Life is full of setbacks and small failures that leave us anxious about getting up and trying again. No one likes to fall short or feel that their best isn't good enough, but in life, disappointment and mistakes are inevitable. We have the task of teaching our children how to face failure and move forward, while we often struggle with the same issue.

Fortunately, life offers several opportunities for parents to build their child's self-esteem and put them on the path to success.

Don't Let Her Win

No matter how difficult and heart-wrenching it is to watch your child's face fill with disappointment that she didn't win at Candy Land, it's important to avoid the impulse to throw the game and let her win (at least not every time). It gives you the chance to teach her about being a good sport, having fun, and trying again. Eventually she will win, and she'll be so proud of herself that she won't be able to contain her excitement - and neither will you.

Don't Compare Her to Others

As your child gets involved in sports and activities at school, there are bound to be children who are better athletes, singers, or dancers. Different skills come easier for each of us. We can't be the best at everything. When your child gets down on herself because she struck out, lost the race, or didn't get the part in the play, it's your time to shine. Talk to her about learning from the experience and figuring out what she needs to do to improve her skills. Focus on her instead of on the children that she out performed. Encourage her to keep practicing and learning.

Learn New Skills

Children can get stressed out when they don't do something perfectly the first time. Frustration leads to meltdowns, and all of those meltdowns lead to a quitting attitude. This is true for everything, from learning to tie her shoes, put on socks, drink from a glass, or throw a ball. There's so much to learn throughout life that childhood is an important time to learn how to not give up on herself. Give her tips and remind her that practice makes perfect. But don't do it for her. When she is finally successfully, she will shine with pride and her self-esteem will blossom — a trait that will help her through the many trials of life.

Tackle Homework

We aren't all great mathematicians or chemists. Some children will struggle with spelling while others get stuck on fractions. This is an important time to remain calm. If your child is having homework troubles, she may feel frustrated and unintelligent. Don't get caught up in those emotions. Praise and emphasize hard work over success and grades. Talk with her about getting one-on-one time with her teacher. There's a saying that nothing worth having in life comes easy. Just because she's having a hard time with calculus doesn't mean she can't overcome her challenges and be successful.

There will always be obstacles in life. We fail our children when we don't teach them how to triumph over their failures, since we tend to learn a good deal more when we fail than when we succeed. We need the ability to accept our setbacks, learn from them without losing our sense of worth, and teach our children to do the same.