Here is a great quote from Michael Jordan:
“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions, I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot….and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s precisely why I succeed.”
When your son was a child, you likely devoted a lot of emotional energy to encouraging him for even very small achievements. Every adorable picture that that he created, each time he actually hit the ball while playing t-ball and, of course, a big thumbs up for each spelling word success.
Now that he is 11, 12, or 13 years old, the inspiration strategy must take on a new emphasis. As we give our maturing sons more independence, they are going to make good choices and it is always a great idea to encourage good choices. But bad choices often lead to failed situations and discouragement.
As a parent, it is so difficult to watch your son fail at something. We can even blame ourselves when that happens. But actually, as Michael Jordan said, it is the sequence of trying – failing – trying again that results in lasting success. He took responsibility for missing the winning shots and for his failures.
What is your response when your child fails at something?
My suggestion is that you give him some time to work through his disappointment and then explore with him what went wrong and how he can change the situation in the future. Try not to get into the middle of the situation to make it better. It needs to be him taking responsibility for what went wrong and then capturing the victory when they overcome it. Be careful not to waste a great opportunity for your son to grow.
Bouncing back from a disappointment or a failure is worthy of praise!
Look for as many of these opportunities as you can to let your son know how impressed you are with his positive response and his determination to try again. This advice is good for relationship problems, school issues, and young romance disappointments as well.
Remember…we are raising young men.
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