Teach your middle schooler
to bounce back from failure
No parent ever wants to see a child fail. But failure is a part of life, and many students first begin to realize this during the middle school years.
While you can't prevent your child from failing, you can do something even more essential: Encourage her to get back up and try again.
To help your middle schooler develop resilience:
- Emphasize effort. Children often think that ability is the only key to success. If they fail a math test, they may say: "I just stink at Math." They way not to "stink" at something is to keep practicing it. Praise your child's efforts and not just results.
- Encourage interests. Just like anyone else, your child is more likely to stick with an activity she enjoys. And by sticking with it - whether it is reading, sports or piano - she'll get better at it and improve her overall self-concept. With a boost in confidence, she may be more willing to tackle more difficult activities, because she believes she can eventually prevail.
- Be a role model. Remind your child that adults don't succeed at everything they try either, especially the first time. Let your child see how you keep trying - whether it is to get a new job, learn a new skill or get organized at home. Say things like, "I get discouraged sometimes, but I know I will make this happen if I keep at it."
Reprinted with permission from the March 2016 issue of Parents Still make the difference! (Middle School Edition) newsletter. Copyright 2016 The Parent Institute, a division of NIS, Inc.