How failures can support growth in children’s confidence

Growing children’s confidence. 

Building children’s confidence is about helping them to understand themselves, their skills, strengths, and talents. It’s about helping them to realise what they are good at, and it’s about building up their self-esteem and self-belief.

It’s also about teaching them how they can turn failures into opportunities! 

Sounds easy enough, right?

But we all know from our own experience that transforming a “spark” of confidence into a raging fire can be more difficult in practice.

The thought of “failure” puts fear into our hearts!

This word often conjures up emotions so strong that they can cause us to quit or even prevent us from getting started.

This emotion is so powerful that it can kill confidence dead!

The problem is that many young people don’t understand what failure really means!

Failure isn’t the end, it’s the beginning!

It’s a way for us to define what works and what doesn’t.

How failures can support growth in children’s confidence.

Failures help children (and adults) learn and develop. After all, hardly anyone gets everything right the first time!

The point is, even when we only achieve 5 out of 100%, we still did something well!

The problem is that our brains are conditioned to tell ourselves that we got 95% wrong.

The way we think about failure has to change because failing is a vital part of learning how to achieve success!

Teaching our children that FAILURES CAN HELP THEM TO LEARN & GROW is crucial.

Here’s how it works

  • Knowing that several failures are likely before mastering something, changes the way we think and feel about what it means to fail.
  • Acknowledging that failures are an opportunity to learn, helps us to view them in a positive light.
  • Recognising what we didn’t do so well when completing an activity or task, allows us to make changes for the next time.
  • Achieving better results when repeating the same activity or task in a different way, shows us that we are improving.
  • Realising we are getting better, builds confidence.

Failures are opportunities in disguise.

Arming children with this knowledge from an early age gives them the ability to treat setbacks as opportunities. It will enable them to see how they can use their failures to their advantage. It will help them to learn from their mistakes and build up their confidence, one step at a time.

Understanding that failures are simply opportunities to learn from is a game-changer!

But that’s not all! Thinking about failures in this way helps children to develop lifelong self-motivation and the resilience to keep going even when times are tough.

The knock-on effects into adulthood for children who cultivate these skills can be substantial and long-lasting.

You may also like this post about How emotional intelligence helps children get a head start | Mindscreen

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Helping Children Flourish

Gav Devereux

Author bio

Being diagnosed with dyslexia, labelled remedial, and regularly told that I was a “stupid boy” affected my self-esteem as a child. I had to work hard to prove to myself that there was nothing wrong with me!

This journey led me to found Mindscreen and to develop resources to help children find their stride early in life.

Since then I’ve been involved in many youth projects, including the Scottish National Debate on Education, Columba 1400’s Head Teacher Leadership Academy, and the Entrepreneurial Spirit Project.

I’m honoured to have helped hundreds of young people to recognise their own strengths and unlock their potential.