Why Do Students Fear Failure & How Can They Overcome It?

“Mom, I have a stomach ache and a fever.”, you hear your child say.

You place your hand on their forehead and find beads of sweat. Your child’s face is red, palms are sweaty, and pulse racing.

They look at you nervously and you realize that they are scared. Why could that be?

“Of course! Today is the Maths exam!”

No wonder your child is agitated and feeling feverish. After all, they have always been scared of failing in Maths. Somehow, you pacify your child and send them off to school.

This episode is sadly not over. How can you ensure that such an incident doesn’t happen again?

Let’s find out.

Why do Children Fear Failure?

There was a time when monsters and ghosts were all you had to worry about. Those fears were dismissed easily as fiction. However, studies are very real. Before we can tackle the problem, we have to analyze why children are afraid to fail. It all comes down to pressure from different sources.

1. Parents

Almost every parent has high expectations for their children. However, they don’t realize the problems their child faces. As parents, we want our kids to do better than us and succeed in life. There is nothing wrong in this thinking, but we must remember that our children are not us. If you are a parent reading this, think back to when you were a kid. Children have their own difficulties and problems to deal with. The main reason most children are afraid to fail is that it will make their parents feel enraged, disappointed, or hurt.

2. Peers

Next comes peer-pressure. Children are afraid to fail as this might lead to teasing from their classmates and friends. They do not want to cut a sorry figure in front of their peers and face embarrassment.

3. Teachers

Some teachers look at children disapprovingly when they fail or scold them in front of the whole class, especially as this is how most answer papers are handed out. Children feel afraid to fail as they do not wish to be humiliated in front of the class by the teachers or face punishment.

4. Self-Pressure

Repeated failure in class tests makes some children feel that they are worthless and have no competence. Combined with the previous three pressure sources, this instills a lack of confidence and fear of failure in the students.

Ways for Students  to Overcome Their Fear of Failure

So, now that we know the main reasons for fear of failure, here are some tips to help children overcome it.

1. Identify and Understand the Fear

The first step in teaching children to overcome their failure is to first help them recognize and identify it. What are they afraid of and why? Is Maths scary for them because they do not get the right answers even if they try? Or is it History because they have a tough time remembering dates?

This is known as root cause analysis, where you keep asking questions and peeling back layers to identify the source of the problem.

They might be scared of multiple subjects for different reasons. Ask the child to write down their fears in a piece of paper. This brings clarity in addressing their fears.

2. Communicating Their Fear

Being afraid is perfectly normal. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Now, the child must communicate it. By informing their fear to peers, parents, and teachers, the child can seek support and suggestions to overcome it.

For instance, if a child conveys a fear of Hindi to his parent or teacher, they can help by engaging extra coaching or tuitions, registering the child on online practice sites or even guide the child personally to help them overcome this fear. Teachers too can pay extra attention to children if they express their fear of the subject.

3. Map Fear to a Course of Action

It’s okay to be afraid as long as you convert it into positive energy. For instance, if the child fears Maths because of wrong answers, he/she must be made to understand that it is only because of careless mistakes that they probably go wrong. Rechecking the problem and redoing the steps may help them prevent errors and instill confidence and courage to do Maths.

Children who fear Science because they do not have a clue what the answer is must be made to understand that they should first make an attempt to solve the problem. Take clues from the question itself, write definitions, expand upon previous related answers, etc. This is called bluffing. Even if the answer is wrong, never mind. They should at least try writing something down.

Children fear of failure in class subjects can also be removed by motivating them to practice. Practice makes every child gain a grasp of the subject and overcomes their fear of failure. With the help of online practice sites, children can work out sample problems to overcome their fear of failure in subjects. Work hard to stamp the fear out.

4. Look at Fear as an Opportunity

Children should be taught to take fear as a challenge to beat. Motivate children through real-life examples of great men who failed in school yet succeeded in life. For example, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates all dropped out of college. Teach children that failure is temporary and can be overcome with persistence and dedication.

5. Planning and Preparation

A clear plan and sound preparation are enough to sow the seeds of success. Fear often comes to children because they have not prepared well enough. Teach them to spend ample time for preparation to avoid the fear of failure.

