Help your child cope up with failure

Preet Khushboo Bara
5 months ago
Mind Mind
12-14 12-14
Coping up with failure



Today we are living in the 21st century where things are changing, people are adapting modernization, technology is playing a vital role in our day to day life, work patterns are changing, living patterns are changing and challenges are increasing day by day. Due to a lot of competition and challenges children fail in what they do and get disappointed. 

Before getting into the strategies to help the child cope up with failure let us first understand what is failure? What are the aspects of it? What are the types of failure faced by children? What is its impact on children?


What is failure?

According to the oxford dictionary, failure is anything or something in which we do not succeed. Thus, if in a particular aim or goal we happen to lose or are unable to achieve it then it is regarded as a failure.

The question here arises that what are the types of failure that children face? 


The types of failure faced by children

We see the following 3 most common failures among children:

Academic failure:

Mother motivating kid from failure

Academic failure refers to studies. Often the children study hard but are unable to clear the subject, exam, or test. This brings disappointment in the children and they are unable to cope up with it and they often break down into tears or in major situations get depressed.

Non- academic failure:

This is a type of failure which refers to sports, games, dance, or any other competitive activity in which they are involved. For example, in sports like racing, each child standing on the track lines of the field wants to win but unfortunately, only one can come first and one has to come last. The child who comes last is seen disappointed because of the failure and cries over the same.

Societal failures:

Society often leaves a huge impact on the mind of children. It can either make or break a person. It usually creates a burden in the mind of children and they start competing with others and when they do not succeed, they break down into tears and get disappointed.


 Read | Handling and facing rejection


Impact of failure on children

Failure leads to many impacts on a child. Here are the 3 major impacts:  

Losing hope

Mostly, children lose hope after a failure. They create a mindset in which they don’t see themselves as getting up and trying again. For example, if a child comes last in a swimming race for which he/she practiced hard, then he/she may lose hope, and having the thought of losing again he/she may not try again.

Leads to depression   

Depressed kid


Often it has been seen in scientific studies that failure can lead to depression. For example- if children fail to pass in their final exam then they get a feeling of embarrassment and get upset. This leads to overthinking and further, it leads to less eating, less interaction with people, not feeling like coming out of the room, and not willing to go to school. This causes and leads to depression.


Low self-esteem or self-worth

The child who faces failures loses self-esteem and self-worth. They regard themselves as being unworthy and start harming themselves or get irritated too quickly. Failure brings a feeling of “I am worthless, I can’t do anything.”

Thus, a question that arises is whether failure good or bad?


Is failure good or bad?

Everyone in this world fears failure. We wish not to fail in any task we do. As parents, we don’t want our children to face failures. Usually, we try to protect them from it. So, should we fear failure? Is it good or bad? Let us understand this with the two aspects of failure:

Positive aspect:

The positive aspect of failure tells us that it is good. Failure teaches us to grow and opens up our mind to tackle situations. It provides us with an experience which teaches us what we should do and what we should not do as well as how far are its consequences.

Negative aspect:

The negative aspect of failure tells us that it is bad. It traumatizes the person who faces failure. It brings a feeling of embarrassment, insult, bullying, irritation, and depression.

So, as parents on which aspect to focus on?  Yes, on the positive aspect. Let us now move on to the main aim which is how as parents we can help our child to cope up with failure.


Help your child cope up with failure

Following are the 9 ways which will be of great benefit:-

parent helping their child

Be a good example

Children learn a lot from their parents. They do what they see their parent is doing.  Thus, set a good example before them. Bring a habit of dealing with your own failure in a positive way. Don’t panic, worry, or get upset when you face failure. 

Teach your child to learn from their failure

Teach your child to learn from their failure by helping them to focus on the lessons learned throughout the journey. Like, if your child practices mathematics daily but still gets low marks, then, help them to understand the tricks and the time they are investing in it. Motivate and encourage them saying “I’ve seen you working hard and it never goes wasted. So, keep on working hard.” 

Teach your child to accept failure

Accepting failure will help and encourage the child to work harder. As in any field, you either fail or succeed. Explain to them that failure is a part of life and we must not get too stressed out when we don’t achieve what we aim at.

Listen and empathize with your child when they face failure

At the time of failure, children are upset and mostly they cry to express it. Listen to them very carefully and understand them because at this time all they want is someone who understands them and their situation. After listening, empathize with them in a positive and encouraging way, saying things like “I know you have put a lot of effort but never mind, we can give a try once again with more enthusiasm and efforts.”

Appreciate your child not only on their achievement but also when they lose

Children look up to their parents for appreciation. They feel good when they get appreciated by their parents. So, try to appreciate the efforts which your child has put into the activity in which he/she has failed to achieve.


 Read | Guide to equal parenting


Show your child love and affection

Children love when they feel loved by their parents. Hug your child when they are unable to achieve certain things which they die-heartedly wanted. Show them affection and let them know that whether they win or lose your love for them will never go away. Through this they will develop positive vibes in themselves and will understand things which you will be explaining to them i.e., it’s okay to lose.

Teach your child about the concept of “try-try until you succeed”


This is an amazing concept of life. “Attempting- failing- getting up- trying again” is like a mantra of life to stay motivated. For example, when your child stands in the 4th, 3rd, or 2nd position in a 400-meter race, encourage them to increase their stamina and speed. Also, motivate them to attempt it once again in the coming year. Maybe this time they may come 1st or maybe not. Encourage them all over again so that they don’t give up on their goals.

Focus on the efforts and not on the outcome

Every time it’s important to focus on the efforts and not on the outcome. Ask your child to work hard. Ask them to enjoy whatever they do whether it is on playground, studies, or any other activity. If they enjoy what they are doing then they will stay motivated throughout their life.

Focus on their development as an individual

Always remember to focus on their personal development. Don’t compare them with others. Instead of comparing them with others, try to compare their own performances. This will build confidence in them regarding their own performance. It will also bring less disappointment when they face failure. They will be able to stabilize their mind saying “I will try again and I will try harder.”

Thus, we can say that parents must focus on the efforts of the child rather than the outcome. By the way of conclusion, it can be stated, “failure is the opportunity to begin again.”

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
• children
• parenting
• parents
• fail
• failure
• Dealing depression
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