How To Help Children Learn From Mistakes

learn from mistakes, child development

As parents we conveniently forget that not only are mistakes inevitable, they are also a healthy growth sign. We want our children to be born prefect, or else we voluntarily jump in to rescue them from any type of pain. Being able to learn from mistakes is important for children. We forget that a child can enjoy walking only after repeatedly falling.

While it is the parent’s responsibility to help children understand their mistakes, they should also understand that mistakes are the vital blocks upon which great discoveries are made.

Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb is the result of repeated mistakes which made him successful. So, success involves learning from one’s own mistakes with the guidance of those around you.

Parenting children is a great responsibility. Children’s attitude and habits are the reflection of parent’s behavior. To learn from mistakes often requires involvement from other people, either for advice, training or simply to keep you honest.

“How do children learn to correct their mistakes? By watching how you correct yours.
How do children learn to overcome their failure? By watching how you overcome yours.
How do children learn to treat themselves with forgiveness? By watching you forgive yourself.
Therefore, your mistakes and your failures are your blessings, opportunities for the best in parenting.”

~ Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching, Adapted by William Martin.

It is the parent’s responsibility to help children learn from mistakes

Mistakes are a natural part of growing up. They are to be expected and made light of. But children bloom like spring flowers under praise. They want so much to be noticed and appreciated, to excel and have their excellence noticed. ~Earl Nightingale. (Tweet this)

  1. When they do something wrong, show your disapproval but don’t get angry and immediately start scolding or spanking.
  2. Sometimes a firm tone works well.
  3. Have a conversation with your child and let the story unfold.
  4. Sometimes the child’s mind is filled with a hundred different consequences. Let the child know that while mistakes cannot be undone, they can be fixed.
  5. Let the child experience the natural consequences for their carelessness. If the child misses the school bus due to laziness, let them walk into class late and face the teacher.

Tips for your child’s future

Parent’s duty is not just about realizing the mistakes to a child. It’s also about helping them to overcome from the aftereffects. A few intelligent steps will shape up your children’s bright future:

  • Trust your child that they are doing their best and know that they will learn faster from their mistakes if they are in an environment that accepts their mistakes.
  • Never insult your child in front of others using “shaming” messages like ‘you are good for nothing’ or ‘how could you do that’. These messages will hamper their confidence resulting in making more mistakes.
  • Don’t over protect your children, it will hinder their growth. In fact will make them irresponsible.
  • Deal with your child politely and hug them even if they commit a mistake. Always show love in your eyes even if your voice is firm. This generates confidence in them.
  • Make the child understand to stop blaming others for justifying their mistakes. Let them own their responsibility to strengthen their future.
  • Help the child to identify the reason for repeated mistakes. It may be due to anger, tiredness or low self esteem. Reasoning will push the child towards the right direction.
  • Be a role model. When you make a mistake, admit it, even to your children. Children learn a lot from you. So take responsibility for your actions and make a sincere effort to correct them.
  • Remember that your relationship with your child is the most important thing in their life. Excessive yelling, nagging, or lecturing will spoil everything.
  • We all make mistakes and childhood is about learning, so be patient with your child.
  • Encourage your child to dust themselves off, pick themselves up and have another go.

Don’t be a dictator, be a support system. Remember that if you can learn from mistakes, so can your children.


About the Author

Vandana is a Personality Enhancement Trainer associated with various Corporate and Management Colleges.

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