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Must-have skill #8: failing successfully
“When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” — Eloise Ristad If you never try something because you don’t want to fail, how would you ever get better? How would you learn your weaknesses? How would you eventually succeed? Fear of failure is a debilitating ailment with symptoms including inactivity, anxiety, demotivation, and procrastination. If your child seems steadfast in their aversion to trying out for a sports team, entering competitions, or studying for a test, they may have the dreaded fear of failure. This is unfortunately common due to social conditioning, but the mindset your child should actually adopt is that failure is not bad but the natural step towards success. Luckily, there are ways to remedy this. The first thing a child should learn is that failure is completely okay, even encouraged! It will take hard work. It will take patience. It will take resilience. In the end, failing multiple times does not make them a failure. It only makes them better versions of themselves, and this will always be worth the struggle and discomfort. In order to help your child succeed without fail, here are some suggestions as to how they can learn to fail successfully: Accept failure The deep belief that failure is bad needs to change--and this will be a process. Many times, they may doubt themselves or what they’re doing. Even years later, they may seem to be entirely cured only for this old belief to come creeping back in a moment of weakness. However, with time, they will better internalize this new belief that no matter how hard they try to protect themselves or how hard they work, they will fail sometimes--and there is nothing wrong with that. It is as natural as breathing, learning to walk, and stretching after a good night’s sleep. Fail often “Failure isn’t the opposite of success; it’s part of success.” — Arianna Huffington The more your child fails, the more they will improve. This can be scary for parents and children alike, but to reap the most rewards, children need to start this early and do it often. This will help them get used to it and grow comfortable with the disappointment that follows failure. This will also show all of their weaknesses, which can be painful but essential for growth. They aren’t going to get better immediately after one failure, and some issues persist because they are deep-rooted ones, such as self-doubt and impatience. Let them engage in trial and error as many times as they need to see what works for them and what doesn’t. To help them, shower them with as much love and support during this time as possible. Work hard every time Even though failure is a natural part of growth, your child should not go out there with failure as the goal. No matter what, they should make as much effort as they can each time with the intention of winning—that is where true improvement comes from. The important thing is to be okay with falling short of the goal. Sometimes, children are scared to do their best because that might mean their best was not enough. This is understandable, but the important part is not that “their best was not enough” but that they did their best in that moment. Sometimes, children believe that success comes from pure luck or natural talents rather than hard work. Success might come from a combination of the three, but hard work can never be a missing piece. Look back at what could be improved After failure, it is important to devote time to some retrospection. Some kids may want to jump ahead to the next opportunity or move on from the disappointing results, but they need to take a step back. It's important to let them know that they can’t go onto the next step without looking back and learning from their mistakes. Make sure your child reviews what they can do better next time because the goal is always self-improvement. If they did not do as well as they would have liked in the Math Olympiad, have them look over the questions they got wrong. If they lost a music competition, have them practice their weaker techniques. It could even be their test-taking method: Did they run out of time? What can they do to take full advantage of the given time? Try, try again “90% of all those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit.” — John Maxwell Some children might feel defeated after failing, but they should be okay with trusting in this process and trying again to perfect what they couldn’t on the first attempt. If your child was disappointed with their JEI Essay Contest results, for example, they may not want to go for it the next time. They do not want to relive that disappointment. However, it is important that your child gives themselves another chance. Failing a lot, as mentioned before, is important, but so is trying again at whatever they failed. There is no point in doing the retrospection if your child does not implement what they learned on their second, third, or even fourth tries. Practice self-compassion Children can be too hard on themselves, and failure is particularly hard. Even after failing a lot, it always hurts a little to see their best was not good enough, so make sure your child is gentle with themselves. Sometimes, they do not fear criticism from others so much as they fear that they weren’t, aren’t, and never will be good enough. Make sure to foster a positive attitude in your child, reminding them that they should treat themselves like they would their best friends. Guide them toward self-compassion. Encouragement and patience are key, and it helps to get them from parents and teachers, too. It’s okay to have off days, of course, but general pessimism is another big killer of success. Encourage internal competition “Comparison with myself brings improvement, comparison with others brings discontent.” — Betty Jamie Chung Another mindset issue is a child’s tendency to compare themselves with their peers. Make it clear to your child that the only person they are competing with are themselves. If they got an 85 on a test, they should try to beat the 85 instead of feeling sad that a classmate got a 95. This does not help them in any way. Parents and teachers should try to boost this idea of “the only person to best is yourself.” Do not compare them to others or they will adopt that mentality. Only talk about your child’s results, strengths, and weaknesses. Children only fail if they never improve themselves. They have to look within rather than without. — It is hard to avoid the negative stigma placed on failure. For too long, people have made failure out to be this horrific disease that must be avoided at all costs. People are made to feel bad about their failures. Only wins are highlighted in success stories, when actually the shadows of failure bring relief to the light that is success. If you want your child to succeed, it is best to work at undoing any negative beliefs they may have about failure. It will be hard, but their aversion to failing is keeping them from their infinite potential, so try to engage them in this process of failing successfully as best as possible! It is a must-have skill for everyone, children and adults!
