In an era of increasing anxiety, helping our kids fail is more important than ever before.
Psychologists agree that anxiety is a helpful tool to alert us to danger. If our child is offered a ride by a stranger, we want them to have anxiety that leads them to make a safe decision.
Anxiety is caused by a fear of failure. This is where we want to step in to help our children work through the anxiety and learn to fail. Experiencing failure is essential to keeping anxiety and fear at manageable levels.
Say your child is feeling anxious about a test for which they forgot to study. If you decide to call them out of school so they can have they day to study, you are teaching them that they cannot handle the anxiety of taking a test for which they are unprepared.
Failures build capability. Your child will undoubtedly face other situations in which they are less than prepared. Of course they will feel nervous and scared in those situations. When they realize they can make it through, even if it means failing, and still be okay, they learn that the fear does not need to control them. Trying at the risk of failure is how we grow.
I can help your teen build confidence in the face of anxiety and failure.