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Failure Does not Define You:

“The simple truth is no great success was ever achieved without failure.”

As parents, you want your children to be happy, confident and able to deal with the many, many little life lessons that they will experience as they grow up. However, we all have to stumble and lose our way sometimes. This is an inevitable part of life that we cannot avoid. How we handle it though, is completely in our control. Our reactions to failure and the manner in which we pick ourselves up and try again, is such an important part of how our children perceive us as their prime example. Make sure that you are a positive force for them when it comes to hitting those bumps in the road.

 

1. Be the Positive Example

When your child hits a stumbling block, and they will, ensure that you reinforce their self-image and motivate them not to take things too harshly and to get back up and try again. As the parent, you have to lead by example and provide a positive environment for them when they have setbacks. If your child sees that you are positive and reassuring when they fail at something it will teach them to take failure in their stride and to keep going. Remember: as the parent your children look to you for guidance.

 

2. Share your own Experiences

One of the best ways in which we can help our children to grow is to share of ourselves and be open about our own shortcomings. Many parents feel that this makes them appear inferior and that their children, especially teenagers, may lose respect for them. On the contrary, when you open up and tell your kids about the times that you failed and overcame drawbacks in life, they can relate to you and this has them feeling empowered and confident that they too can handle situations, as you have handled them.

It is a wonderful thing for a child to view their parent as a “superhero” and believe that they can do no wrong. However, it is far greater when your child understands you and knows that you are a human being too, with flaws and failures, but with enough courage and determination to get through it.

 

3. Make the Time to Listen

This is a crucial part of your child’s experience with failure and how they view themselves. When your child or teenager is battling with a tough situation or has just failed miserably at an exam, the fact that you are making the time to listen to them sharing their emotions, rather than coming down on them for the actual failure itself, says a lot about how much you care for them and that they matter more than the issue at hand.

Showing unconditional support is a crucial part of their development within themselves, as they feel reassured that they are loved even when they hit a roadblock on their life’s journey. It also helps them to feel that they are supported and can cope with the situation and move forward in a positive manner.

 

4. Failure is a Feeling

How our children/teenagers react to things may seem utterly ridiculous to us at times. We must remember one thing: children experience their emotions fully. They love wholeheartedly, they hurt completely and they feel every feeling as if it were consuming their entire being. Whether they are angry, happy or excited, they fully internalize their emotions and react accordingly.

As the parent, you need to remember that you may be able to distance yourself from your emotions and the situation at hand, but your child usually cannot yet. They experience failure as the end of the world and it is your job to make them understand otherwise.

 

5. Get Help When it is Needed

Much as we need to instill self-confidence in our children and encourage them to keep going no matter what they strike out at, we also have to discern when it’s time to step in and take control of the situation. When your child is failing their third mathematics test in a row, it’s time to get involved.

Make sure to arrange a meeting with their teacher, school counselor or a tutoring agency, should your child require academic help. A professional tutoring company, such as Gutsy Tutoring, has trained, qualified tutors that work with their students to uplift their marks as well as their self-confidence.

As parents who want their children to grow up as well rounded, happy individuals it is our duty to encourage them, share with them and be there for them when they need us most. Keep these 5 tips in mind when next your child needs some reassurance and you will be amazed at the difference it will make.

About the Author:

Carla-Mari Moore completed her BA Degree at the University of Stellenbosch with majors in English literature, Philosophy and Psychology. She then went on to attain her International Chef qualification and spent some time in the culinary world. She has been spreading her passion for helping others and her love for working with people by co-owning Gutsy Tutoring, Gutsy Green and blogging about what she loves and wants to share with others!

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