Balancing children and working from home with JEI Staff
For the first time ever, due to the novel Coronavirus, everybody is continuing their lives to the best of their abilities within the confines of their home. While this practice of social distancing is undoubtedly a benefit for the entire community, it also comes with its own set of challenges for everyone. Parents are working from home. Children are attending classes online. Cats are meowing their displeasure. Everyone is going a little bit stir-crazy. JEI staff members are no different. Many are also working from home and, as parents themselves, are trying to take care of their children the best they can. To show that we are all in this together and we can make the most of the situation, our staff relayed their current experiences and advice as fellow parents while spending an increased amount of time at home. Oyen, Franchise Business Consultant “We’re adjusting to this new norm. We’re juggling responsibilities with no childcare, taking on home-schooling duties we never anticipated, and trying to follow disease-prevention measures we’re not sure we’re equipped to handle. The dining table is where most of our day is spent now. It is the workplace and school for the family. We try to end our day at 5 pm so my son Dru’s daily school assignments are turned in on time. Any unfinished projects for work will have to wait until my son is in bed. Staying home 24/7 is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining, but fun moments are also amid all this chaos. I think laughter and moments of joy is important to have in this new norm. We find solace in connecting with our friends and relatives virtually during this difficult time. Despite everything, there is still a lot to be thankful for during this very challenging time.” Sunhee, Franchise Operations Manager “My kids are old enough that I don’t have to do too much regarding their schoolwork, but they’re literally in the house all day on their devices, so I have to tell them, ‘Get out of the house and go take a walk.’ They need fresh air to refresh their minds and get away from the digital screen, so I bring them out with me sometimes. It’s spring, so it’s nice outside. My advice for everyone is to get that fresh air. You don’t have to go too far, but walk on your street or down the road. You can also use this time to talk to your kids more and spend time with them. I’ve been watching movies with my son, which has been nice, so set time aside to do family activities like that.” Christine, Franchise Training Manager “I think setting a routine or schedule is super important. Make time to connect to the ‘outside’ world, like through video calls with friends and family. Balance in some quiet time, too, where kids find a quiet activity away from parents (and parents can have some quiet time ‘away’ from the kids), like reading a book, watching a movie, etc. And find family activities, too, like baking or cooking together, playing board games, walking, biking, or scootering. Kids are receptive to adults’ anxiety, so bring as much normal to the kids as possible. [My daughter] Mina asks a lot about what the Coronavirus is, and we do our best to answer without being too alarmist. We also try to limit the amount of news we watch on TV.” Marcus, Director of Franchise Development “It comes down to simple things: structure, schedule, and studying. Keep it simple. What we’re doing is making sure we set a schedule, create a routine, and give options. Every day, [my son] Ryan gets up at a certain time, has breakfast, does his schoolwork, and goes to bed at a certain time. Kids don’t want to be cooped up in the house all day, but with ours, it’s hard to get him to go outside. He wants to stay in and play games when he’s not doing his schoolwork, which is his way of interacting with friends. That part of social interaction is good for him; we just don’t want him to be there all day every day. When we go out sometimes, we take him with us and maintain social distancing. Also, try to make it as fun as possible. You can keep a schedule so your child doesn’t get bored and still learns something, like doing puzzles at night in lieu of only watching movies.” — We at JEI Learning Center understand what all parents and children are going through during these difficult times. It is not easy being parents at this time, but try to have fun, enjoy the little things, bond with family, get creative, pick up hobbies, and continue life as best as possible. As Marcus suggests, you can do activities with your kids that are both fun and educational like the #CriticalThinkingThursday posts on our Instagram! You can also watch movies with your children or spend some time alone in nature to clear your head. We are all in this together, and we wish you the best, which is why we hope that these words of advice will be of some help. To create a structured schedule for your child and continue their education from home, take advantage of JEI Remote Learning. Contact your local center today, so your child can build strong study habits with our State Standard-aligned programs and JEI Self-Learning MethodⓇ!
