Allowing Your Children to Take Risks and Learn From Failure

Mother and daughter sitting on a bed

No one learns without failing or making mistakes. Yet, we as parents often forget this universal truth as we raise our children. Instead of pushing them to take risks, experiment and uncover their true potential, we refuse to let them learn from their failures.

However, shielding our children from risks only cripples their ability to learn new skills and prevents them from discovering their innate abilities. It also hinders them from learning how to overcome failure and adapt to change- key attributes required for personal growth.

The Benefits of Taking Risks & Learning from Failure

While some risks definitely shouldn’t be encouraged, there can be no harm in pushing your child out of their comfort zone once in a while, as long as this doesn’t pose any danger to themselves or those around them.

In fact, children have a lot to learn from taking risks and encountering failure including:

  • Perseverance and Resilience. Failure is the best teacher on the road to success. Without it, your child won’t develop the determination and resilience to see their goals through to the end.
  • Resourcefulness and Innovation. They say necessity is the mother of invention. By taking risks and failing, your child will be inspired to come up with innovative solutions to overcome whatever obstacles they face.
  • Confidence and Independence. Your child can only learn what he is capable of if you give them the chance to take risks & learn from failure. Likewise, nothing inspires confidence like struggling with challenges and emerging triumphant.

What Risks Should Children Take to Learn from Failure?

We’ve all heard stories of famous people who found success in spite of adversity. One thing you can be sure of is that they didn’t shy away from failure or risks and their perseverance paid off in the end. If you want your child to be equally successful one day, you need to encourage them to take good risks in the following areas:

School and academic work

Urging your child to participate and contribute in class can help them realize that while it might be embarrassing to get some things wrong, they’ll end up learning more as a result. Furthermore, let them do their own assignments and class projects even when they struggle. You can provide guidance and support but don’t do the work for them, otherwise, they’ll never learn from failure.

Sports and other co-curricular activities

Your children can derive plenty of benefits from taking part in co-curricular activities. Sure, they might be hesitant and self-conscious at first but encourage them to keep at whatever activity they choose. After all, practice makes perfect.

Financial risks

You might think your kids are too young to comprehend the intricacies of finance but you’d be wrong. Teaching them the importance of financial planning from an early age will teach them the lessons they need to become good stewards of their own future finances. Additionally, letting them make mistakes now and learn from failure, while the consequences are minimal, might save them from making costlier ones as in adulthood.

While it might be hard to watch your children struggle and fail, remind yourself that this is the best way for them to grow and learn what they need to become independent, self-reliant adults.

Happy parenting,

Tyler Clark is a proud father, husband, writer and outreach specialist with experience helping parents and organizations that help troubled teen boys. Tyler has focused on helping through honest advice and humor on: modern day parenting, struggles in school, the impact of social media, addiction, mental disorders, and issues facing teenagers now.

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