It was so great to see so many parents at the talk last Wednesday night. For those who didn’t make it but are keen to hear about it read on….
How was it? POWERFUL!!
What were the key messages?
- We need to fail to learn resilience. If you protect your kids from failing they are robbed of the opportunity to learn and develop strength of character. In order to grow, and bounce back from adversity we need experiences of failure. Failure = Growth. See article attached on teaching kids to fail.
- Intrinsic motivation – Definition; Intrinsic motivation refers to behaviour that is driven by internal rewards. In other words, the motivation to engage in a behaviour arises from within the individual because it is naturally satisfying to you. So this is opposed to kids only doing things for external reward such as a toy, money, etc. If kids are asking ‘what is in it for me?’ this is the opposite to empathy/kindness and the more self-centred we are the more our wellbeing suffers.
- Asking for Help – 64% of adolescents do not ask for help. Marten says this is because ‘they do not trust in the process’. I believe there are two main factors that diminish kids’ trust;
- Stigma – Stigma only exists within our own personal beliefs. If you feel ashamed or embarrassed by your mental struggles you create the stigma yourself. We need to teach kids that there is nothing to be ashamed of that just like going to the doctors for a rash you go a doctor for brain exercises!
- Parents reaction – How you react to your child when they come to you with their struggles can foster a ‘help seeking’ approach or NOT. If you use the reflective listening style which is where you purely listen without any emotional reaction of your own and allow the child to feel heard and then prompt them to problem-solve rather than tell them what to do. If you react emotionally, or say ‘there is no need to worry about that’, or jump in with what you think they should do, you will foster a NON-help seeking approach.
Teaching Kids to Fail
I subscribe to Michael Grose’s Newsletter called Happy Kids,
This is his latest and relates to the struggles some kids are having currently around perfectionism, giving up easily, or not trying for fear of failure.
Teach your kids to fail
So much parent energy and time is spent helping our kids be successful that we forget to encourage our kids to fail. It’s counter-intuitive!
But failing is part of the learning process. Just watch an infant learning to walk and you’ll see that for every step forward there are countless stumbles. He fails more than he succeeds. Anything worthwhile learning usually involves many failed attempts to get it right.
There’s a low tolerance for mistakes
Kids learn many things through trial and error including how to walk, how to feed, and how to dress themselves. Then when they’re older children learn how to form friendships, how to read and how to master many skills through trial and error. The difference is that adults tend to be less tolerant of mistakes as children get older. Parents become impatient. Schools assess performance. Kids compare themselves against the progress of their peers.
Develop a positive approach toward failure
Kids take their initial cues from their parents about how they should interact in the world so your attitude to mistakes, both big and small, will have a huge impact on their attitude to failure. How would you feel if your young child sets the table with knives and forks upside down? Would you correct them straight away or would you acknowledge their best effort and next time you remind them how to do it properly? If you want your child to take learning risks then I suggest you take the latter approach. He most likely got it wrong due to lack of skill. He’ll only get the skill he needs if he has confidence to learn. Keep his confidence up by thanking him for his contribution to the family. Patience, like faith, is a virtue if you want your child learn.
Teaching kids to fail is counter-intuitive but it’s important if you want to them to embrace all the wonderful opportunities that world offers, rather than restrict themselves to safe options where success is assured.
Impact of video games….BE INFORMED with this seminar –
BUGK – Bringing Up Great Kids Term 2 -
Mia Sartori - Student Welfare Officer