How to Help Kids Learn to Fail

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unnamed BY BETH ARKY Parents tend to see their mission as helping their kids succeed. But theres a growing realization among teachers and other professionals who work with children that kids increasingly need help learning how to fail. Not learning to tolerate failure leaves kids vulnerable to anxiety. It leads to meltdowns when the inevitable failure does occur, whether it happens in preschool or college. And perhaps even more important, it can make kids give up tryingor trying new things. Thats why Michael Jordan, one of the worlds greatest athletes, has spent years preaching the importance of losing. Jordan has spoken extensively about how perseverance and resilience in the face of challenges on and off the court are what have made him a winner. Unfortunately, as the world puts increased pressure on kids to be winners, and parents feel compelled to enable them in every way possible, were seeing more and more kids who become distraught over even the smallest misstep. TakeSarasson John, who started taking piano lessons at 6.Every time he played a wrong note he would pick up the music booklet and hit himself on the head with it! she says. His piano teacher said shed never seen a kid who was so hard on himself. I told him when he made a mistake to treat himself the way hed treat his younger cousin, that no one can learn if someones being mean to them, and that he wasnt allowed to be mean to himself. When Alicias daughter Sara was 14, she became so distraughtover not getting into a selective high school, while friends did, she began toself-harm. It was so terrible: the pressure, the disappointment, says Alicia. Clearly, distress or frustration tolerance is an important life skill to master. When it comes to school, the ability to tolerate imperfectionthat something is not going exactly your wayis oftentimes more important to learn than whatever the content subject is, says Dr. AmandaMintzer, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. Building that skill set isnecessaryfor kids to be able to become more independent and succeed in future endeavors, whether its personal goals, academic goals, or just learning how to effectively deal with other people. So how do parents teach kids to fail? Dr.Mintzeroffers a multistep process: First, show empathy Empathize with your child; see that shes in distress. Dont just say, Its okay, youll do better next time, Dr.Mintzersays. Its invalidating to brush off a childs feelings of frustration and disappointment. Instead, parents need to change their language: I see youre really disappointed, I know you really wanted to do better. Make yourself a model You can explain that failure is a part of life and happens to everyone, even you.You could share examples of failures youve had. Parents can model how to handle their own disappointment, such as losing out on a promotion at work, Dr.Mintzersays. Kids arent necessarily exposed to the reality thatlife includes mistakes, missteps, and even failures. As much as everyone likes things to go according to plan, itsimportant to teach our children that it is alsookay when they dont. Make it a teachable moment A childs failure is a chance for parents to teachacceptance and problem-solving skills. You and your child can try to come up with what she could do the next time for a better chance at success. For instance, could she study differently or talk to the teacher about any problems shes having before a test? Its a balance of acceptance and change, Dr.Mintzersays. Its about accepting that the situation is what it is and building frustration tolerance while also asking, Can we change something in the future. Can we learn from this? The minefield of social media At the same time, kids need to know that sometimes when we fail or face disappointment, theres not a lot we can do about itin that moment; wehave to accept it as a part of life and move on. Dr.Mintzer notes as an example theminefield that is social media. Say a girls friends tell her they cant hang out with her and then she sees them together on Instagram or Facebook. That really hurts, Dr.Mintzersays. There are lots of emotions: frustration, disappointment, sadness, anger. How does she deal with that? Calling friends and screaming at them only makes things worse. She could ignore it and pretend she never saw, but thats not going to make her feel better or change what happens in the future.

This article was written by Beth Arky and first appeared in ChildMindInstitute.com.

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AREYOU LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT SCHOOL FOR YOUR GIFTED CHILD? The parents of The Knox School invite you to a Fireside Chat Tuesday, February 6th7-8:30pm Join us for a casual evening where we will answer your questions and explain why and how we chose Knox for our children. Adults only, please.
RSVP: info@KnoxSchoolSB.org (Address will be given with RSVP confirmation) Please feel free to invite others that may have an interest in learning more about Knox.