Failure is a stepping stone to success, and no one has ever succeeded without failing. Make children overcome these hurdles and handicaps of failure by guiding, motivating and supporting them rightly. Teach them that it is alright to fail but it is never right if they do not try.

Face your fears. If you fail, so be it. You must understand this and then you must make your child understand it. Failures will happen, but it is important to learn from them.

When Thomas Alva Edison was asked about his repeated failures before creating the light bulb, he had this to say:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Fear just means “Face Everything And Rise”. Enlighten children to make them realize that Fear can be overcome by practice.

The best way is to practice, and that’s what LetsPractise helps you do. We have loads of question papers and practice sheets on a variety of subjects. Maths, Hindi, Science, Social Studies, whatever your child’s fear is, we can help him/her overcome it. Please view our plans and find the one most suitable for your child.

Remember not to put undue pressure on them as threats and yelling will only make them more afraid. Contact us for more. It’s time to decimate your fears.

What is the Right Age for Your Child to Start School?

In India, parents start planning for school admissions even before they beget babies! Yes. some schools ask parents to register for admission while the mom is pregnant. With such a rush for a place in the right school, infants are bundled off to play school even at the age of 2. But is this right- sending children to school even before they outgrow their infancy?

What is the right age for your child to start school, then? Let us discuss.

The right age to start school

A Stanford University study reveals that kids performed better when they were enrolled in Kindergarten at 6 years. Its results showed that kids had better self-control and test scores by the age of 7-11.

Our ancestors were probably right. Yes, ancient wisdom dictated school enrollment to be at 6 years. Until then, the home was the right environ for learning basic life skills. This approach is correct indeed for the brain development begins at birth, peaks at 3 and prunes itself to become adult-like at 6 years. By the age of 6, the child’s brain has developed definite cognitive abilities to understand the language of instruction and imbibe what is taught.

By the 1990s, pre-schooling ad steeped into India with several private pre-schools cropping up and enrolling kids at the age of 3. Today every child in an Indian home begins pre-school at 3 years. India also has the largest early childhood programmes in the world with 1.3 million government-funded anganwadis. All these facts point out to the kid starting his school/playschool experience at the age of 3.

Teaching methodologies for pre-school education

Kindergarten

Kindergarten involves guided learning through a play-way method of singing, dancing and games for the preschooler. This term was coined by Friedrich Froebel and has become immensely popular in India s the standard system of pre-schooling with Lower and Upper Kindergarten classes.

Montessori

Maria Montessori evolved this approach which is based on the natural eagerness of the child to learn. This methodology encourages children to learn by themselves while the teacher facilitates this process. This approach allows the child to learn at his/her own pace understanding his/her physical and emotional levels.

Waldorf

The Waldorf methodology introduced by Rudolf Steiner focuses on the imagination of the child which is encouraged with hands-on activities.

Whatever be the methodology of early education, it forms the basis for actual schooling at 6 years. PPlayschools focus on the process of getting the child ready to adapt to the system of formal education. They act as a stepping stone to actual schooling. Playschools go even the extra mile in teaching children personal hygiene like toilet training and social skills like interacting with other children to get them ready for school.

Schooling

Actual schooling from class 1 begins at 6 years and from then on, the child follows a curriculum of study like State Board, CBSE, ICSE etc. The child is tested for his basic cognitive abilities and then enrolled into the curriculum. It is not mandatory that the child should have followed a Kindergarten, Montessori or Waldorf system. Even homeschoolers can enroll directly in class 1 provided the child qualifies in the entrance tests for class 1. This is possible with the help of practice question papers available from Letspractise.

Children can practise basic Maths numbers and English words etc. using these practise tests and gear up for school in no time.

Getting children ready for proper schooling is a challenging task. Give your children a good start by enrolling them at age 6. Get them ready for school by enrolling them in pre-school or letting them enjoy homeschooling. Build a strong base with practise tests from Letspractise for a bright future for your child at school.

How Do Children Feel When They Move To A Higher Class?

Excitement, anxiety, pride and various other mixed emotions in terms of emotional, physical, social and academic factors are the changes that occur during this transformation. I don’t know if you have realized but this is a crucial phase when these children are moulded into young adults, the country’s future. If you have ever been exposed to a higher class it is clearly observable that there is a constant battle fought by each one of them by themselves. Life has its ways of giving us curve balls at every invisible bend and these bright sparks are jumping the barriers and crossing hurdles to come out as beautifully grown adults at the end of this short race. As mentioned before it is crucial, the choices made by them little by little, in turn, become who they are.

