FEAR of Failure in Children – How to counter It
How to Overcome Fear of Failure in kids
It is natural to dislike failing at things for all but for some children, the fear of failure provokes such intense anxiety that it changes their behaviour Thanks to this fast–paced Competitive world, nowadays more children fear failing at tests Sports and other extracurricular activities. Fearing failure can cause children to avoid certain activities or to hesitate to attempt or do their best.
Perceiving the failure –
Fear of failure relates to how children perceive the consequences of failure. Children also fear failure because they fear not having a sense of achievement.
Fear of failing at a task on lead to self–handicapping in adolescents.
Self–handicapping is when a child purposely sets extremely easy goals so that he or she cannot fail to achieve them. For example, a child may aim to get a “C” rather than an “A” on a test to minimise the chances of failure.
Fear of falling relates to perfectionism. People who fear failure become perfectionists in an attempt to avoid the feelings of shame and embarrassment that come with failure. Someone who perceives a lot of pressure to Succeed from her parents is more likely to feel shameful and embarrassed if she fails.
Children learn to avoid activities that might lead to failure. While this may protect the child from experiencing the negative emotions that come with failure, it also causes them to miss out on potentially valuable learning experiences because failure is a valuable part of life, providing children with learning opportunities and healthy motivation to do better in the future.
Parents can take steps to reduce your child’s fear of failure. Look for signs of anxiety in your child, such as feeling sick, tired or not wanting to go to school. Talk to your child if he or she seems worried about things. You can help your child by keeping things in perspective – remind him or her that it’s okay if he or she fails and that the negative emotions that come with failure will soon pass.
Parents’ role to help kids overcome fear of failure –
For children, though, the very thought of not being able to succeed is enough to stop them from trying at all. So, how then, as a parent, do you help them break free of their fear and take a risk to see what they can achieve?
Society is not easy on kid today. While they may not have had to grow up without video games and cable like we did, they do have a lot of poor pressure and societal pressure placed on them. Walk through your child’s school, flip through a few magazines or watch your child’s favourite show with them. The fear of not measuring up can cause your child to simply not try. After all, you can’t fail if you don’t try.
Redefine failure –
Try to live by this motto, “If you learned something from it, then you did not fail.” As far as parents are concerned instill that there hasn’t been a situation yet that you can’t learn from. You can apply this motto to anything from riding a bike, to climbing a tree, to auditioning for a part in a school play. Think about it – if your child knows that Success is seen as gaining experience and helping them move towards their ultimate goal, they will be more encouraged to try new things.
The only way to fail is to not try – Secondly, your child needs to know that the only way to fail at anything is to not try They don’t have to be the best; they just have to try their best There is a big difference there. We have high expectations on our children. We all want our children to Succeed, but what is your definition of Success? If for you Success means being the best and then when your child tries and doesn’t measure up and you come down on them, where is their motivation to try again, to be better, or worse to try anything new ever again? Encourage your child to do their best – that is all they can do.
Share with your child/children –
Another tip is to share with your children times where you have failed, and what you did to overcome that failure or what you learned from that failure. Depending on the age of your child it can be an eye-opening time for them. Younger children like to think that their parents are these incredible beings that can leap tall buildings and take on every bad guy in the world. So hearing that you have not always been able to “beat every monster” you have come up against but that you never gave up, you did your best and tried again will help them see that they can try to Remember you were a child once too.
You were once their age, no matter how long ago that was try to think back to how you felt at that age. For, as wonderful as childhood is, it also has its fair share of stresses and demands. Don’t put adult expectations on them.
Finally, don’t live through your child –
You may not realize that this is a tip to help them overcome fear of failure, but sometimes trying to be mom or dad is exactly what our children do. So, if they don’t believe that they can do something as good as mom or dad would do it, they won’t do it so that they don’t disappoint you. Encourage them to try, you never know, they may do it better then you.