Failure is a Good Thing

Photo via: loyal_oak

I wrote a post over at Your Mind. Your Body. earlier this week about some new research just released from the American Psychological Association.  For someone like me – an anti-perfectionist (slacker? lover of mistakes? fan of failure?) the news was great.  In a nutshell the French researchers found that children who struggled, failed, and squirmed their way through tough academic assignments performed better on subsequent academic tasks.  The authors concluded that struggle and failure in school is actually a good thing in terms of future performance. What a relief!

I am so pleased to hear this because I am a big fan of flailing and failing, and making mis-steps and mistakes.  Perhaps it’s because I have made so many of them myself over the years, or maybe it’s because perfection simultaneously intimidates and bores me.  Either way,  I’m always looking for reasons to avoid it (perfectionism) and embrace the opposite.

So what can we take from this research?

The math homework doesn’t need to be done to perfection every night to get something out of it

Having some cooking disasters shouldn’t keep us from continuing to bake

Letting our kids watch us fail, may help them learn to fail with grace and humor – which may actually benefit their school performance down the road

For more tips about how to make use of this study, check out my post: Learning is Hard and That’s OK