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If children lose, they cry. If children cannot do well, they will get angry and frustrated easily. How do parents help them?

While playing, did you realised that your children will get angry and frustrated easily when they cannot do well. And some children wanted to restart the game or push the game away. Why? Nobody teach them to react like that.


How to Teach Child to Accept Failures?

1. Express their feelings

Most of the time, adults will say :-

  • It doesn’t matter. We just try again.
  • Do you need to cry/ angry?

However, the child thinks that ;-

  • If I do it again, I still cannot solve the problem
  • I will still lose. I don’t want to listen to you.

Actually, when children is frustrated/ angry, what they needed at that moment is someone to express their feelings. By helping them to express their feelings, the child will feels that you understand them. For example, you may tell the child who is frustrated that:-

  • I know that you are very sad. I know that you wanted to do well. I know you cannot do it now, mommy know these. Now, do you need my help? (wait for the child to respond).
  • Do you want us to do it together later? (wait for the child to respond).


2. Role Model

If you notice that the child is having problem with the game, then you can show them you also having difficulties playing the game. Express your frustration and show how them how to handle it. Example: Your child is playing stacking and the blocks keeps falling down. You may join in and purposely makes the blocks falls down. Tell your child that:-

  • I am also not very good at it.
  • I am very angry now because the blocks keeps falling down (keep trying)
  • Never mind, I will rest for a while and try later”.
  • Keep acting and say “I am very sad and angry. I try again.” This time show the correct way to do it.

This way you are telling the child that it’s okay to express your feelings but do not over-react. Another point is please do not straight away show the child how to do it and say “see, you just need to do like this”. The child will feels that you don’t understand her and didn’t show empathy.


3. Play as a Team

Parent can play together with the child as a team. If the team lose, you said “never mind, we keep trying”. You will notice that the child is more willing to listen this time because if lose, the whole team lose & if win, the whole team win. She is more willing to express her feelings and will see how other team member react to failures. If they lose, they will encourage each other. The child won’t feel like “I lose, the whole world ruins”.


4. Set Small Target

When a child have 5 cups in her hand, she will think that she need to stack all 5 cups. And most children want to do it fast. As an adult, you can guide them like this. You should praise and reward her in stages. Example:-

  • Well done! you have stacked 3 cups.
  • Great job. You did better than last attempt.
  • Wow. You stacked better than last time.

The reason why we do this is because our emphasis is patient, it is a journey and it is an improvement. A child did not notice this and needed your help to tell her. Because when a child cannot achieve her final target (stack all 5 cups and fast), she gets frustrated. No matter how many times you tell her it doesn’t matter, she just doesn’t listen. When your child encounter failures, your role as a parent is to guide them to set small target. Tell the child that you already accomplish a lot of things that you cannot see yourself.


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