Dear Mom, I FAILED

Delana H. StewartFailure, courage, weakness

Admitting failure is a struggle for many of us, much less for our children. But admitting failure is the first step in attaining success.

Two things you can do this school year to bless your child:

1)      Place your focus on what they did right.

2)      Praise their willingness to talk about what they did wrong.

Too often we parents get this backwards particularly if we seek to help our children strive for mastery or “perfection.” We focus on the missed problems and the mistakes; then turn around and heap added praise on them when they talk about their accomplishments.

Focus on their strengths:

Four years ago, I posted a great article on this blog called A Counselor Speaks on Motivating Children. In it, the counselor tells a heartwarming personal story that demonstrates the importance of our words when looking over a test, quiz, or other paper with our children. She emphasizes talking about the hard work and the challenging problems which were correctly answered, or on how many the child answered correctly. See her article for tips on doing this; just click on the above link.

Praise their willingness to talk about their weaknesses:

We have all experienced failing or falling short. That is a part of life. It is a part of growing up. We learn through our failures . . . through our mistakes. That said we do not need to be the ones to tear our children down by pointing out their failures. Encourage them to talk about it. Share regularly with them about times you have failed or fallen short (and not just from your long ago past). Apologize and ask forgiveness when you have wronged them. This will let them see that you make mistakes, too, and that failing is not the end, but a beginning . . . a chance to learn and grow and get it right. It is not our job to strive to make our children perfect. It IS our job to teach them how to stand up when they have fallen.

success, failure, roses, pink rose, flowersThe best way we can help our children is not by pointing out their many failures, but by admitting and confessing our own and fostering courage in them to do the same.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ― Thomas A. Edison

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  ― Winston Churchill

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”  ― C.S. Lewis

My favorite story of a child admitting failure to a parent and a loving parent’s correct response can be found by clicking here.


See also: Fighting Inner Giants  and Trusting God in the Midst of School Challenges.

And check out  fellow bloggers’ posts: Dealing with Disappointment  and Inspiration from Top Geniuses (many of whom experienced failure of one sort or another)


Please leave a comment or share a failure…

See also:

Failure to Fail

and the great youtube video on famous failures


Education, Homeschool, Gap Year


3 thoughts on “Dear Mom, I FAILED

  1. Pingback: 4 Tips for Raising Responsible Children | The Education Cafe

  2. Pingback: Developing Boundaries With Kids | The Education Cafe

  3. Pingback: Homeschooling a Child with ODD | The Education Cafe

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