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Teaching teenagers how to handle failure

What is failure and what to do when your child fails

boy looks at ground, upset

What is failure?

  • Failure is when you don’t achieve what you want.
  • Failure is part of life and helps us learn.
  • Everyone fails sometimes but we can succeed if we keep trying.

How can failure make teenagers feel?

  • Failing at something can make teenagers feel bad.
  • For a teenager, a failure could be getting a low score on an exam, missing a goal during a sports game or not finishing school work on time.
  • Sometimes teenagers think something is much worse than it really is.
  • You can help your teenager see that failing is part of life and helps us succeed.

What to do when your child fails

  • Let them talk to you about how they feel.
  • Tell them you understand how they feel.
  • Tell them you will help them.

What to tell your child

  • Everyone fails sometimes.
  • Failure helps you learn.
  • I will help you.

How to help your child

  • Tell them about people you know who have failed but kept on trying.
  • Talk about when you have failed.
  • Tell them that learning new things takes time.
  • Praise your teen when they try hard even if they don’t succeed.

Where to go for help

If your teenager cannot stop feeling sad or worried, please ask for help:


Last Updated: 08 December 2022