February 2, 2018

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How to Help Kids Learn to Fail- Only through trial and error can children become resilient adults.Circle V Ranch Camp Announces 2017 Summer Sessions for KidsToddlers needed to TEST SHOESHow to Help Kids Learn to Fail- Only through trial and error can children become resilient adults.Babysitters…How do You Find a Great One?unnamed BY BETH ARKY Parents tend to see their mission as helping their kids succeed. But theres a growing realization among teachers and other professionals who work with children that kids increasingly need help learning how to fail. Not learning to tolerate failure leaves kids vulnerable to anxiety. It leads to meltdowns when the inevitable failure does occur, whether it happens in preschool or college. And perhaps even more important, it can make kids give up tryingor trying new things. Thats why Michael Jordan, one of the worlds greatest athletes, has spent years preaching the importance of losing. Jordan has spoken extensively about how perseverance and resilience in the face of challenges on and off the court are what have made him a winner. Unfortunately, as the world puts increased pressure on kids to be winners, and parents feel compelled to enable them in every way possible, were seeing more and more kids who become distraught over even the smallest misstep. TakeSarasson John, who started taking piano lessons at 6.Every time he played a wrong note he would pick up the music booklet and hit himself on the head with it! she says. His piano teacher said shed never seen a kid who was so hard on himself. I told him when he made a mistake to treat himself the way hed treat his younger cousin, that no one can learn if someones being mean to them, and that he wasnt allowed to be mean to himself. When Alicias daughter Sara was 14, she became so distraughtover not getting into a selective high school, while friends did, she began toself-harm. It was so terrible: the pressure, the disappointment, says Alicia. Clearly, distress or frustration tolerance is an important life skill to master. When it comes to school, the ability to tolerate imperfectionthat something is not going exactly your wayis oftentimes more important to learn than whatever the content subject is, says Dr. AmandaMintzer, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. Building that skill set isnecessaryfor kids to be able to become more independent and succeed in future endeavors, whether its personal goals, academic goals, or just learning how to effectively deal with other people. So how do parents teach kids to fail? Dr.Mintzeroffers a multistep process: First, show empathy Empathize with your child; see that shes in distress. Dont just say, Its okay, youll do better next time, Dr.Mintzersays. Its invalidating to brush off a childs feelings of frustration and disappointment. Instead, parents need to change their language: I see youre really disappointed, I know you really wanted to do better. Make yourself a model You can explain that failure is a part of life and happens to everyone, even you.You could share examples of failures youve had. Parents can model how to handle their own disappointment, such as losing out on a promotion at work, Dr.Mintzersays. Kids arent necessarily exposed to the reality thatlife includes mistakes, missteps, and even failures. As much as everyone likes things to go according to plan, itsimportant to teach our children that it is alsookay when they dont. Make it a teachable moment A childs failure is a chance for parents to teachacceptance and problem-solving skills. You and your child can try to come up with what she could do the next time for a better chance at success. For instance, could she study differently or talk to the teacher about any problems shes having before a test? Its a balance of acceptance and change, Dr.Mintzersays. Its about accepting that the situation is what it is and building frustration tolerance while also asking, Can we change something in the future. Can we learn from this? The minefield of social media At the same time, kids need to know that sometimes when we fail or face disappointment, theres not a lot we can do about itin that moment; wehave to accept it as a part of life and move on. Dr.Mintzer notes as an example theminefield that is social media. Say a girls friends tell her they cant hang out with her and then she sees them together on Instagram or Facebook. That really hurts, Dr.Mintzersays. There are lots of emotions: frustration, disappointment, sadness, anger. How does she deal with that? Calling friends and screaming at them only makes things worse. She could ignore it and pretend she never saw, but thats not going to make her feel better or change what happens in the future.

This article was written by Beth Arky and first appeared in ChildMindInstitute.com.

Facebook Join My List Logo
AREYOU LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT SCHOOL FOR YOUR GIFTED CHILD? The parents of The Knox School invite you to a Fireside Chat Tuesday, February 6th7-8:30pm Join us for a casual evening where we will answer your questions and explain why and how we chose Knox for our children. Adults only, please.
RSVP: info@KnoxSchoolSB.org (Address will be given with RSVP confirmation) Please feel free to invite others that may have an interest in learning more about Knox.

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