Teaching kids Resilience: A key Attribute of the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Life is full of setbacks, and developing a thick skin is essential to getting on in life. Every entrepreneur needs resilience and determination to get up when they suffer a blow. Business is fraught with ups and downs. The best entrepreneurs can attest to that. Parents can cultivate the traits of successful entrepreneurs by taking the sting out of failure and stop teaching that failure is bad.

Yes, we strive for our children to be the best. Achieving high marks in school, earning first place in sport or winning at a science fair are all important and admirable goals. More important, however, is how we teach our children to fail, because they will fail at something at some point, and as most business leaders will tell you, failure is common and indeed necessary on the road to success. In school, we were all taught that failure is bad. In the entrepreneurial arena, failure can be a great thing if a positive lesson is learned. Whether in sports, school or social activities, children’s early mistakes can help them prepare for the realities of the business world. Allowing your children to fail will force them to create new ways to accomplish their goals and learn from their mistakes. This will lead to confident children who know how to persevere when times are tough.

How to teach:

  • First and foremost – don’t live your unmet dreams through your child. It is normally those parents that set a terrible example at failing.
  • Do not protect them against failure. In times of failure, it is our responsibility to pick up our kids, dust them off and turn those failures into teachable moments. When your children fail, instead of scolding or punishing them, discuss what factors lead to the failure and brainstorm ways to prevent it from happening again in the future. Tell them failure is not entirely bad because it provides an opportunity to learn from mistakes and create new ways to accomplish goals. Always seek to find the “learning lesson” in each adversity and encourage your children to NEVER give up. This way they will not dread failure or wallowing in self-pity and defeat when things don’t work out. People who have achieved have also failed at something. Patience and persistence are key for success.
  • We need to promote risk-taking and allow our kids to take chances, fail and move on. Instead of teaching our children to always strive for perfection, we should encourage them to strive for improvement.
  • As a parent, you influence your child’s willingness to try, fail, learn, and try again — an essential skill for entrepreneurs. It takes a lot of mental strength, courage, and perseverance to be an entrepreneur.

Happy parenting!