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Question: Do You Feel You Should Actively Encourage Your Child To Fail

Success Picture- Black woman getting high fived

I was watching an interview with the CEO and founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely. I was intrigued by her story where she said every day her father would ask her and her brother what they failed at  that day. I thought that was so interesting and enlightening. I understood why he was doing this immediately. He wanted to prepare his children for success by first having them get over their fear of failure. To them failure would not be anything bad or terrible, but something that happens in the process of learning and life.

Sara’s father wanted them to become resilient and confident and know that they can easily overcome failure. It was not something to take personally or that they were bad or a failure themselves. By doing this when the children were young they developed a positive perspective around failure. Failure didn’t mean the same thing to them that it means to the average person. To Blakely and her brother, failure just meant try again, try something different, maybe possibly even use your mind differently or look at things in a different way.

I feel  this was an excellent and crucial life skill that he taught his children. The skill he taught them will help them be successful in any venture they decide to undertake. They will know from experience that they can overcome failure. They understand that inside failure is a valuable opportunity and information. They now know what will work and what will not work. A base from which to create the desires of their heart is provided for them because of this valuable information.

Of course with your children you would give them age appropriate and developmentally appropriate challenges to conquer and succeed in and build from there. I recommend something physically challenging, as children build esteem by what they can do. Even if your child is not a physical child you can introduce them to games like catch, walking on a balance beam or ledge or trying to shoot something in a basket. Keep telling them to try again and that they can do it and soon they will.

What are your thoughts on this. I would love to hear about your experiences and what has and hasn’t worked for you. Please share them in a comment below. Also share this with your family and friends online and off.

Have a great day! :-)

 

Teach Your Child That Mistakes Are Their Helpers

Childhood Girls floor painting

Teaching children that mistakes are a vital part of the learning process helps to build confidence, resilience and creativity in children. If children are allowed and actually encouraged to make mistakes they will learn to not take things personally and are willing to explore and try new things. They will receive valuable and necessary information about themselves and the world that they live in. Most importantly they will learn what works and doesn’t work and develop a mind that is open,  flexible and learn to tolerate when things don’t go their way more.

ENCOURAGE POSSIBILITY THINKING

As educators, caregivers and parents we want our children to confidently and boldly learn about the world around them and how they fit in it. We want them to be willing to take risks, make a mess, explore and discover. When we box children into only right or wrong answers or only a certain way to perform a task we are limiting their learning potential and minimizing their learning experiences. Instead we want our children to learn to think about what else is possible? What other ways can a task be successfully completed?

I totally understand that they are right and wrong ways to do things and children definitely should be taught this. What I am talking about are areas where they are no right or wrong answers, but sometimes teachers and parents make it that way.

CHILDREN NEED EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING TOO

A perfect example of this is when teachers don’t allow children to do their own art work. They are usually well meaning in that they want the class to have beautiful art hung around the room and in the school. What they fail to realize is that things like art, music, painting and building with blocks or legos  or anything else, is not about perfection or right or wrong but are merely for the expression and exploration of those mediums.

Some teachers and parents understand this but do not want to deal with the mess or noise that these activities create. Once in one of my classes we were having such a blast that the noise level had reached a high pitched scream. We were in an area where we were the only ones using that area and the teacher jumps up with this frown on her face and screams “BE QUIET!!!!!!!”

We quickly took a rest period with a magic number( a game that I play with the children to get them to be still, listen and focus) to quiet the kids. It wasn’t the worst thing because we had been running around so it was time to take a rest anyway. After class I spoke with the teacher to explain that noise is to be expected when kids are having fun and the class is designed to allow for this and also help them to calm down also.

I hope you get my point, in that we should make allowances for and encourage the best way that children will learn and express themselves. We should also take care of ourselves so that we can allow for those methods and facilitate the learning process of children. How have you managed to do this for your children? What has worked for you either in your home or classroom. Please share your thoughts with us in the form of a comment. Also share this with your family and friends either online or off. Have a great day! :-)

A Fun Way To Help Your Preschooler With Counting

Who Built The Ark Video On You Tube

This is a great video to help your preschooler with counting. I find that boys really love animals. When given a choice to jump, or leap over blocks or animals, the boys in my class always choose the animals. So your boys will really get a kick out of counting all of the animals.

This would be a great art project also. Don’t just jump in and say “We’re going to make the ark out of a milk cartoon! Ask your child “What should we use for the ark?” Let it be their idea and creation. The more children are invested in the process the more cooperation you will get from them. They will even take your suggestions(sometimes) because they feel that they are in control.

In our area we have stores that sell items for a dollar or under or just a little bit over. You can get the animals from here or use paper ones. Either way it’s a great project for fine motor skills for your child.

For the paper ones help your child with cutting them out. Make sure to remind them to keep their thumb up, this will help them a lot with trying to cut. If they are under 3 it will present a challenge so be patient. Holding the animals between their fingers will help to develop their pincer muscles in their index finger and thumb. This also applies if they are holding actual animals that they are going to march on the ark.

Doing this all while singing provides a multi-sensory learning experience that provides not only cognitive development in the way of learning numbers and counting,but also physical development as well. This is a great activity for all types of learners, auditory, kinesthetic and visual. You can try this with one child or a group.

Try it and come back and  share your experiences with us. I’d love to hear from you. If you feel that this post is useful please feel free to share it with your family, friends, or colleagues. Please also feel free to leave a comment or question.

Positive Discipline Is…

Positive discipline is providing respect, kindness and firmness as you teach children to be responsible, independent and cooperative children. Having this foundation they grow up to be happy, confident and contributing adults to society. You set and provide limits and guidelines for children and also the consequences of not following these guidelines.

Children love schedules and guidelines and boundaries. They may show it in a different way because they are still children and want to have their way and also test the limits. But in actuality they feel safer when they have these guidelines and boundaries. These guidelines and boundaries usually come in the form of rules.

When the rules are clear and simple and not too many of them, they provide structure and help children to be able to predict and know what’s happening in their world. Not having this knowledge and comfort brings out the worst in them and we sometimes call that “bad” or “misbehaving”. When in actuality it is only a response to not having structure and guidance.

So be sure to provide plenty of positive discipline for your child. It will make both your life and theirs easier. Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below. Thanks

What Is Positive Discipline

I taught a parenting workshop on this very topic today. I was so happy to see so many parents come out, especially dads and grandfathers. When I asked this question to the group you would have thought that I asked the square root of 1024. They all looked at me with blank faces.  The answer to the square root question is 32 by the way.  So I changed the question to , “What do you think “positive discipline ” is? I explained to them that in answering this question there is no right or wrong answer because they were only giving me their opinion but they were still reluctant to answer.

So now I am asking you. What comes to your mind when you hear the words  “positive discipline”. Do you think it’s for young children or all children even teens. I’d like your feedback of what you think it is. Do you use positive discipline when dealing with your children? If so share with us some examples. Please leave a comment about this below. I look forward to hearing from you.

I will give you my answer in tomorrow’s post so please comment and then come back tomorrow for the results. Until tomorrow have a wonderful day!