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Secondary bulletin: You are Awesome!
Posted 20/06/2019 11:05

We need to communicate to our children: You are Awesome! You are awesome the way you are, you give your best every day and if it means that you fail, you are still awesome.

Here is a summary from various sources how to support your child:

Why is failure so scary?

Nobody likes to fail. But for a teenager, failure can feel like devastation.

Why are teens so driven to succeed and so anxious about not achieving everything they set out to do? There are many reasons, including

  • Wanting to meet parents’ high expectations
  • Desire to present a “perfect life” on social media
  • Academic pressure, starting as early as middle school and becoming particularly challenging during the college application process
  • Concern that they won’t be able to find a good job later.

As a parent, observe how your child reacts to failure. Then ask yourself these questions:

  • Do they give up rather than trying again?
  • Are there certain activities they avoid out of fear of failure?
  • When they have a setback, do they blame others? Or do they shame themselves?
  • Do they only stick with activities they know they are good at?
  • Do they avoid thinking about why something was difficult or didn’t work out as they wanted it to?

One of the Secondary School`s aims for next year, is to introduce the concept of Growth Mindset

It is possible to move from a fixed mindset (when you believe your talents and abilities are limited) to a growth mindset. Here are her three steps to cultivating a growth mindset.

  1. Recognize that you can choose how you react to setbacks. You can interpret failures and criticism as signs that you are lacking, or you can see them as opportunities to stretch yourself.
  2. Let the optimism of your growth mindset conquer the self-doubt of your fixed mindset. Remind yourself that most successful people experienced failure along the way, and that you can take responsibility and move forward.
  3. Take action according to the growth mindset. Choose to take on challenges and learn from your setbacks.

As teachers, we have noticed oe factor that consistently holds students back in the classroom: fear of failure. When students are afraid to fail, they typically respond to challenges in one of two ways:

  • They give up before they even begin, preferring to avoid the possibility of failure.
  • They get upset and down on themselves when they don’t get something right the first time, resulting in anxiety and poor performance.

So what can you as a parent do in order to support your child?

  • Praise Your Teen’s Effort Rather than Achievement

Praise your teen for trying hard, regardless of the outcome. Say something like, “I am so pleased you spent three hours studying for that science test. Looks like it really paid off.” When your teen’s efforts aren’t successful, offer encouraging words such as, “You sure hustled out there on the field today.” Praising your teen’s efforts emphasizes the importance of trying his best.

  • Talk About Failure

Talk to your teen about failure. Discuss the feelings that accompany failure – shame, embarrassment, guilt, sadness, or even anger. Teach your teen how to cope with the discomfort associated with failure. 

Discuss successful people who overcame failure. Make it clear that failure can serve as a wonderful learning opportunity. Talk about how the fear of failure can lead some people to avoid trying things where they might not excel and discuss the potential consequences of that mindset.

  • Role Model How to Deal With Failure

Look for opportunities to show your teen how to bounce back from failure. When you fail to get hired for a job, or you aren’t able to negotiate a business deal, be a good role model. Avoid making excuses or pretending as if you don’t care.

Instead, talk about your disappointment. Then, make it clear how you’re going to turn this failure into a learning opportunity so you can do better in


Book recommendations:

If you believe you can't do something, the chances are you won't try. But what if you really could get better at maths, or sport or exams? In fact, what if you could excel at anything you put your mind to?

You Are Awesome can help you do just that, inspiring and empowering young readers to find the confidence to realise their potential. It uses examples of successful people from Mozart to Serena Williams to demonstrate that success really is earned rather than given, and that talent can be acquired. With hard work and determination, practice and self-belief, and, most importantly, a Growth Mindset, there's no reason why anyone can't achieve anything.

Practical, insightful and positive, this is the book to help children build resilience, embrace their mistakes and grow into successful, happy adults.

An interactive journal full of life hacks, challenges and activities to give kids the confidence to come up with their own plan of action to be the best they can be. With the right mindset, you really CAN do (almost) anything: supercharge your maths, try out for the team or be the first person to walk on Mars.

Whether setting out their goals, planning the best practice ever, keeping calm with breathing exercises or making paper planes to understand marginal gains, readers will love the brilliant activities in The You Are Awesome Journal. This is the perfect toolkit for anyone who dreams big - and who wants to make those dreams come true.





St George’s International School, Luxembourg ASBL | 11, rue des Peupliers | L-2328 Luxembourg | Phone: +352 42 32 24
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