Failure is an option, and in fact, not a bad one.
The Two Parts of Learning: Comprehension and Problem Solving
The experience of learning can be divided into two equally important experiences. First is the act of comprehending the direct lesson or fact, for example an algebra equation like 1 + 1 = 2. For obvious reasons, this is an important component of education but equivalent is the second part, the process of learning and problem solving.
Problem Solving and Kids Failure
The adventure of asking a question and figuring out the answer, problem solving, involves complex neurological connections which must be strengthened with practice. One of the most essential aspects to this practice is making a mistake, being brave enough to not give up on finding the solution, and persevering. A child discovering their strengths and build upon their ‘weaknesses’.
And how do we encourage kids failure to not only keep trying, but feel confident enough to move past inhibitions of being incorrect? Well, we’re glad you asked…
Set High Standards
Setting high (but attainable) standards for little ones is important, even if it takes them more than one time to achieve the goal. It’s perfectly ok for a child not to meet the standards set on the first try.
3 Steps Towards Productive Kids Failure
Turn the opportunity into a productive lesson by:
1. Communicating that they haven’t yet met said standards and how
2. Followed by clear, specific instructions on how to succeed
3. Finally, a healthy amount of encouragement. A few “you can do better, I believe in you, try again”’s go a long way.
Creativity is one of our most valuable skills. The idea of failure comes from the notion that there is only one way to reach one end point, and if we do not do this strictly, we have done incorrectly.
By stepping out of the box and telling toddlers there are multiples solutions, and infinite ways to find these solutions, we create a world that inspires rather than limits creativity.
And in fact, the result from this may be even greater than the one previously imagined.
Answers and avenues that may seem obvious to you are much more difficult for your little one. But as we’ve said so many times before, letting them design their own race path is even more important than the finish line.
In addition, being patient with your kids failures or mistakes helps them to become patient with themselves.
Laugh it Off
Here at Cubic Frog® we believe a little bit of humor goes a long way. There are times where mistakes are very serious. But, when appropriate, adding a laugh or two into an ‘oops’ moment can relieve a lot of pressure for children.
When it comes to kids failure, the biggest failure we can commit is not to encourage little ones through mistakes.
Here are some of our favorite inspirational quotes about kids failure, for kids of all ages (even us adult kids!):
“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling
“When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” – Eloise Ristad
“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash
“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C.S. Lewis
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” – Chris Bradford