in the learning process.

Dr. Goldberg specializes in helping athletes overcome sports fears and blocks and perform to their potential. Based on his 34 years of experience, he has created over 35 mental toughness books and training programs. As a Sports Performance Consultant who works with athletes and teams at all sports levels, Dr. Goldberg highlights the importance of teaching kids the value of failure. In a speech he gave for his YouTube channel titled "Competitive Advantage," the expert said, "If you'd like to give your kids the gift of success, teach them how to fail. You can't go from beginner to expert without failing enough times. So kids need to understand it's an integral part of being successful." Then he added, "It's an integral part of mastering something, and that failure really is feedback. It tells us what we did that didn't work, and it points us in the direction of what we need to do differently next time."

The Importance of Losing Gracefully

While we all want to win, teaching kids to shift the focus from winning to giving their best and having fun it's a healthy way to help them build resilience. Learning to lose gracefully takes guidance when your kids are younger. For this reason, exhibiting that behavior through role modeling helps greatly. Here are some tips from Global Parenting Expert Jo Frost to teach children how to lose gracefully:

-Don't always let your kids win. While it can be tempting to see them smile all the time, don't take away from them the opportunity to lose gracefully.

-Teach your child to be verbal when winning or losing and be happy with others' accomplishments. Teach them to say "congratulations!" and "high five!" when the other team wins.

-Dish out lots of descriptive praise. When your child deals with a loss, point out their efforts.

-Be honest about why they may have lost. Sometimes, it's just a matter of the dice. And sometimes, it's because they just didn't do their best.

In the case of competitions, good sportsmanship teaches our children a push through adversity. And that's what counts.

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