Now we also have to bear in mind that one’s personality and character is built under the following circumstances of environmental conditions such as the climate at one’s home (the major contribution to one’s emotions), peer influence and the unavoidable biological factors. Their decision-making is partly clouded and their judgments are mostly without a proper thought process and it mostly based on ‘spur of the moment thinking’. The initial transformation phase could be jittery and a handful of them would experience anxiety and this is the time the educational institution and the teachers need to step in. This phase is not just crucial but also delicate. They are at a level where they also experience symptoms of emotional imbalance. Therefore, when emotions are running high situations need to be dealt with care.  At this phase commanding and demanding do not work out well. The students need to be felt heard, requested not demanded and appreciated.

Here are a few tips to allow a smooth transformation of these adolescents to move to the higher classes for guardians, parents, and teachers.

1. Intellectually 

The students at this phase learn out of curiosity and interest. At this phase, educating themselves becomes an automatic behaviour. They do not need to be compelled or forced to study. It is the responsibility of the adults around him or her to simply create an interest and the job is done.

2. Social 

At this phase, peer influence is at its peak. The desire to fit into cliques turns out to be of high importance. Restrictions only create repulsion, therefore, adult-like one on one conversations are recommended. The child at this phase is a budding adult and tends to start acting like one. Telling him or her off isn’t going to do you good but instead treat him like the adult he would like to be treated and you would notice him taking responsibility for his actions.

3. Academic 

During this transformation, students are bombarded from all angles academically and are required to up their game. No more casual lounging around in the school and at home. They are expected to keep up with the upgrade in their syllabus, introduction of new topics and various advancements throughout this phase. Again, compulsion and demands will fail to work. Resort to more mature methods of explaining his responsibility and the results he owes to himself and his future.

4. Psychological

The students are self-conscious and still searching for their identities. Dilemmas of what to choose and who to be like at the battles one has to fight in his head. Therefore, give him the space to explore and find himself to avoid a personality crisis in the future.

Adolescents are never easy to handle – but it is our responsibility as an adult to guide, mentor and usher them to adulthood. Challenges will be faced, battles will be fought only to make them the future selves they will turn out to be. But it is important to be better humans than accomplished humans, therefore, focus on creating an adult who will contribute to the society and not just bring success to himself.

 

Why Is It Better to Have Siblings Than to Be an Only Child?

Pillow fights and fighting for rights; sharing stuff or playing rough- these are things you have to contend with if you have siblings. For kids who have siblings, the grass is always greener on the other side. They long to be the apple of their parent’s eyes and bask in their undivided attention. But little do they realize that having siblings is much better than being an only child.

Research proves that an only child is much more selfish and spoilt compared to the others with siblings. A study by the Southwest University of Chongqing in China further reveals that “only children” may be better at creativity but always scored lower on “agreeable personality traits” than children with siblings. In fact, medical scans revealed that the “only children” have less grey matter in the median prefrontal cortex which is the part of the brain which deals with thinking about one’s relationships with others. This is why “only children” tend to think more selfishly and are more demanding in attention than those with siblings.

If you are not convinced, here are more reasons why having siblings is better than being an only child.

Reasons why having siblings is better than being an only child.

Having siblings is always better because they are

  • Someone to talk to

Your sibling is a great companion to talk to and hang out with. You can always discuss, debate, argue and brainstorm ideas and topics. You will never be bored when you have a sibling around. There is so much to share and chat when a brother or sister is around.

  • Someone to share your secrets with

After a certain age, children find it difficult to discuss their personal problems with parents. For such children, siblings are a boon. Sibling is someone with whom you can share your secrets with. Even the darkest of secrets can be revealed in confidence to your brother or sister. This is because your brother or sister is a person of your age who can relate to you and your problems. They also know you from childhood and are familiar with your strengths and shortcomings. This is why you can always use a sibling as a “sounding board” to express your feelings and share your secrets. 

Your sibling is your alter-ego- the most intimate and trusted friend for life.

  • Someone to lean on

In times of trouble, your sibling is the first person whom you can lean on. They are the silent staff of support who can help carry your burden. You do not have to think twice about asking for help and you can be assured that they will be there for you- any time, any day.

