It’s 2012, a new year, a new start and many good intentions. If I can suggest one resolution for all families to make this year it would be this: Make this the year when you truly embrace the saying “Mistakes are for learning.” Model this for your children by saying, “Oh, I did this wrong. Let’s see if I can figure out how to do it.” Don’t berate yourself for making a mistake, take it in stride. Show that mistakes mean that you are on your way to learning something new.
The outcome for your child is that he may start to let go of the need to always do it right and will start to be able to accept that mistakes are a normal process. This releases your child of the huge burden of thinking that anything that’s not always right is not good enough. So when your child is upset with him/herself because s/he made a mistake just say, “I see you’re upset that you didn’t get this all right. You would really like to be able to do it better.” You’re acknowledging the feelings without any judgement that making mistakes is not okay.
This leads to a more self-confident child, one who accepts him/herself for who s/he is. Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thanks for that Thomas!