Self-Esteem Activities for Kids: Failing Forward


One of my favorite parenting stories is about a famous research scientist who made several important medical breakthroughs. He was asked by a journalist why he was so successful and he told the story of a very early lesson he learned from his Mom when he dropped a carton of milk in the kitchen.

Instead of shouting at him she said, “What a wonderful mess you’ve made – what a huge great big puddle! I bet you’d love to play in that great big white milky puddle. Go on then – have some fun before we clean it all up!”

After about 10 minutes his Mom came back and continued,” Well, you’ve had your fun so it’s time to clear it all up. So, how would you like to do it — with a towel, a mop or a sponge?”

They both spent some time on the clean-up operation and then his Mom did a remarkable thing in my opinion that changed the little boy’s destiny. She said, “Let’s go out in the garden and fill up the carton a few times so you can practice carrying it properly.”

The famous scientist remarked to the journalist that he knew right then and there, that it was OK to make mistakes and he didn’t have to be afraid of failing. He learned that his mistakes were just opportunities for learning something new.

Successful parents realize that making mistakes and getting things wrong is a really natural and important part in learning to be a great parent.

They know that minor failures and set backs are just the way we all learn. I call it “failing forward” because being willing to learn from your mistakes and blips helps you to get brilliant feedback to help you correct and fine tune your parenting so you constantly keep moving forward.

One of the secrets to successful parenting is to keep a positive focus no matter what’s going on around you. Stay focused on your past successes rather than on your past mistakes or failures. Keep your eye firmly on the prize which is to bring up happy, confident well balanced adults – today’s children but tomorrow’s future.

Teaching your child to read at the Reading Kingdom will boost your child’s self-esteem and will to learn. Sign up for a 30 day free trial today.

“Within eight weeks of beginning the Reading Kingdom, Ben’s progress was enormous. Each day that we continue the programs, he improves. It has also boosted his self-esteem. “– Gail Weiner, parent

*For more self-esteem activities for kids, see our activities for kids page.