  • Someone to guard you, and guide you

Everyone needs a friend, philosopher, and guide and the best you can get is a sibling. Siblings always speak their mind and warn you against any risks and dangers. They will also guide you on the right path to choose as they have your best interests at heart.

A sibling is your guardian angel in times of distress and your godfather to guide you throughout your life.

  • Someone to giggle, gossip and gallivant and play with

Siblings are such fun. You can speak your mind freely without inhibitions to them. You can gossip and giggle unabashedly. You can also bravely gallivant the whole town with them. Yes, siblings are your best friends and companions for life.

All the special moments of your life will probably be with your siblings. Siblings are a part of your tears, fears, smiles, wails, laughter, grins and guffaws. They are the people who support you every step of the way -in both good and bad. Siblings are not only a part of your growing up, they are a part of your entire life. They can play games both indoor and outdoors – resulting in laughter and bonding. They are great companions during family vacations who want to do and explore all the things that you want to.

It is always better to have siblings than to be an only child for they are someone to share and care in your life’s thoroughfare.

How Can Parents Handle the Generation Gap Between Children and Themselves?

“You just can’t understand! It’s all due to the generation gap!”- Parents face this remark often from children when they don’t agree with their point of view. So what is this generation gap that creates a distance between parents and their offspring?

Generation Gap

Generation gap is a term that refers to the differences in thinking that 2 generations face. It is used commonly to denote the ideological differences that parents and children have with respect to their values, priorities, goals, attitude etc. This generation gap is felt more if the parents are more aged than usual. It is also felt acutely during the period of adolescence when children undergo a difficult face of changing perceptions due to their hormones.

Reasons for the generation gap

  1. Parents are very old and there is a huge age difference between parents and children due to which their perceptions vary.
  2. Both parents are busy career professionals who cannot devote much time to spend with their children.
  3. Parents have a rigid point of view and exercise strict control over the children.
  4. The attitudes of both the parent and child generations mismatch.

So how to bridge this generation gap between parents and children? Implement these steps and find significant progress in closing this generation gap.

Ways to bridge the generation gap between parents and children

1. Open and constant communication

Parents have to take time out of their busy schedule and devote it by spending time with children. Join them in their activities, interact freely and probe gently to find out what their concerns are. Do this regularly to gain a wonderful difference in your relationship.

2. Keep your mind open 

Children are in the process of growing up and are bound to be influenced by both peers and the outside world. Online media and social networks have crept into the lives of children at a very early age. So parents must keep their mind open and listen to what the children say without being judgmental.

3. Do not criticize or reprimand sharply

Children are like budding flowers, They have their own dignity and self-respect. Do not criticize their opinions or reprimand them sharply. This makes them withdraw themselves into a shell of their own.

4. Do not control rigidly

Parents tend to exercise control rigidly over their children in an effort to discipline them or protect them. Rigid control will only make them rebel more. Learn to let go and allow children to be themselves. Allow them to make mistakes and learn by themselves.

5. Stop being idealistic

Parents tend to be idealistic and expect their children to be the epitome of perfection. They want their children to be good at studies, sport, hobbies and also be a prodigy! It is time for parents to stop being idealistic and accept the shortcomings of children. It is ok for children to fall short in some areas as long as they are willing to mend their mistakes.

6. Empathize

Those days of schooling that parents had are now gone. Parents should stop being nostalgic about those days and try to enforce the same guidelines on their children. Times have changed and you should evolve. Learn to put yourself in your children’s shoes and empathize with them.

Children have to counter changes in syllabus, heavier coursework and stiffer competition than what you did. So have a heart and give some leverage to children to cope with all this stress.

7. Give some space

Children have a world of their own as they grow up. Give them space to enjoy their world without intruding on each and everything they do. Learn to keep a watchful eye while allowing them to explore their world.

8. An attitude of positivity and balance

The right attitude can help parents bridge the generation gap with their children. Adopt a balanced approach and exude optimism, encouraging children in whatever they do. This will help you become closer to your children and bind you strongly.

Treat children as “little adults” and give them the due respect they deserve. Do not preach to children but lead by example and practice. Gain such valuable insights from LetsPractise to bring you closer to your children than ever before.