Creating positive associations with school and failure

August 24, 2016

With the Summer Holidays coming to an end, I'm sure all our readers that are parents are busy buying new school shoes and wondering; 'How that jumper that fitted him last year is now looking very snug' and 'If we get him a new one he'll grow out of it in a few months!' Hopefully your kids are excited about joining a new school year or starting school for the very first time! However unfortunately some children might feel anxious and you might find yourself dragging them out of bed on the first day which is not ideal! We're no experts us parents are constantly learning what it is to be a parent just as our kids are constantly learning and growing. Here is some interesting finds we've been reading about positivity within education and creating positive associations. 

Creating positive associations

We all have bad days even our kids! By engaging in conversation about school perhaps asking them to tell you what they enjoyed and didn't enjoy that day you can aim to praise the positive events but also bring a positive element to the negative events that day.

Whether they had a bad experience doing maths all day or didn't get picked for a P.E team first you can instil the idea that even though negative events took place that day positive events still happened. For instance something as simple as; 'Just because you had to do lots of maths today which you don't like you still got to do lots of fun things that you do like.' Happiness and Success expert Shawn Achor states; 'By demonstrating how happiness is a choice, we can help students not only cultivate positive habits and mindsets, but achieve higher levels of success as a result.' (GoodThink) In other words once our kids realise that despite bad experiences at school it doesn't have to ruin their whole day or create negative associations with school and their is still plenty to be positive about.

Dealing with failure

Often negative associations towards school stem from failure and the fear of failing. By helping your child understand that failure doesn't have to be a negative thing can change negativity they may have towards the school experience. At first this can seem 'un-natural' because as people we are programmed to not want to discuss negative experiences such as failure but, business legend, Spanx creator Sara Blakley pins her success to dealing with failure from a young age in a positive way.



Sara says that by engaging in discussion with her father about her failures it gave her the perspective that; 'Failure for me became not trying, not the outcome' (Business Insider). By giving our children this perspective on failure we can neutralise the 'fear factor' associated with failure. Hopefully by doing so our kids are not discouraged from trying new things and don't consider failure as always such a negative thing. From talking to our children about failure in a positive way with our children from a young age hopefully, like Sara this will develop their out-look on life as adults whilst currently creating positive associations with school! 

We wish you all and your families a happy start to the school year hopefully there is something you can take away from this blog post or share with others! This is the first of 3 posts about ways positivity can benefit your day to day life, and specifically impact on your children.

Second post is on the incredibly positive effect time in nature has on kids.
Third post is a simple way to empower children to overcome hardship and focus on the solutions of problems.  

Shout-out to the GoodThink and Business Insider websites that inspired this post! (Links below) 

To read more about Shawn Achor's insights on positive education amongst children be sure to check the GoodThink website, co-founded by Shawn. And watch the full above video on of Sara Blakely sharing her experiences of failure with Business Insider. (Produced by Emma Fierberg and Alana Kakoyiannis )

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