In fact, helping your children to cope with failure is going to be a lot more useful than trying to shield them from it.
So how do you talk to your child about failure? What happens if your daughter doesn't make the team or your son loses out on the starring role in the school play?
We asked parents for their tips on speaking to their kids about defeat. Here are some of their suggestions.
1. Acknowledge their unhappiness
It may not seem important to you, but cast your memory back and you're bound to remember a failure that really stung as a child. You might not think it matters that William didn't make the chamber choir, but chances are, he'll still feel sore about it when he's 40.
"When Lewis didn't get the position he wanted in football, I didn't think it was a big deal – after all, he was still on the team," says Jo H, "but it really mattered to him. I felt pretty bad for not taking it more seriously when I realised how down it had made him."
2. Avoid platitudes
Just as it can be easy to trivialise failures, giving them a hug and muttering "never mind, better luck next time" can also undermine a child's unhappiness. If in doubt, it's better not to say anything and listen instead.
"Adults don't want to hear things like 'there are plenty more fish in the sea' so why should kids?" asks Asha B.
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3. Talk about it
Often children need to get things out of the system – the same as grown ups. As Davinia S explains, "even if I think my daughter is getting things out of proportion, I try to let her talk about her feelings. Often she reaches her own conclusions about how important it really is."
4. Let them work through it
As the renowned teacher, Diana Lautenberg, said at a recent TED talk, "learning has to include an amount of failure because failure is instructional."
Although it hurts, letting kids fail helps them to grow – and learn resilience. Make sure you talk to them about what they have taken from their experience. They might just feel angry at the start, but with you to help them work it through, they might have some practical ideas for doing better next time, or sticking to their dreams.
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Most importantly, don't teach them to rely on you to fix their problems. Claire L is a teacher and parent "there's nothing worse than a parent ringing up the school expecting us to put little Jimmy on the team or give Karen the role she wanted in panto," she says. "How will kids ever learn to cope with real life if their parents always fix their problems for them?"
5. Equip them with self-belief and independence
Although it's not always wise to teach your child that they can succeed at EVERYTHING in life, believing in them and encouraging them to believe in themselves will help them to bounce back when life knocks them down.
"I think little things like getting them to do their own laundry or take charge of certain chores helps a child to feel self-reliant," says Matt H, "and I always try to praise them for working hard at things or for sticking at something."
How do you reassure your children when they feel down? Do you expect them to deal with it on their own, or do you find yourself ringing the school? Share your tips and experiences in the comments.
At the heart of Team Mum is the video series Raising an Olympian, sponsored by Proctor and Gamble, profiling athletes from across the world, their dedicated efforts to make it to Olympic Games, and the mothers who had tremendous impacts on their lives. Watch the videos on Yahoo! Lifestyle Team Mum.