Failure is a tough thing to deal with. Arguably even tougher, is watching your kids fail.
If your child failed or made a mistake, then you may have seen the burden that places on him. Perhaps he gets depressed when can’t make a shot, or cries in the dugout when he strikes out or beats himself up when he has a bad training session.
Somehow, you’ve got to help your child to understand that failure is not fatal. In fact, he can invert failure into a positive by learning from it and become a better athlete.
In order for a failure to become a step-up, instead of a step-down, your child has to make a choice. In his book, Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn, John Maxwell says that every time you fail, you have to choose between taking responsibility or creating an excuse.
If we respond to failure by taking responsibility, we can look at our failure and learn from it. As a result, we won’t be prone to making the same mistake again. However, if we bail out on our responsibility by not examining our failures or learning from them, we often experience the same types of failure repeatedly over time.
What Happens When Your Child Doesn’t Accept Responsibility for Failure
When your child refuses to accept responsibility for a mistake or failure, too often a victim mentality can develop. In professional sports there are constant examples of the victim mind-set blaming others for problems.
- Athletes blame other athletes, coaches, and officials.
- Coaches blame other coaches, parents and athletes.
- Parents blame coaches, other athletes, and officials.
Blaming others is an easy out because admitting to a mistake is hard. However, if your child continually refuses to accept responsibility for failure, then he can develop a victim mindset. The danger of this mindset is that it causes people to focus on what they cannot do, instead of looking at how they can positively effect a situation.
The victim mindset is a recipe for continued failure because it leaves no room to learn from mistakes. A victim doesn’t want to admit failure because he wants to put the blame on someone else. Your child will never become a better athlete if he is constantly blaming others instead of examining his own shortcomings.
What Happens When Your Child Does Accept Responsibility for Failure?
Accepting responsibility opens the door for your child to learn from failure, which is the more difficult path but also the way he will get better at what he does.
Accepting responsibility begins with you:
- Show your kids what it looks like to accept responsibility, admit mistakes, and look for answers.
- Kids learn by watching you.
- Allow your child to experience the natural consequences of his actions.
Learning to handle negative consequences is a start on the path to taking responsibility for your actions.