Everyone makes mistakes during their childhood but how we, as parents, react to it is crucial. For example, when your child fails an exam, bad mouths others, or gets into a fight with another kid, etc. how do you respond to such situations?
Some parents choose to comfort their children gently, while others sit them down and discuss what went wrong, whose fault it is and how it can be rectified, and in certain unfortunate cases, the parent gets angry and find someone to blame for the incident such as the child’s teacher or sports coach etc.
Mistakes are can be difficult to face. So difficult, that some kids tend to avoid taking new opportunities and risks. They stick to what they are used to with a mindset that “I may not be good at this”. This is because we want to avoid any negative feelings such as disappointment, failure, ridicule etc.
Researchers at Stanford University found that a parent’s view on their child’s setbacks and mistakes, positive or negative, shape their child’s belief about intelligence, which affects their future. Preparing our kids for their mistakes and teaching them that mistakes are not a bad thing can help your child gain a lot of confidence and face new challenges.
How does making mistakes impact your child?
In order to prepare your child to deal with mistakes, we as parents have to understand that making mistakes is natural and only helps the child grow with positivity. It is important for us to teach our children that no one is perfect and that they should not pressurize themselves to be. Making mistakes enable the child to develop the grit and perseverance to reach their goals without giving up. Also, when your child goes through a setback, they learn to find solutions to problems when they arise later. For example, if your child loses track of time while returning home and gets lost in the dark, they would understand that they have to return home before dark to avoid it.
How to help your kid deal with the mistake?
Preparing your child to face their setbacks is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child for their future. Here are some tips on how you can do it.
Correct Your Child’s Response:
When your child has made a mistake, make sure to look for how they respond to what they have done. Is your child angry for failing? Or are they directing their anger towards others? Analyze it and try and help them to channel that feeling towards trying his best not to make this same mistake again. Games are a great way to positively showcase the right behaviors and learning methodology. You can take a look at the math games on download the math practice app.
Talk to your kids on how to respond to similar situations in the future and how they can perform better the next time. Ensure your child that whatever went wrong can prove to be a lesson on what to do and what not to do in the future. A great way to do this especially in learning math is providing ample practice in the form of worksheets
Change your Style of Complimenting:
Constantly focusing your compliments instead of your child’s efforts makes it difficult for the kid to accept her mistake. This is because they get very stressed about achieving something rather than putting in the necessary effort. For example, tell your kids “I am so impressed that you worked hard for this test” rather than “Great marks, keep it up”.
Share Own Experience:
Your children are not afraid of making mistakes; they learn how to respond to everything from their parents. Studies show that there is a tendency for children to copy all your actions and responses. Hence, talk to your child about your own experiences. Tell them how you made a similar mistake and also explain to them about what you learned and how you made sure it didn’t happen again. Open up to them about how you felt at that moment so that they know that feeling bad and embarrassed is natural and nothing to be ashamed of.
Take Away the Fear of Failure:
Children want to impress their parents. They make tremendous efforts that we are unaware of most of the time just to get a “Good Job” from you. But when your child has made a mistake they have the tendency to assume that you do not love them as much as you used to. We as parents need to make sure that our children know that they need not fear failures and that we love them no matter what. It is better to express your disappointment rather than anger. For example, Say “ It is disappointing that you failed, but I am proud that you at least made an effort”.
Another way to take away the fear of failure, especially in maths is to gamify the learning process. The moment kids see a math problem as a game they are much less likely to be afraid of making mistakes. Try out some of Cuemath’s cool games.
Do Not Pity:
While comforting your kid, make sure you do not utter any words of pity. By saying pitiful things you tend to send out a toxic message that your kid is incapable. As a parent, you might definitely feel sorry that your child has to go through the failure, but showing it openly makes the child lose self-confidence and this may lead to giving up easily.
Never fix your Kid’s Mistake:
There are many parents who feel very bad for their kid’s and jump in immediately to fix their mistakes. This gives away the wrong message that they don’t have to face the consequences of their mistakes because you will do it for them. Instead, help your child understand the consequences of their actions and guide them to fix it on their own.
Spend Quality Time:
When you know that your child has had a difficult time after failing in something or making a terrible mistake, sit with them and try to comfort them and also cheer them up by doing something they love to do with you. Once the negative feelings are gone, talk to your child about what went wrong and what can be done to rectify the same.
Everyone makes mistakes and children are no exception to it. If we respond right, mistakes become life lessons for your little ones.
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