Helping children cope with disappointment at an early age

As a parent, we only want the best for our children. We want them to succeed and to be happy, and we are willing to do all we can to help them.

For our children to be truly happy and successful adults, they also need to learn how to handle failure. It’s good that our children learn about failure and how to handle it now, when we as parents can help them through it, than when they are older and the consequences are higher

Part of being a parent is to know when to step in and help in a constructive way and when to step back and allow natural consequences to happen. Both are difficult lessons.

Why it’s better to learn about failure at a younger age.
When children are younger, when the stakes are lower, allowing them to learn about what failure means and how to handle it can be extremely helpful for their future lives. I would much rather challenge my children at this young age than have them learn the lessons in secondary school when the stakes are much higher. If they learn a lesson about failure effort and appreciation for success now, they will be equipped with valuable life skills as they get older.

Appreciating success by learning about failure
When a failure happens, big or small, we want our children to be able to bounce back from it having learned something. There will be times that these things will happen with little or no fault of their own – and that in itself is important to learn. But other times they can learn that their might have been a different approach, a different effort that might have affected the outcome.

Failing for the first time
The first time a child experiences failure may be shocking and disappointing to them, but it is important to let your child express their disappointment, as not to let them would deny their feelings.

Tips to help children cope with failure
•Try and console your child and pull them through the feelings of disappointment fairly quickly by talking to them about how they feel and reassuring them that you love them and are very proud of their efforts.

•Help your child to acknowledge and accept what happened, look at the reasons why it happened and what, if anything, they could have done differently and then help them to pick themselves up, and keep trying.

•Try to help your child understand that in life there are some things we can control and something’s we can’t.

•Teach them that that may be disappointed at this point, but they can hold their heads up high and realise that failure at this age is not the end of their education, as they have time to still work hard to maximise their potential and be the best they can.

•Teach them that other children may make fun of them when they fail, but that they should ignore it, move on even though it will be painful when it happens.

” I would rather my child be alive now and in good health and fail his 11+ tests, than to have died at the age of 7″ Quote from Mary who lost her son at an early age!

Please feel free to add your own tips

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