Every evening at our dinner table, we ask our son: -How were you brave today? -How were you kind today? -How did you fail today? We discovered these questions from this article.
Even though our son is still young, we want to emphasize these values at an early age. Mainly, we want to reinforce the idea of learning from our failures. Too often, failure is seen as something negative that should be avoided. Yet, reflecting on our failures in a positive way helps kids become more resilient, learn more effectively, and become more successful in adulthood.
Studies have shown, that students who fear failure avoid challenges necessary for learning and are less motivated to achieve. They don’t want to look like they tried something and failed, so they would rather not try at all. Additionally, when parents intervene and protect kids from failure, kids are not able to cope with the basic challenges in life. In adulthood, these individuals are more depressed and less satisfied with their lives.
As parents, we should show our kids how to embrace failure. We can do this by embracing failure ourselves. When we have our conversations at dinner each night, we are showing our son how we are also failing every day. We are demonstrating how failure is a part of all of our lives, but by discussing and reflecting on it we learn how to do better next time. While it is painful to watch our kids struggle, we need to make sure to give them space to problem-solve and work through their setbacks. Our view on failure and not our view on intelligence impacts our child’s intelligence mindset. A 2016 study by Kyla Haimovitz and Carol Dweck found that children of parents who view failure as debilitating is significantly more likely to have a fixed intelligence mindset. These children were more concerned with their grades rather than their learning.