Embracing Failure

This post is an extension of Carol Dweck’s favourite and well researched word ‘yet’.  It can be used in response to:

“I can’t do it.”

“I’ve tried counting and I couldn’t do it right.”

“I’m not very good at cartwheels.”

“I’m no good at maths.”

If we add on “yet” it teaches children that learning is a journey and we acquire skills by continuing on this learning journey.  Yet implies that with more time and practice that skill can be learnt.

The pictures at the bottom are a prompt for parents to remind children of when they couldn’t stand up, run, kick a ball, ride a trike, go to pre school without having me stay, swim, draw and ride a bike.  They can be used like this:

“Remember when you couldn’t kick a ball?”

“Well now you can.”

“Remember when you couldn’t catch a ball?”

“And now you can.”

“One day you will be able to do a cartwheel really well.”

The second row of prompts are for mothers who forget that they are also on a learning journey.

“I can’t breastfeed… YET.”

“I can’t get my child to sleep…YET.”

“I can’t manage work and mothering…YET.”

“I can’t relax YET.”

Just as you would remind your child of the things he couldn’t do, you would remind yourself of the things you couldn’t do but now can.

This is a useful word as it teaches children and young people that in life we are all on a learning curve and that if we keep at it, we will acquire the skills we want to achieve our goals eventually.

Dweck, C. (2014). The power of believing that you can improve. Retrieved from