Four ways to turn failure into success

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Feeling disappointed or like a failure can really hit kids hard. It's important as a parent that you encourage them through bad exams or not getting picked for a team and not let them lose their confidence, even if you feel a bit disappointed yourself. Here are some tips to make your job that bit easier.

1. Help them choose a different goal. Turned down for a part in the school play? Encourage them to help backstage instead.

2. Tell them all about your own failures as a child and what it taught you.

3. Don't pass on your own fear of failing. If you feel scared for them, they'll pick up on your jitters.

4. Don't expect too much of your kids. Adults who failed to achieve significant things when they were children often expect their own offspring to do better. It's impossible to live up to constantly high expectations.

Learn your child's limits at school

We all want our children to do well, but as long as they work hard and do their best, if the best they can do is a C then that's really the best they can do. And it should be rewarded.
Penny Palmano, author of Yes, Please. Whatever! How to get the best out of your teenagers

Continued below...

Where to next?

- The parents' guide to exams
- Help your teen to get a job
- Boosting your child's confidence

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Firstly, the experiences your feeling are all to familiar, especially to single parents like us. There are no fast answers here, beyond saying to you that its all about time. In time she will mature, I had the same with my son Harry, in and out of trouble with the police, pushing his boundaries, really to the edges of the Envelope. My ex was no support, was always saying, kick him out! dont want to know him, etc, but I just couldn't do that; I guess because he was my Son, and I think I understood what he was going through. But I always knew that it was a matter of time, like waiting for a switch to be turned on, and thats literallly what happened around 18, he realised if he crossed that line for real, then he would have a criminal record and face a downward spiral of a wasted life. My plan {if I ever really had one at all!!!} was a career in the Army, especially as he had blown his exams, despite, like most kids being quite bright. He's now entering his third year, is a lance corpral, done Iraq, Afghanistan and now in the Falklands. Proud, yes I am, pain in the Arse, absolutly!!! but no where near as bad. Did I have a strategy? nope!!, just an instinct.Not much advice I guess, but just wait for that 'switch' to be turned on. Alan

Nicola Rasmussen

I have a 15 year old girl who (I have already changed schools once from secondary to grammer due to nearly being expelled) (she did not have to take the 11+ to get a place as at that time age13 to 14 she was an A* student in both english and maths), continually refuses to go school, I have had since the age of 12, her smoking both cigarettes, weed, drinking, running away constantly, verbal and physical abuse, smashing up the home when I try to stop her from leaving the house, threatening to stab me as she hates me so much and all this for trying to do the right thing and that is put boundaries in place, teach her to respect herself and others, continually trying to get her out of bed and to school, and generally trying to get her back on track. Since xmas she has probably only been in school the equivalent of 2 whole weeks, I have the EWO now sending out a fine and implimenting taking me to court, even tho he does not want to (as he sees what I am going thru), but has to follow government rules. I have tried to get her to councelling, I try to give her rewards to aim for, but it just all gets thrown in my face, and she constantly just does what she wants (because she can - as there are no consequences to her actions) they all land firmly on my shoulders, she don't go school, I get fined, she goes to court - I end up having to pay the fine. She has 3 charges of assault coming up against her, and I can quite safely say she has not been brought up in an environment where this is acceptable behaviour and has everything (to a point) she could possibly need. I am a single parent and have brought up Louise and my son Connor for the last 9 years on my own, have a nice house, I work 9-3 so am there at the beginning and end of the day, I drink very little and do not smoke. I am at the end of my tether and am at the point where her bags will be packed and she will be thrown out, and this will break my heart, but I have my ten year old son to think about also, and this is affecting him really badly as it is also affecting my health. I have had many agencies involved to no avail, have had my daughter arrested and charged, so do follow thru any threats I make to take it further, Louise has spent nights in cells, to no avail. She has little respect for me or the authorities. At what point do we make her responsible for her actions! This is by far only some of what I have been thru, and at this point all advice and help is welcome.

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