What are you teaching your teens about failure? As the masterful speaker, inspirational author and clinical psychologist Dr. Asa Don Brown says, “As a good parent (or teacher), we should teach our children that failure is an opportunity for improvement and growth, rather than a blockage deterring us from our greatest potential.”
Parents should teach teens these values surrounding failure:
Failure is a chance to pause, re-evaluate, and re-start.
Failure allows teens to accept their “imperfections” earlier, making it easier as adults.
Failure teaches resilience, perseverance, and creative problem-solving.
Teaching your teens about failure comes down to one distinguishing choice for parents: Do you want your teens to be happy, comfortable, and not anxious today, or do you allow them to broaden their comfort zone, experience a little anxiety, and grow up to become a more competent adult?
Defining your end game as parents will set the foundation on how you teach your teens to fail. Helping your teen may feel good temporarily, but before you know it, your teens will become adults who will have to deal with challenges and risks without your rescue. Start being aware of moments where you can save them or create an opportunity to learn consequences. And instead of praising kids for their innate intelligence and skills, focus on the outcomes from their direct efforts.
Having early, open communication with teens about failing will positively impact their future as competent and autonomous adults. The more often parents get used to seeing their teens navigate through cause and effect, the faster their teens can reach their greatest potential. And if you think they don’t care about their potential and their future, it’s so not true. To learn more, click here