Teach Your Kids the Value of the Pivot

The past few days I’ve been thinking about how important it is to show our kids that failure is never permanent. This is scary, because it means we have to admit we are not perfect.


When we are brave enough to admit our faults we teach our kids it is okay to mess up. The important thing is to be able to pivot to something better. Sports are great at teaching this lesson, so is business.

Did you and your kids launch a dog walking service, but you can’t find any customers? Admit the mistake, pivot, maybe try a dog sitting service? Or Dog washing service?


I’m challenging myself to be brave enough to admit that I’m not perfect. Let’s see what happens.

Please tell me what you think in the comments.



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3 thoughts on “Teach Your Kids the Value of the Pivot

  1. I can comment that failure is TOUGH for kids. On several occasions I have done engineering challenges with 9-12 year olds. I get tears. I get blaming. I get tattling. I hear “that won’t work.” I hear “I can’t do it.”

    It takes time for them to learn to pivot, but oh what a valuable lesson. In my experience, modeling is the #1 way you change things around. I talk out loud of what I was thinking. Express that I was bummed when something failed but then I tried something new.

    It surprised me at first that my 9 year olds were more successful than their older peers. Why could they build better and faster? Was it their teams? Did they experience something similar before? The older children had more experience and real life knowledge, so why? The answer is that the 12 year olds “learned” about failure and they didn’t like the way it felt. So they didn’t take risks or want to lead their team down a wrong path.

    Teach the pivot early and often!

    1. Sara- thank you for that awesome insight— isn’t that so true. We teach and re-enforce that fear of failure from an early age. Because it is so tough for US to see THEM fail. (And to deal with the tears, blaming, etc, etc)– what are little things that we can do as teachers and role models to show kids it’s okay to fail? And it’s actually good to fail early and often?

    2. Sara- your comment is so full of value. Thank you for writing! That is so interesting about younger students not being as afraid to fail because they have not yet learned of all the negative repercussions that happen when you do ‘fail’. If you keep writing comments like that, I might need to have you expand into a guest post.

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