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Why Learning Through Failure Is a Good Thing

As a parent there is something you need to know. Your child wants to be successful. When kids are young, they don't think to worry that they might not do something perfectly. Young children are willing to take risks; willing to learn anyway they can. I believe they learn to be worried about failure from adults and our reactions to their endeavors. So, if you want to help your child achieve more, than realize it's okay to mess up. Messing up or failing at something is just a part of learning. Most people that have become successful did so by overcoming several "failures", or better stated, learning experiences.

Sir Richard Branson is an example of someone willing to take risks and learn from them, he wrote a book called "Screw it, let's do it". That sounds like a risk taker, and while I'm sure they were calculated risks, he pushed forward and did things. Now, he is a very successful businessman. To help your child reach their dreams, they need to realize that doing something, even if it isn't "perfect", is better then not doing anything at all.

Gifted children are prone to perfectionism and as a result may hesitate to do things they are completely capable of doing. The reason they hesitate or even fail to do things is their fear of doing it wrong. They allow their fear of doing something wrong to keep them from doing things. If your child is gifted, or just has a tendency to perfectionism, then it might take some extra encouraging to get them to try. Help them realize that by doing nothing, they are really guaranteeing failure. Getting something wrong, or not doing it perfectly, is not failure. Failure is not trying.

For your kids sake, give them the room to do things without you telling them how it won't work. And if your child is gifted, encourage them to do things. How do you know they won't figure out how to make it work? Maybe you'd not be able to get it to work out, but what about them?

So, if you are the type of parent that is frequently pointing out all the limitations and problems of your child doing something, maybe it's time to back off and be quiet. How can they learn what is possible if they don't try. The Wright brothers dreamed and tried until they flew. Flight seemed impossible, but today it's normal. Give your child "wings" and watch them "soar".

What impossibility might your child turn into normal?

Do you think parents limit their children by not letting them try? If so, is it purposeful or something else?

Image Credit(s): Wikipedia

One Response to Why Learning Through Failure Is a Good Thing

  • Keith Wilcox
    November 4, 2010

    You’re right I think. It’s better for kids to try new things and fail than it is for parents (or even the kids themselves) to try to protect them from failure.


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