Perseverance: What Do You Do When Faced with Failure?

Perseverance - What Do You Do When Faced with Failure?

On this tiny island of Singapore, a prevalent facet of our society exists in the form of being ‘kiasu’. A colloquial term for the fear of losing out to others, a whole generation of Singaporeans were brought up with the ‘kiasu’ mentality. This cannot be more exemplified than the way we impart values to our children in schools – students who are often over prepared and told to expect anything, resulting in many of them possessing the mentality that failure is not an option.

And yet as we advance forward in the pursuit of growth, it is imperative that these students also understand that failure is part and parcel of life. It is only natural for us as imperfect human beings to make mistakes and take a tumble every now and then, but it is how we stand up against adversity that makes us better. Perseverance, as a learned trait, is key to this.

Failure is a part of the learning process

For many parents, the fear of failure is an outcome that must be avoided. Spurred on by having their children’s best interests at heart, anything short of perfection is usually associated with failure. These margins of divide take a toll on our offspring, especially when they become reduced to mere pass-fail results.

The truth is, a paradigm shift is not only crucial, it is necessary in these changing times. No matter how much we might want our children to succeed, we must not forget to inculcate the importance of never giving up and persevering through adversity. As much as it is only natural for parents to fear for the growth and success of their young ones, that feeling should only serve to foster an environment of care and understanding between parent and child.

Why is persevering in the face of adversity important?

When discussing such intangible characteristics, what do we mean when we talk about perseverance? What is perseverance exactly? In essence, the notion and attitude of perseverance comes from sticking through tough times and pushing forwards against adversity. It is not letting obstacles get in your way, or letting mistakes knock you down.

Being able to press forward in the face of adversity is fundamental for growth. Life is rarely smooth sailing, and learning from our mistakes is how we consciously improve. History is littered with numerous stories of success, discussing people who rose from the ashes of apparent defeat to emerge stronger. Take Walt Disney for example – had the famous cartoonist stopped drawing after his first cartoon business failed, the world would have never been introduced to Mickey Mouse.

What are some strategies for overcoming failure?

Establishing the importance of resilience and perseverance, what are some ways we can overcome failure and foster perseverance in our children? One surefire strategy involves starting small and encouraging your child to work through basic tasks. The goal is not mastery of said task, but rather to teach them how to accomplish it without giving up.

Following that, experts also recommend working with your child to help set reasonable expectations. Some activities, with a steeper learning curve, may require more graded measures of progress. It is unfair to expect these same children to achieve results the same pace a fully-fledged adult might. One final way to engender positive values of perseverance and resilience in your child is to have them work with someone that appreciates them for who they are, and focuses on their strengths. For students who face academic challenges, matching them up with a tutor who truly understands them and leverages on their strengths is optimal.

Engage FamilyTutor for your child

At FamilyTutor, we believe in taking a holistic approach to education. As important as academia might be, we pride ourselves on instilling values of perseverance and resilience in all our students. Enquire online at FamilyTutor today to find the perfect tutor for your young ones.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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