5 Top Reasons Children Fail And What To Do About It

by Donovan Grant on July 27, 2011

5 Top Reasons Children Fail And What To Do About It

By Donovan Grant

Have you ever wondered why do some children thrive while others fail?  Do you have a child?  If you do, or even if you care about the next generation then today’s message is especially for you.

The thing is- too many well-meaning parents and guardians advise their children to ‘play it safe’ with career choices. They say “stick with what we know”. Some will also put their own success down to the fact that they didn’t take many risks. This way of thinking has its merits; however it could have an harmful impact on our children, if they grow up believing that taking risks is bad.

Suppose your daughter’s dreams lead her to a future that could mean years of struggle, worry and then massive success. You have a choice; nurture or neglect. You could choose to protect her and warn her off her from an early age. Another option is that you can build her up with emotional support so that she can ride the storms and grow stronger.

What follows are five unintended mistakes parents make that could limit your child’s future success and how to fix them.

Mistake #1: – Not Asking Your Child What Is Their Dream

When we encourage our young ones to dream, we help them to invest into their future. This gives them a feel for who they can become. For a parent, it’s so comforting to hear the voices of our children speaking of the great things they are going to be and do in their lives.

We can keep these dreams alive by taking time to listen to the vision. When we sit and read books related to these topics the bond and passion for them comes one step closer.

The finishing touch is when the child writes about their ideas and even draws or cut pictures out of a magazine to create a kind of vision board. These words and images could become a blueprint for their future success!

Mistake #2: – Being Judgemental About Their Dream

Everything that a parent says may be used against them! We all know that we need to take care to what we say around our children, but we don’t always act on what we know. While growing up children are like sponges and take on board everything that they hear whether good or bad.  So any feedback from people in positions of power including parents, teachers or mentors can lift up or put down a child.

It is good to prepare them for the setbacks that will come at times. But let’s keep the unhelpful comments to ourselves and offer support, belief and praise in the right place and the right time for our kids.

Mistake #3: – Not Helping Them To Stay On Track

Your child needs to know that they are not alone. They may seek freedom and responsibility, but deep down they like to see that you are there at arm’s length especially when the going gets tough. Just having your loving presence will give them the confidence they need to stay on track.

It is good for them to find that some days they just can’t win and everything seems to be going against them. These are the character building days when the right word or an arm around the shoulder is the ideal remedy to combat the tears. When we come from a place of empathy and understanding, our job is done.  

Mistake #4: – Not believing in them

I’m reminded of a year ago when the French teacher gave us the bottom line “Her target grade for French is a D or possibly a C”. I looked the teacher in the eye and said, is that the best that she can expect? He said “yes, I am afraid that she has left it a bit too late to catch up”.

On the journey in the car on the way home, my wife and I chatted with our daughter about how people can shatter your beliefs. Admittedly, French was a challenge for her, but she felt with some effort she could get a B in the exam.

Over the next couple of months my daughter revised and practiced her French diligently. I used all the language skills that I could remember from my school days- many years ago! She passed French with an A grade!

Remember this – when you think you know better than others, in regards to your children, never give up on your gut feelings. Even if it means taking on teachers, doctors and a whole school system…parents know their kids better than anyone else can. Never giving up on helping your child pursue their dream.

Mistake #5: – Not Celebrating The Small Victories

Let’s celebrate! Every small landmark that your child reaches deserves to be noted and celebrated. It is ok to set a new goal to keep moving forward, but they do need to have a pause just to allow their self-esteem to get a boost. It’s marvellous to wait for just the big goals to be hit before they celebrate, but they need to have fun along the way. Enjoy the satisfaction of asking “how will you celebrate reaching your goal?”

I’ve been a parent for over 21 years and I’m guilty of every one of the mistakes listed. So don’t worry- it happens to all of us. With a few fixes mentioned above, your child could become the success they were born to be.

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com

 

 

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  • Great warnings for parents; children are the leaders of our future. We as parents need to make sure that their talents will come to the surface as we train and raise them! Thanks!

  • Denny

    Great insights Don, children will live up or down to the expectations around them!

  • Donovan, I LOVE the advice in this article. I have raised 3 great boys and people frequently ask me for my advice. You covered everything I learned “in the trenches”. How lucky for young parents today to have someone like you who can help them find their way! Good work!

  • Great story about the French grade.  Imagine if your daughter allowed the French teacher’s opinion about her possible grade to set in and believed she couldn’t do better than a C or D.  It’s a great reminder for us all to watch what types of “opinions” we give.  How about we forget the opinions and just give encouragement!

  • AJ

    Nice job Donovan, positive stuff!

  • Great advice Donovan, I like all of your 5 TIPS! Thanks for sharing!

  • Anne (Annie) Berryhill

    Donovan, I always love the way you write and the info you share. You really bring up true and VALUABLE points that sometimes in the day to day life of raising kids, are easy to forget!
    Thank you!

  • Oh, this is so critical, Donovan.  I was always urged to do ‘something safe’ and ‘a sure thing’ when I was growing up.  It’s no wonder I ended up in a government job that, although well paying and allowed me a lot of skill building, ended up sucking the life out of me.  I want my son (now 8) to do what he loves, not what will ‘make him money’.  Thank you for your brilliance and your love of children – it shows!  ;o)

  • Great words of wisdom, Donovan!  I’m excited to have my boys create their own vision board!!

  • RIGHT ON! Donovan …5 mistakes you listed are important checks for parents.

  • Hi Olga, it’s always a pleasure to read your inspiring quotes “children are the leaders of our future” – So true!

  • Thanks Denny, it’s great to have a dedicated parent coach visit us and sharing the love!

  • Michelle, it’s great having a fellow parent who has been in the trenches and come out smiling. Your boys are blessed to have a wonderful mom like you.

  • Hi Lori, great to see you on our site. I’m with you for the encouragement; too many people judging our young people without really knowing what they are made of. Got to keep them moving forward.

  • Hi Solvita, thanks for stopping by.

  • Thanks Annie.

  • Victoria, you made me smile when you mentioned a government job. I did the same! It’s great that we can now see more options for our children. Ps. I know there’s tons more life left in you!

  • Pamela that sounds great! How old are your boys?

  • Rachelle

    Donovan, I was raised to be a risk taker and love passing that down to my kids to.  Great checkup for all parents. I’ve been a parent for over 21 years too!

  • Hi Rachelle, it’s always nice to meet a fellow 21 year parent. Passing on our great learnings is a lovely gift.

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