Commemorating our 28th anniversary with the very first JEI Director
March 23, 2020 marks the 28th anniversary of JEI Learning Center in the United States. After seeing incredible success in South Korea, JEI Founder and Chairman Sung Hoon Park took the company worldwide, opening up our first U.S. center in Valencia, California under Mrs. Su Kyung Yu. Twenty-eight years later, our centers have spread nationwide, popping up in other states, like New Jersey, New York, Texas, Georgia, and soon Florida. To commemorate, JEI Headquarters (JEI HQ) reached out to Mrs. Yu and her son, Augustine, who has taken the reins as a second-generation director. Mrs. Yu first learned of JEI Learning Center through the local newspaper. She was interested because of her background in education and the company’s reputation for having a positive impact on children’s education in South Korea. She was, in particular, drawn to our Individual Progress Prescription Report (IPPR) which analyzes each student’s Diagnostic Test results to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses. The IPPR is the key component in developing an individualized program for each JEI student. Mrs. Yu thought it was good to know the starting point for the children who come into her center. She faced a lot of challenges in the beginning as the only center in the country, but she noted that, as the company expanded, the process became a lot smoother for new directors: “It was only the West region at the beginning, and [HQ and I] worked together every month. We sat together to change this and that, all this to improve on mistakes. It was really good to work with them, and I was really happy working with JEI.” Mrs. Yu passed on her happiness about the JEI community to her son, Augustine, who took over as director two years ago. He explained JEI HQ has always been a family to them, thanks in part to his mother’s teachings: “My mother taught me to be nice to the people you work with. She taught me a long time ago that when we have meetings, we have to sit there, understand one another, listen to one another, and then advise and help one another. Our Southern California regional meetings are very comfortable and make me feel very at ease. We do listen to one another and talk to one another, so I think that for the most part, from the JEI HQ side to us, our family has grown a lot. Now that I’m the Director, the connections [my mother] has made with other center Directors have passed on to me, and we just act like we are family.” Even now, he is happy about how supportive JEI HQ is, enthusing about working closely with staff on the West coast who help in any way they can. Augustine said: “It’s been two years since I’ve become a Director, but JEI HQ has really helped me to not give up on myself. This is obviously not the easiest job, trying to improve students’ skill sets. It’s challenging because for everyone who walks through that front door, we have to learn to be not only their Director but also their friend. We have to assist them and make them feel comfortable, especially when they have to work hard. This is something I learned from trying to become a better director and from my mother who has done this for many years. I’m very thankful I have someone like her to keep me going.” Augustine went further into how they have a strong sense of camaraderie not only with the JEI HQ staff but also with their local community of Valencia. Improving children’s study habits has helped the parents/guardians there trust and believe in them, which is why they bring their child there every month. He said: “We want them to fully trust us. We have a strong product line, and we highly believe in that. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be director after [my mother]. All of us feel like family, because [the parents/guardians] treat us with a lot of respect and gratitude for helping their children everyday .” On top of that, Augustine is a first-generation student, as he attended his mother’s center throughout his childhood! He is the earliest example of a successful JEI student who dedicated himself to lifelong learning. This unique experience gives him advantages like understanding the program from the perspectives of both a student and Director and noticing what has improved since his days as a student! For example, the workbooks have become a lot more colorful and fun for children to engage in. He added: “I actually did the workbooks [as a student], so I thoroughly know the ins and outs of helping [our students] use them. That is an advantage I have, and parents can see that from me, as well. There’s a trust factor in me as a Director, more so because they know I did the books when I was young and can help their child more in that way.” In Mrs. Yu’s case, she really understands the pride that JEI parents feel when they see their child excel: “We were really happy to see kids bring in good results or awards after several months and to hear good things from their parents. They were improving, getting awards, and hearing good things from the school; that was the best part.” Augustine agreed with his mother that some of the best memories he had as director was seeing each child take small steps toward improvement with the individualized program. He also remembered a time a local school recommended one of their struggling students attend his JEI Learning Center. He noted, “That’s a cool memory, when the community knows it can depend on us . . . That’s just a very good moment for us, not how much we make in a year but what we can bring to the table and make a difference for each child.” For current or potential JEI franchisees, Mrs. Yu has plenty of advice to share! She said she knows how good the JEI programs are and that other Directors know this, as well. She advised that they trust in that and never give up: “Please do not give up when difficult things come up. Be nice to the parents and children. Give them a lot more than what you think you can, so that you continue to make a difference in kids’ education. You really have to keep going on, and if there are any difficulties, you can overcome them by working with the kids and always working together. Please do not give up. This is the best work we can do for life.” Augustine adds: “My mom’s perseverance is really high. She really did not give up, and that’s what helped us to keep going. Someone dear who’s passed, Kobe Bryant, said it is the journey, not the destination, and that’s something that has really resonated with me because I realized that if you’re looking for a destination, like awards or something great handed off to you, that is not something we believe in. For us, it’s the journey everyday with the kids coming in. For us, it’s that journey to make everybody’s dreams come true. That’s something that we hope to pass down to other franchisees: just to work on the everyday process of how to make yourself better and not give up.” Nothing is more rewarding to Mrs. Yu and Augustine than having parents excitedly come through the door and students talk about advancing in school! We thank them for believing in JEI Learning Center and helping thousands of young learners over the last 28 years. We also thank all of the directors who have joined us over the years to spread the JEI brand and enrich our students’ lives with their dedication to education. Let’s continue the journey, grow our community, and support one another! As Mrs. Yu says, have faith and never give up! Happy 28th anniversary to JEI Learning Center!