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The Value of Mistakes and Failure

Posted by Dave on April 25, 2010 at 8:55 AM

If you’re one of those parents who push their kids to seek perfection in all things, you’re missing the point. The most valuable lessons are learned when things go wrong. Those lessons are also the ones that stay with us longest.


Kids need to make mistakes, and yes, even fail, from time to time. The ability to learn from mistakes, recover, and move on is crucial to future success. It’s not only good for learning, but helps build a stronger and more resilient person.


Those who never learn how to fail and recover in the relative safety of school and home are at a significant disadvantage when they hit the “real world.” The first time something goes wrong in college or on the job, they don’t have the skills to learn, regroup and take another shot at it. Many become paralyzed and unable to cope.


Treat mistakes and failures as teachable moments, but keep it low-key. Kids don't like having their faces rubbed in their mistakes any more than adults do.


Learning to build on the lessons learned from mistakes and failures is critical to real-world success. The ability to figure out what went wrong, learn what to do differently next time, and to put the changes into action is an invaluable skill regardless of which career your child chooses.

Categories: General Topics

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