Jump to content


  • Lemi-Ola Erinkitola

    Lemi-Ola Erinkitola is an award-winning educator, parent coach, children's author and the founder of The Critical Thinking Child (CTC). Her life work and passion is helping parents nurture their child's learning potential in an engaging and joyful way, so kids can fast track learning, discover their gifts, and reclaim family time. 



    Lemi-Ola Erinkitola

    Lemi-Ola Erinkitola is an award-winning educator, parent coach, children's author and the founder of The Critical Thinking Child (CTC). Her life work and passion is helping parents nurture their child's learning potential in an engaging and joyful way, so kids can fast track learning, discover their gifts, and reclaim family time. 

    Show your kids there's no shame in making mistakes

    Sign in to follow this  
    Talking about your failures while also being kind to yourself shows kids it's ok to make mistakes and do better next time.

     

    Did you know that mistakes are integral to the learning process? It’s true. Failure actually helps students develop their ability to improve and hone fundamental skills. Those who don’t view failure as an opportunity can find themselves struggling later on. Of course, our achievement-obsessed culture doesn’t help matters. We don’t often hand out awards for most spectacular failures. Only when that failure is turned into a success do we typically offer praise.

    When my own children were young, I felt like a constant failure. Balancing work and home while keeping a family of five happy was no small feat. For a long time I carried that guilt. I was hard on myself, as many parents are. Eventually, I realized that my children were picking up on my reaction. I knew I needed to change how I approached failure, so they wouldn’t accumulate the same guilt. Following are some of the lessons I’ve learned, and share with parents in similar situations.

    [Related: Focus on mistakes to help your child learn]

    Model failing forward
    I encourage parents to approach their mistakes as an opportunity to model a healthy response to failure. Try to embody failing forward — learning from mistakes and embracing failure as a necessary part of progress. One way to do this is in your demeanor. Children notice how you react when you “mess up.” You can spend all the time in the world telling your child that it’s okay to make mistakes, but if you melt down when it happens for you, they’ll remember. By being gentle to yourself, you teach your child it’s okay for them to do the same. There should be no shame associated with an honest mistake.

    When discussing failure with your child, avoid language that assigns negative value, i.e. “I made a stupid mistake.” Instead, talk about what you learned and what you might have done differently. Emphasize how important it is to move forward despite this setback. If you’ve failed while learning a skill or performing a task, touch on how you’ll improve.

    Lead by example
    In this chaotic world, parenting can seem like a constant string of mistakes. Yet we adapt for the sake of our children. So why not let them in on this process? If our children see us being uncertain, failing, or even flailing, but still managing to grow and learn, they will learn they can, too. Our failures can be their guideposts.

    Improve confidence and chances at success
    Failure is valuable for boosting confidence and promoting resilience in young people both in and out of the classroom. Children and teens who can persevere in spite of repeated setbacks and without the validation of success are well-equipped for the realities of adult life.

    I saw it in my own children. When I adjusted my own attitude, when I allowed myself to fail forward and lead by example, my children were less afraid of their own failures. Instead of mistakes, they saw opportunities. Instead of giving up, they embraced their innate creativity. How will you embrace failure within your home?

    Sign in to follow this  

    More related articles

    This summer, let your child be bored

    Boredom is good for kids. Find out how boredom can stoke creativity, awaken passions and interests, and more.

    Resources to help you talk about racism with your kids

    These books, websites, podcasts, articles and more can help you facilitate conversations about racism with your child.

    Raising British kids in the States

    Sharing my traditions, and showing respect for differing customs, is something I can offer to my children.

    Supporting your gifted child during Covid: focus on growth and take a step back

    Parents of gifted children encounter unique challenges when it comes to keeping their gifted children engaged.



  • Join NPN!
    Become a part of our Chicago parenting community. Learn about member benefits and start connecting to other city parents today!

Privacy Policy Membership Terms

© 2021 Neighborhood Parents Network of Chicago

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Thank you for visiting our site. Browsing this site is an acceptance of our We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. and Terms of Use.