Help Your Child Learn More: Explain That Failure Is A Good Thing

March 20, 2012
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Want to help your child enjoy school more and learn easier? Of course you do.

Teach her that failure is part of the learning process. It is not bad, and it doesn’t mean that she is a failure.

Too many kids (and adults) are sometimes afraid to try something because they fear failure.

Thomas Edison tried 1,000 different ways to invent a light-bulb. Imagine if he gave up after 999 attempts.

Use the example of a baseball player. Anyone bats 1,000? Of course not. The best fail seven out of 10 times.

Don’t just take my word for it.

“Kids perform better in school if they know failure, and trying again, is part of the learning process, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association,” says ABC News.

“The research included several experiments intended to see whether parents and teachers can help students succeed by changing the way learning material is presented to them. Study experiments included anagram problems and reading comprehension, and researchers found that kids who were told it’s normal to fail and try again did better on the tests than those who did not receive such a pep talk.”

“In this research, we showed that helping children to interpret difficulty, not as a sign of intellectual limitation but as the normal learning outcome, improved their performance on very demanding and difficult tasks and reduced their feelings of incompetence,” said study co-author Frederique Autin, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Poitiers in Poitiers, France. “What our data revealed is that reorienting the interpretation of difficulty boosted children’s working memory, that is the ability to process and remember information.”

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