Do children gain anything useful from failure?
We would all agree that encouraging and praising our children is a critical part of parenting. We know it contributes to them feeling good about themselves and it gives them confidence. So far so good, but how do we think about their failures and the whole issue of failing.
This is a more complicated subject than it seems. It is in our DNA as parents to protect our children from psychological pain and failing most definitely hurts, therefore we naturally want to protect them. It is widely acknowledged we know too much failure seriously damages a child’s confidence and self worth and good parenting prevents this from happening but we also know that life is full of failures, big and small.
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The importance of learning to play the piano.
What has learning to play the piano got to do with a child’s healthy psychological development? The short answer is ‘everything’. The struggle, the practice, enduring the frustrations, the eventual joy of mastering something that was previously thought of as too difficult, is a life-long lesson. It’s the kind of experience that builds confidence, character and a certain resilience. As your child gets older successfully managing frustrations, academic or social is a very important part of healthy child development. Conversely if your child cannot manage these frustrations then things can get complicated.
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