Why is Acknowledging Failure Important For Children?

Although it’s incredibly important for parents, guardians and professionals to support children to prosper, not all accomplishments can initially be achieved, which is why learning how to fail is just as significant as succeeding.

Our preparatory school in Devon is devoted to helping children flourish. We understand the importance of a child having a safe and successful learning environment. We want to ensure that they have the best educational head start possible.

A girl at hockey practice

Why Should Children Learn How to Fail?

If a child grows up without learning how to tolerate failure, it can leave them vulnerable to anxiety which can lead to meltdowns by the mere prospect of failure.

The knock-on effect of this can be quite substantial, evolving further and encouraging them to give up easily or prevent them from trying new things.

How to Support Tolerance For Failures

Distress and frustration tolerance are key life skills that will follow your child throughout their life; they can even be more important than the subject they are frustrated about.

This skill will encourage your child to become more independent and successful in their future endeavours.

Two girls reading a book together


If your child is in distress, the first and foremost thing to do is empathise.

Acknowledge their distress genuinely and authentically, as opposed to general and repetitive lines such as ‘you’ll do better next time’. Repeating the same standard responses can invalidate your child’s feelings.

Model Tolerance

When opportunities arise throughout life, you can always take the chance to explain how failure is a part of life and happens to everyone, including you.

As your child will look up to you and see you as a role model, it will help them to familiarise with the prospect of failure. This is a prime opportunity to demonstrate how to handle frustration and distress in a healthy, productive manner.

A teacher reading a book with two school children

Use Life Experiences as Teachable Moments

When your child encounters failure, using it as a lesson to learn from is an opportunity to teach acceptance and problem-solving skills.

You can work together to tackle the problem in a productive way. Consider how to re-approach or better prepare for the task at hand. It will encourage their management and attitude towards new tasks.

Here at St Peter’s Prep, we provide a traditional and progressive educational experience. We encourage children to approach their tasks with a healthy attitude which will help them to build upon important life skills for their future.

To discover more about our educational opportunities at St Peter’s Prep, please contact Rachel Elliott, Director of Admissions & Marketing, on 01395 280335 or email rachel.elliott@stpetersprepschool.co.uk

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