Failing Upward {Teaching Your Kids to Learn from Failure}


There are a few things in life I am 100% certain of, one of these things being that everyone fails. Before motherhood, I really hated failure. I often tell my children that “hate” is a strong word that we only say in certain circumstances; failure is one of those circumstances for me. At least it was.

It almost seems that failure sticks with us even more so than our successes, or it tries.


I look back on some of my failures in life and the sting is still there, even though so many of these failures shaped me into the person I am today. For the better, I think. Motherhood has made me view failures in a different light. Experiencing a frustrated child who has failed at something, really stung me more so than my own failures. Then I changed my outlook, and I am teaching them a different outlook and approach to their failures.

The truth is, failure is just a part of life. It is a part of life, just like successes. Just like having days where you feel up and days when you are feeling down. When one of my children is struggling with something and they see someone do it better, I remind them that we all learn and grow at our own pace AND most do not get good at something without a little failing first.

If we treat failure as a normal part of growth, it will allow our children to feel more comfortable trying something new and taking (good) risks. When my children do not do as well with something as they wished, we sit down and we discuss what he/she could do from here to make the next attempt more successful. We also take a moment to notice that failing means that you at least tried something. That in itself can be a victory.

So “fail upward” with your children, as I say. Do not be afraid to share your failures with your children and how you overcame them. The more our children see our imperfect yet trying selves, the more comfortable they will become with discussing their obstacles with you and sharing their failures. Then once your child overcomes and succeeds, the victory is that much sweeter!