Kids need to learn from their mistakes
Society encourages success, rewards participation, and acknowledges effort. We open every opportunity for our kids to feel empowered, be a winner, and build confidence and self-esteem.
At the same time, expectations have also risen for kids. They are expected to know more at a faster pace. Sports teams are more competitive at earlier ages than in previous decades. Kids think about college and grades at younger ages.
But there is one thing parents shield kids from: Failure. Contrary to what we believe, studies have shown that learning from failure builds self-confidence. What else can be learned from mistakes?
We learn about change. To try something and fail teaches us to change how we approach things. We learn to adapt and be persistent.
We learn about challenge. Not everything in life is easy. Fear can paralyze people from moving forward or making new choices. Kids learn from early on that every accomplishment starts with a challenge. Do you remember learning to ride a bike or tie your shoes? What about blowing a bubble with bubble gum? These little challenges were stepping stones for daily needs and social interaction.
We learn about emotion. We all enjoy the feelings of success, pride, winning, and accomplishment. But what about the contrary of these emotions: sadness, disappointment, or discouragement? No parent wants to see their children experience these emotions. But, they are lessons in life. They teach kids humility and compassion. Nurturing parents can help children handle emotions and learn strength.
We learn creativity. As the saying goes, “When all else fails, try and try again.” But we can’t keep trying in the same way or with the same steps. We need to modify – try something different. We learn to be creative in our approach. If everything came easily, alternate solutions would never be considered.
We learn problem solving. We all can think of times when that first attempt was an epic fail. Remember learning multiplication and division? It’s not easy for everyone. That’s why there are a number of ways to solve math problems: lattice method, traditional method, and estimation. We comprehend methods differently.
We learn to ask for help. Working as a team is necessary in all stages of life. None of us are perfect or have all the answers. We will all face assignments and projects that cannot be accomplished alone or that are beyond our abilities. Mistakes give us opportunities to ask for help, learn from others, and make even stronger contributions as groups.
We learn to be independent. Most importantly, mistakes teach us to accept our faults and find ways to balance our strengths and weaknesses. We learn responsibility and accountability. We can also learn to forgive ourselves and make better choices in the future.
Learning from mistakes makes each of us who we are today. It shapes us, encourages us, and inspires us to be better, to do better, and become more. Support, understand, and encourage your child to try – and not be afraid to fail.
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