Conquering the Fear of Failure in Children - Lorimer Fostering

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Conquering the Fear of Failure in Children

Posted on 18th April 2017 by

Everyone reading this can probably pick out one thing that scared you when you were little. Maybe it was clowns, monsters, or the dark – there was probably something.  While these things still scare children today, a new fear is climbing its way to the top of the list of childhood fears – the fear of failure.

No one enjoys failing at anything, but as humans, it is an inevitable part of life. The fear of failure is particularly prevalent in foster children. With all they have been through, it is particularly important to understand why they have this fear and how you can encourage them to conquer it.

There is a likelihood that the child, prior to being in your care, never received any sign of approval. The fear of failing to be successful can lead to your foster child to find it easier not to try at all to avoid potential embarrassment. Taking the time to reflect on their past may help you understand why your foster child has a fear of failure.

Conquering Fear of Failure

When it comes to encouraging your foster child and helping them get over their fear of failure, you may have to take a different approach than you would for another child. Children in the care system have experienced different things and are more likely to have issues with their self-belief and confidence, so you will need to encourage them in order to help them grow and conquer their fears.

While helping your foster child overcome this fear of failure can sometimes feel like an impossible task, it can be broken into these four easy to implement approaches.

Share a time that you have failed.

This will show your foster child you’re not perfect either, and that failure is okay. Talk about how you responded to the failure and what you took away from it and trying. Doing so will show your foster child that you, the person they look up to is just like the. and not an unachievable model of perfection.

Redefine failure.

Teach your foster child that if they learned something from the experience, they didn’t fail. Instead on succeeding being the most important aspect, make sure that taking part and trying your best is all that matters. Failure can be one of the best sources for personal growth. Teach them that success is about playing the game, not winning it.

Compliment their effort.

Talk to your foster child about the courage it took to try what they did, and praise them for trying. This will help them develop their self-esteem, which will lead to them gaining the courage to compete with his peer without fear.

Build their confidence.

Give your foster child some smaller challenges to build up their confidence to the point where they comfortable enough to take on larger ones. Encourage them the same way on all projects – no matter how big or small they may be — to show that you are there for them always and proud of all of their efforts and accomplishments.

By praising and encouraging foster children who have been through tough times, including trauma, abuse or neglect, you are providing them with the confidence and self-worth they need to succeed and grow in life. By showing them that failure is not the worst thing that can happen, and that it is actually just an opportunity to grow, you’re opening the door for them to try new things and find their passions in life.

It is through your compassion, love and support that your foster child will overcome their fear of failure and reach their full potential.


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