Parenting Tip: Allow Children to Make Mistakes They can Learn from

mistakes misspelledHave you ever watched your child on the edge of making a mistake? It plays out in slow motion. Perhaps it is something small like trying to pick up too many things at once and having everything slip out of his hands. Or maybe, it is something larger, like spending all her birthday money on a trendy item that you know will fall apart the first time it is worn.

If these scenarios are familiar to you, then this tip will be helpful: Allow your children to make mistakes that they can learn from.

Because parents want their children to be successful, most try to protect their kids from missteps that can lead to disappointment, frustration, or failure. Parents may repeatedly take forgotten homework to school, replace a toy that has been ruined because it was not properly cared for, or try to convince a child to make a wiser choice.

You may know from your greater experience the better action for your children to take. However, rescuing them from poor decisions deprives them of opportunities to learn coping skills to deal with life’s challenges. There are a few things you can do to help your children grow from their mistakes:

  • Let your children know that it is alright to make mistakes, that they do not have to be perfect and that making mistakes is part of being human.

  • Help them see what mistake they made and how they can avoid it in the future.

  • Teach them to be kind to themselves when they make a mistake. Be supportive of them as you both use it as a learning experience.

  • Be a role model for being kind and forgiving to yourself when you make mistakes.

Allowing your children to slip-up in a supportive environment is a gift you can give to them. You can help them grow and bounce back from mistakes. These attitudes will help build resilience.

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