Help Us Help Them: How to Help Your Child Deal with a Fear of Failure

In today's high-achieving and fast-paced world, it seems that the drive for success has become a bit too fast. Learning Specialist Ms. Zinkewich shares that teaching your child how to handle occasional failures is an important skill that they will use their whole lives.
While hard work and effort are very important, success is not always guaranteed, and it's good to remind your child (and yourself!) that one setback doesn't derail the whole operation.

First, you should talk with your child about what your expectations are for them in school. Often children may feel that they must succeed or else they will "be in trouble" or "disappoint their parents," and the anxiety associated with that fear can be extremely stressful. Share a personal experience with your child about a time in your life when you failed at something, and try to focus on the positive aspects, like what you learned or how you overcame that setback.

Failure is an inevitable part of living, but it is not something that should control us or define us. Children feel that most situations are "high stakes," because what may seem a simple assignment to an adult may be the most challenging assignment the child has ever faced. Let them know that it is okay to fail sometimes and that they should treat themselves with empathy and respect when they do!
Woodlynde School is a private, co-ed college prep day school located in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that serves intelligent, talented students with learning differences in grades K - 12. Woodlynde provides a comprehensive, evidence-based Kindergartenelementarymiddle and high school program in a challenging yet nurturing environment for students with average to above average cognitive abilities (IQ) who have language- or math-based learning differences (such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia), Executive Function Challenges, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Auditory Processing Disorder. Even for those students without a diagnosed learning disability (LD), Woodlynde offers expert and caring teachers in small classroom settings that support academic success. Woodlynde School also offers a post-graduate (PG) program in partnership with Rosemont College as well as a regional Summer Camp for students who learn differently.