How can I teach my preschooler to learn from failure

December 06, 2016
  • Failure might not be a bad thing
    1 / 4 Failure might not be a bad thing

    Parents usually see failure as something negative and will do their best to prevent their preschoolers from failing.

    However, failure might not be a bad thing, as it is an opportunity for a child to learn to be resilient.

    Consider these strategies to teach your kid about failures. 

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  • Encourage problem-solving skills
    2 / 4 Encourage problem-solving skills

    When your preschooler feels that she cannot solve a problem and has failed – for instance, when she breaks a friend’s toy – do not “rescue” her immediately, says Rebecca Han, senior programme specialist at Odyssey the Global Preschool

    Instead, ask questions such as: “How do you think your friend will feel? What can you do to change that? How can you solve the problem?” 

    Guiding her to reflect on the issue takes time, but provides opportunities for her to solve it. It also helps her develop self-confidence, self concept and moral judgment, adds Rebecca. 

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  • Manage expectations
    3 / 4 Manage expectations

    You won’t always be there to comfort your kid every time she falls short of a task. So, help her to manage her expectations and learn how to overcome failure.

    Unexpected and unpleasant things happen and, while you cannot prevent them, you can reduce distress by keeping her anticipation within reason.

    Even if things do not work out as planned, she will understand and learn that disappointment is a part of life.

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  • Be a good role model
    4 / 4 Be a good role model

    How you, as a parent, handle failure is important, as your preschooler will observe your every move. If you demonstrate signs of inability to cope with stress, she will notice.

    “Explain that it is all right to fail and make mistakes by sharing how you have also failed – and picked yourself up,” she adds. 

    Related: Why should you let your child fail?


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