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Many families are spending hours watching the Sochi Olympics. It is amazing to see world-class athletes from so many different countries competing against one another. Several of the medal winners relate how important it is that they did not win when they competed in the previous Olympics. They say that losing is why they got better. They were able to concentrate on their weaknesses and work to improve them. They say losing is what made them come back four years later to win a medal in Sochi. I have written about the importance of failure before. Failure is important, but there is more to learn from these Olympic athletes than knowing their past failure led to their current success. It is what happens in the years between failure and success that makes the difference.
These athletes first had to identify where they were weak. Then they had to work really hard to improve the weak areas. As a student, your child may have weaknesses in basic study skills, knowing how to be a student, focusing her attention in class, completing homework on time, or managing her time wisely. Figuring out where she is weak is the first step to improving. Once the weak areas are identified, she needs a plan of action for how to get better in those areas. Finally, she needs to get down to work. It is work ethic and perseverance that lead to success.
Nick Horton, an Olympic coach, tells of others who became successful after going through very difficult situations in Failing Forward: 7 Stories of Success Through Failure. When your child goes through tough times in school, remind him that he can turn it around. It is up to him to change his failure into success.