How to Help your Child Learn from Mistakes

If you learn from your mistakes so will your Child.

mistakeEveryone makes mistakes. Granted, some mistakes are more significant than others and harder to get over, but they mistakes are part of life. How individuals deal with mistakes and how we teach our children to deal with mistakes is significant to the development of their self-esteem.

Children who are taught from an early age to admit their mistakes understand that it’s not a crime to make one, and they seem to have the ability to cope much better with them.  They learn to recognize that a mistake was made and can admit that it was an error. Most importantly, these children also develop a strategy to change the mistake and not do the same thing again.

  • Learning that mistakes happen
  • Be comfortable enough to admit a mistake
  • Identify the mistake that was made
  • Assess why this mistake happened
  • Learn the process and acknowledgment to avoid making this mistake again

This is an invaluable skill to learn. As children learn this process and skill, it gets easier and easier and they grow into adulthood to be able to manage life.

The process of making and learning from mistakes is an extremely valuable life skill for everyone because learning involves taking risks. Every time children take a risk to try something new they will not always succeed.  However the fact that they tried something new and most likely learned from it is important. If children become frightened to make mistakes, then that means that they limit their ability to try new things and take calculated risks. Which limits their development.

Children with low self-esteem deal with making a mistake quite differently. More often than not, these children use the experience to devalue themselves. Instead of looking at the error as an opportunity to learn, these children interpret the experience as a reason to quit and never try again. They view it as a devaluing and humiliating experience.

You can help your child cope with mistakes by first making sure they understand that everyone makes mistakes, even you.  Own up to your own mistakes to teach them there’s no shame in making them. Make sure they understand that it’s part of life to make mistakes and you do too.  This presents a great opportunity to tell your child what you’ve learned to do differently the next time.  Teach them that everyone keeps learning everyday and no one has all the answers. Offer your children strategies to turn mistakes into learning opportunities.

In the process, you can provide your child with an opportunity to enhance their self-esteem and accept responsibility for the mistakes they make. Help your child to realize that the mistake is the problem, and not them.  Then help them develop a positive plan for the next time around, and what they’ll do differently the next time to avoid making the same mistake again.

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