Letting children learn from their mistakes

All humans make mistakes. It’s inevitable, whether intentional or not. What we need to focus on is the acknowledging our slip-ups and growing from our mistakes. Making mistakes helps us to learn and grow, and it empowers us to make better choices and decisions going forward. The same goes for children. They need to learn from failing, and they need to know that it is okay and normal to make mistakes from time to time. Often, children grow up feeling the pressure and need to constantly to perform and to excel, which in turn leaves children feeling extremely anxious when it comes to expressing themselves. As they constantly fear the worst at every turn, fear failing, and they fear making any mistakes of the like.

As parents we try our very best to protect our children from potential harm and disappointment, but some things are out of our control. Somethings we need to let our children learn and experience for themselves. We may not be able to control the inevitable, or control how our children will respond towards disappointments. We can, however, encourage and empower them to feel emotionally and mentally confident when processing and exploring all facets of life.

IT’S OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES

Children always flourish with confidence when they feel emotionally safe and supported by their loved ones. Therefore, as parents or as teachers, we need to make sure that we help to navigate and encourage them through life by always offering unconditional love, and support regardless of what they are going through. When they know that they are emotionally supported, they become less anxious, and feel more empowered to learn through trying.

Here are a few tips to help your little ones to feel more emotionally empowered when processing through their mistakes:

  • Encourage your children that it is okay and totally normal to fail sometimes, to make mistakes, and to keep trying regardless.
  • Make sure that they aways feel loved and accepted regardless of any mistakes that are make.
  • Ask them how they feel and how they plan to move forward. Encourage them as they do so.
  • Encourage them to own their mistakes, and to acknowledge them. Praise them for being brave enough to own up to their mistakes. Often children feel embarrassed and ashamed when they make mistakes, therefore, they won’t feel comfortable to admit to it and may even lie about it. However, if they feel comfortable to share their mistakes, they will be more receptive to learn from it.
  • Encourage them to apologize to others, especially if they hurt someones feelings.

THEY LEARN FROM YOU

Remember your children will learn from you and how you respond to things in your day to day. Ask yourself if you display a healthy way of dealing with mistakes in front of your children. I pose this question because the other night my husband and I had a mini debate in front of our son, without hesitating my husband came over and put his hand on shoulder and apologized.

Without realizing it, our three-year old son was observing this honest sincere moment. After awhile my son came over to me, put his hand on my shoulder and said : “Sorry mom if I was rude to you.” I teared up because; A) it was so sweet, B) I realized that he was learning to own his mistakes and felt comfortable to apologize. I know of a few adults who struggle to own their mistakes, and who most certainly struggle to apologize. Therefore, seeing my son apologize like it was the norm, took me by surprised and it served as a reminder to be aware of what we display and what we encourage within our home.

Never underestimate the power that lies in the behavior that you model in your day to day in front of your children. Let that serve as a reminder and a source of encouragement to you as you go forward feeling empowered to empower your little people!

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