Is It OK To Let Your Child Fail?

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

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Show notes:

In This Episode :

Is it OK to let your child fail?

(only available to Members of Sue’s Parenting Club Online)

Listen to the Expert Interview

Connect with Liz Stevenson




Tuppence Worth

In this week’s episode Sue talks resilience & back to school.




What's YOUR favourite?


Sue discussed Back to School Tips ~ Simple Strategies to Get Out the Door Faster, Less Frazzled and Smiling First Thing in The Morning  – 8 Sure-Fire Ways to Make Getting Up and Out a Breeze.




Listen to Sue’s take on making mistakes – getting things wrong

Are You Failing Enough?

I often talk about “failing forward” when I am coaching parents and here is my article on “Failing” that was published on the Jo Frost Super Nanny site

Many people are held back by a fear of failure. They hold the perspective that failure means they aren’t meant to succeed, and that they aren’t good enough.

But failure offers us a perfect chance to learn and improve. Without failure, we wouldn’t know what areas we need to improve on.

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Don’t Stew – Ask Sue Parenting Q & A

Q. ‘I had a baby six months ago and ever since then my older one, who is ten years old, has been acting strangely. She has begun to throw tantrums, she actually has begun throwing things about the house, does not do her classes, and does not listen to anything we say. She told me the other day she hates her little brother. How do I deal with this? ‘ Sharada Menon. Bengaluru, India


The arrival of a new brother or sister can be unsettling

Whatever happens, there will be a period of adjustment for your oldest child when their baby sibling is born. Here’s how to manage it when they feel left out or jealous.

The arrival of a new brother or sister can be unsettling for a child of any age. After all your daughter is used to having your undivided attention and your 10 year old has been the only child in your family for many years.

You might find that your child isn’t as happy and excited about your new baby as you are! Some children find it difficult to adjust while others accept the new arrival easily.


Here’s how to handle the jealousy…

  • ​Spend ring fenced more quality time with your 10-year-old doing fun things that you have previously enjoyed together before your new son arrived – like baking, chatting, or playing a board game together – to help her feel special, important and significant regularly. She feels a bit ‘dethroned’ from her position as the eldest or the ‘only’ child.
  • ​Get out her baby book or some photos and chat about how special she is and remind her of all the things she can now do that she couldn’t when she was a helpless baby. Celebrate her uniqueness.
  • ​Talk to her about how you are a team – a family team and that the baby needs more attention at the moment as he is so helpless and little and that you need her help in looking after him – getting her little brother’s nappies or wipes, checking he is warm enough, holding him to help with bonding and care ( safely)
  • ​Tell your daughter what you love, admire and respect about her and get her father and aunties and uncles to tell her too, to build up her self esteem and feelings that she counts and is still important to the whole family.
  • ​Put your 10 year old first sometimes. No matter how much you would normally go to your newborn first, a few occasions of putting your baby second can work wonders. Try ‘telling’ the baby they’ll have to wait a few moments while you chat or listen to your daughter. Anything that shows them that right now, at this second, they are number one.
  • ​Acknowledge your daughter’s point of view being ‘in it together’ with the occasional acknowledgement of their views can make a whole world of difference. Acknowledgements like ‘Yes, babies do cry a lot don’t they?’ or ‘I bet you wish sometimes we could hang out alone’ will let them know you get it. Parents who develop open, participative communication with their children help their children to manage stress well. That helps them to develop resilience.
  • Point out how much the baby likes their older sibling. Saying ‘Look how much he loves you’ and ‘He won’t stop watching how good you are on your bike etc ’ This will make your older child feel like they’re really involved in making their younger sibling happy. Warm, authoritative and responsive parenting helps children to manage stressand jealousy. By boosting your older child’s confidence,they will respond better to the change in their lives.
  • Sit with her when she has homework to support her learning and to model that education is important – encouraging and praising what she gets right will help her feel positive about getting the ‘right’ attention from you.
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