Helping our children embrace failurePost · Jan 16, 2019 ·
Imagine a child or teenager running home and proudly announcing to their parents that they’d failed a test that day.
Silly thought, of course. From early in life we’re taught that failing is bad, the consequences unpleasant. Failure quickly becomes intrinsically linked to our sense of self-worth – so much so that we’ll actively avoid even the chance of failing (and even blame others when we do) right into adulthood.
On the flip side, not failing becomes a primary data point of progress.
But there are powerful learning opportunities on the other side of failure. If we’re reflective, analytical, confident, relaxed and free from judgement, we will learn from our mistakes. And the best bit is that we’ll actually better retain that learning (seriously, it’s a thing: https://www.annualreviews.org/…/10.1146/annurev-psych-01041…).
Sometimes we learn from other people’s mistakes. That’s great, but we’re all human and our own missteps are inevitable. Why do we spend half our life obsessively trying to avoid them instead of stacking them up as stepping stones to deeper understanding, context, experience?
Give children the space to get things wrong with confidence. When they can do that, they’ll learn with confidence too.
In this episode I'm taking the main questions that home educators are traditionally asked, and putting pressure on the formal education system to answer them instead. More
Featured post · See all
This reader question was sent in by email, and the resulting post was featured in my newsletter this week. If you’d like more home schooling Q&As and my thoughts around… MoreAre Children Developing The Resilience We Think They Are?