(Failure is an Opportunity to Grow & Learn)
By Jessica Bouta, Licensed School Counselor
Each day we ask children to grow their knowledge in many different subject areas including building social and emotional skills. Some tasks may come easy to master, while others require more practice and focus. For many, giving up when learning gets tough can often become the more natural solution. “I can’t do it” or “this is too hard” are common responses.
How we encourage and respond during these times can help children become resilient and develop a “can do” attitude. Adopting a growth mindset approach helps children navigate through the tough times both in and out of the classroom and helps turn failure into learning opportunities.
Someone who practices growth mindset believes they can they can get smarter, failure is an opportunity to grow, learning about new things is enjoyable, and feedback can be used to improve. It’s never too early or too late to practice principles of growth mindset.
You might be wondering how you can help your child develop a growth mindset to get through life’s challenges. The first step is to be aware of your own thoughts, mindset, and actions. Children learn from the adults around them how to respond to challenges and will often replicate in their own lives.
Some other ideas include:
- Praise children for their effort, ability to learn from a mistake, and persistence
- Practice “the power of yet” – say “I can’t do it yet” instead of “I can’t do it”
- Ask questions such as “What did you do today that was hard?” or “What new strategies did you try?”
Using growth mindset strategies is not just for in the classroom. It has real world applications that extend beyond their school years. When we are intentional with our words and actions, we can all help children learn to never give up, try different strategies to solve a problem, and making mistakes is ok if we learn from them.