There is nothing quite as stifling as the fear of failure. For many girls, this fear is so real, it stops them before they even get started. Parents often tell me (with just the tiniest hint of pride) “my daughter is a perfectionist.” What parents don’t realize is that oftentimes, perfectionism is the very thing that ends up holding their child back.
Many of the girls and young women that I work with are so used to doing well, that even the idea of not being good at something causes anxiety. So rather than feel anxious, girls decide not to try new things and they just stick to what they know they are good at. In the blog CarolynsCorner, Carolyn points out,
“Your job as a good parent is to walk with them. Not over failure. Not around failure. But through their failure.”
The idea that failure isn’t directly related to your self worth is an important message for young girls to hear daily. So how do you do that? Here are some proven ways to help your daughter embrace failure.
Talk about your failures… a lot.
As you probably know, our kids watch our every move. If they see us fail, and realize we are ok with it, they will be ok with it too. It’s important to show kids that we cared enough to fail.
Ask them about their failures
Failure doesn’t seem like the obvious choice of dinner table topics, but it’s great one. Check out this 1-minute video by Spanx CEO, Sarah Blakely, on failure.
”Failure for me became not trying, versus the outcome.”
Help them view life as an adventure, rather than a test
In a past issue of one of my favorite magazines for girls, Darling, there is an amazing article titled “Failure is Fine.” Which points out how important a healthy perspective on failure can be.
”Framing failure as education removes the power it has to define your worth. If life could be an ongoing adventure of learning rather than a series of tests that tell you whether or not you’re good enough, you’d make decisions differently. Success would be found in the act of choosing to embark on an adventure, not on whether you arrive.”
This cool chart comes from that same article and outlines 2 different perspectives on failure… life as a test, and life as an adventure.
How your kids feel about failure starts with you. So you failed? Talk about it! Join the conversation on our private (FREE!) facebook group for parents only, Better Together.