No parent wants to see their child in pain when things don’t go their way, so some might not shy away from intervening and saving them from their problems. However, there is value to allowing your child to experience failure even at her young age. Experts say this will build in her skills she will be able to use later in life.
6 reasons why you should allow your child to fail
To avoid building in her a sense of entitlement
According to parenting expert James Lehman, a child who is shielded from failure or discomfort of any kind learns that she should never have to experience anything unpleasant in her life. This then leads to a false sense of entitlement and the expectation that she doesn’t need to face up to her missteps because someone will always swoop in to help her.
The Child Mind Institutesays that kids who are taught that failure is unacceptable are more vulnerable to anxiety, fear of change, and reluctance to try new things. They also fail to developresilience, or the ability to recover from difficulties in life.
To build her ability to handle disappointments
Lehman says that it is important for kids to build a “tolerance for discomfort” because discomfort is an unavoidable part of life. Without this, she won’t know how to handle adverse situations when she encounters them.
To show that you believe in her
According to psychologist Lynn Margolies, Ph.D., if you constantly show up to solve your child’s problems on her behalf, she will learn that you don’t trust her enough to figure out how to handle those situations by herself. Conversely, by letting her fail, you show her that you believe in her ability to bounce back and encourage her to believe it, too.
When a child is given the chance to experience what it is like to fail, they also learn how to face the consequences of their actions and that failure can serve as an opportunity to learn lessons she can apply in the future.
To reinforce that you love her no matter what
It might sound strange, but allowing your child to fail and continuing to love and support her when she does is “one of the most affirming things a parent can do,” SheKnowswrites. “It teaches a child that they’re enough, outside of how they score or what they accomplish. And that’s a much healthier place to approach ‘I’ll do better next time’ from.”