Everyone makes mistakes. Granted, some mistakes are more significant than others and harder to get over, but they are a part of life. How we deal with those mistakes is significant to children’s self-esteem. Children who are taught from an early age to admit to 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 recognize that a mistake was made and admit the error. Most importantly, these children also develop a strategy to change the mistake and not do the same thing again.
Sometimes mistakes come in the form of treating others badly through disrespect or meanness. We have been enforcing a rule of making the kids not only say that they’re sorry, but also to name the transgression. This makes what they did more personal, and associates the mistake with the need to make things right.
The process of making and learning from mistakes is an extremely valuable life skill for everyone because learning involves risk-taking. Every time children risk, they will not always succeed. Trying new things will most likely come with mistakes, but we learn learn from them as a result.
Everyone Makes Mistakes: Children
Children with low self-esteem deal with making a mistake poorly. Often 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 your kids understand that it’s okay to make mistakes. This presents a great opportunity to tell your child what you’ve learned to do differently the next time. Then, offer 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’ve made. Help your child realize that the mistake made is the problem, and not the child. Then help them develop a positive plan to learn from the mistake the next time around. Plan a strategy with what they’ll do differently the next time to avoid making the same mistake again.
Spend time with your children, taking part in new things together. Don’t be afraid because everyone makes mistakes! Learn from them together, and have a great time doing it!
Check out some activities with kids.
Let us know what types of new things you’ve tried, and if you’re brave, the mistakes you have made in the process. Comment below or tweet @HandyFather.