It’s natural to want to prevent children from feeling discouraged or making mistakes, but when parents intervene — trying to make friends for a daughter at school pick-up on the playground, or bugging the soccer coach to give a son more game time — you’re not doing them any favors.
“Kids need to know that it’s OK to fail, and that it’s normal to feel sad, anxious, or angry,” Robert Brooks, Ph.D, coauthor of Raising Resilient Children, told Parents.com.
It is also important for children to learn to succeed by overcoming obstacles themselves, and not by having parents take obstacles away. “It’s particularly important for young children to have the chance to play and take risks without feeling that their parents will criticize or correct them for doing something wrong,” Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D, professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, told Parents.com. “Seeing you mess up and not make a big deal about it will make little kids feel so much better.”