By: Diane Lang
As adults we tend to get upset when we make mistakes. I have heard clients, friends and family be really hard on themselves when they make a mistake. What we do not realize as parents is the following: our kids hear what we say and watch our non-verbal behaviors. Every time we get upset at ourselves for making a mistake, we are teaching our kids that it’s not okay to make a mistake, which is not the truth. We should teach our kids and ourselves that mistakes are good. Teach them that they are actually teachable moments. We learn so much from our mistakes. Our mistakes lead us to our best path. It’s time that we change our perspective on mistakes and admit we make them, admit it’s okay and then move forward with a smile and all the knowledge we just learned.
Here Are Some Tips On Teaching Our Kids About Mistakes:
Teach your kids that we all make mistakes. Yes, everyone makes mistakes including mommy and daddy. Mistakes are a part of life. Give some examples of mistakes you have made. Tell your kids what you have learned from your own mistakes. If you have benefited from a mistake, let your kids know.
Teach your kids that it’s good to make mistakes.
Teach your kids about persistence. Teach your kids when they make mistakes, but validate their work. Hard work is all about the effort.
Teach your kids to make their own definition of success. Don’t let the media portray that success is all about money, fame and beauty. Kids need to know there is much more to success and that we all define success differently. Let your kids know money doesn’t equal happiness.
Teach your kids the reward of the Journey. Accomplishment is not about winning or losing, it’s about persistence and the journey to get there. Teach your kids all the good that comes out of mistakes. I met some great friends out of my biggest mistakes. I learned how strong I was each and every time I made a mistake. I learned to laugh at myself. I could go on and on, however, you get the point.
My mistakes have directed me into my true path. I made a lot of career mistakes but they all lead me to where I should be and where I am now. This is an important lesson to teach your older kids. As a college professor, you see a lot of kids get so hard on themselves for going to the wrong college, going for the wrong major, etc. It’s okay; you learn from it and end up in the right direction. It’s all about the big picture.
Mistakes don’t define who you are.
Talk about mistakes and not giving up at family time. Discuss the topic at dinner. Make sure your child knows that you believe that you will persist until you succeed. Mistakes do not equal quitting.
Young kids (up to puberty) want your acceptance and approval. If you tell your kids it’s okay to make a mistake and make light of it, they will feel better about mistakes. Don’t pressure your child about making mistakes. Kids feel stress.
Follow your own advice and really accept that it’s okay to make mistakes. Remember, kids are visual learners. The best way to let them know mistakes are okay is to show them through your own actions.
Explain to your kids that there is no such thing as perfection and trying to reach it is an unrealistic expectation that sets you up for failure.
Teach your kids to be resilient. Teach them to laugh at their mistakes, to write down what they learned from their mistakes, discuss ways they can correct their mistake.
September Events and Workshops Open to the Public
Thursday, September 6th, 6pm – Emotional Detox- Dealing with Negative People
C.B. Crawford Public Library, Monticello, NY
Thursday, September 13th, 10:300am – Emotional Detox – Dealing with Negative People
Mount Saint Mary College, Desmond Campus, Newburg, NY
Monday, September 17th, 7pm – Positive Psychology – Finding Your Happiness
Pequannock Public Library, NJ
Register: 973-835-7460 ext. 5
Thursday, September 20th & 27th, 6pm – Mind, Body & Soul – Finding Your Balance
Warren Community College, NJ
Tuesday, September 25th, 1pm – How to Deal with Change and Loss
Montclair Adult School, NJ
Register: 973-744-0500 ext.2224
Wednesday, September 26th, 6:30pm – Positive Psychology – Finding Your Happiness
Northampton Community College – Monroe Campus, PA