As the wave of mental health awareness continues to wash over us, there is observed an increasing need for children to pursue perfectionism in everything they do. At many international preschools in Mumbai too, every single thing that students learn is made to be a constant, endless race for them to ace. From getting the highest grades to participating in as many extra-curriculars as possible and excelling at it, children have been the victim of immense parental and societal pressure to be first at everything they do. What we often forget however, is that if everyone chases the first position, then who is really winning this race? We’ve been guilty of conditioning our children to chase perfectionism that we ourselves have lost sight of the deep understanding and lessons that failure teaches us. Because failure is simply not an option for today’s kids, they never get a chance to learn how to forgive themselves and pick themselves up after failing. It is for this reason that international preschools in Mumbai are now focusing on teaching kids the importance of embracing failure.
People all over the world experience failure. Every single person we know has failed at something at some point. It sets a great example for children to learn if the teachers and parents share anecdotes from their own stories of failure. It makes it okay for children to accept that there is nothing wrong in failing at something, as long a you gave it your best shot.
How many times have we heard the quote “success is not final, failure is not fatal”? With the fast-paced lives, we often forget to teach our children to slow down, take a break, pause and look back on how far they’ve come. It is important to celebrate the failures more than successes with your child because it teaches them to keep going and keep trying.
Parents often pass statements that make a home in the child’s tender mind which becomes their belief system about themselves for the rest of their lives. Having a positive, non-judgmental attitude towards the child’s failure reminds them that their failures do not define who they are.
Often in the race to perfection, children form self-sabotaging beliefs that asking for help makes them weak, or that they’re alone in this struggle to succeed. Reminding your child time and again to ask for help is a good way to comfort them and let them know that its okay to seek help.
Contrary to what we’ve been taught to believe, failing is not the end of the world. It is really only a steppingstone to pick yourself up and begin again towards succeeding eventually. While many playschools in Juhu have adopted this attitudse in their ideologies, it also becomes the responsibility of the parents to ensure their children learn that failure is not the end of their world and it is definitely not an identity.