Helping Children to Overcome the Fear of Failing

As a teacher, I‘ve noticed that the fear of failing holds back many students from performing to the best of their ability. When students are afraid to fail they respond to challenges in the following manner. They either give up before they even begin, preferring to avoid the possibility of failure or they feel upset and they put themselves down if they don’t get something right the first time, resulting in anxiety and poor performance. Therefore as teachers and parents instead of letting our children be crippled by the fear of failing it is our responsibility to empower, encourage and help them overcome their inhibitions so that they will be able to excel in all areas of life.

Children learn from our example, so we have to be mindful of our own responses to mistakes and failure. When you make a mistake, try to respond with humor or positivity. Open up and talk to your children and students about the times that you failed and how you chose to learn from your mistakes and decided to pick yourself up. When children or students make  mistakes try not to show worry or anxiety but instead cheer them on and encourage them to find ways in order to overcome whatever is holding them back from understanding or getting something right.

Don’t try and pity and comfort kids for not having enough ability but instead help them to find innovative ways to break away from negative thoughts that might hold them back from wanting to make the effort to perform well with regard to anything they set out to do in life.

Children fear failure because they don’t want to lose their self- worth or feel unworthy. Children most often connect their self-worth to what their parents and teachers feel about them. They might feel that their parents or teachers won’t love and appreciate them if they don’t maintain good grades or be good at sport the arts or behave well. We don’t expect our children or students to be perfect therefore it’s important to convey that to them. It is also important to explain that you will always love your children and students and that you are proud of their efforts, persistence and continued improvement. We can also commend them every time they choose to respond in a positive manner to mistakes and failure

Above are some of the measures that can be taken to help children and students to overcome the fear of failing and be the best versions of themselves because as a wise man once said “our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.

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