'You will make mistakes... Learn from them.' written on a piece of paper pinned to a cork board

Beating yourself up over mistakes is a common human tendency, and children are no exception. We all do it. We call ourselves names that are derogatory to our intelligence and our ability. It is not helpful in any situation so it is important that we teach kids that this self-criticism is neither productive nor healthy. Handling mistakes is a huge part of learning and growing. We can’t avoid them so how can children deal with handling mistakes better?

5 Tips to Help Children to Handle Mistakes

Parents, carers and teachers can all use these tips. Get children to:

  1. Acknowledge the mistake and the first step would be to recognize the error that they made. Ignoring or denying the mistake won’t make it disappear.
  2. Learn from it by not dwelling on the negative emotion and the name calling but instead focusing on the lesson the mistake offered. Ask your child what they can learn from the situation.
  3. Be kind to themselves as mistakes do not define their worth. Encourage them to say to themselves, ‘It’s okay, everyone makes mistakes.’
  4. Problem-solve. How can they rectify the mistake or make amends. This proactive approach will empower children to take responsibility for their actions and find suitable solutions.
  5. Think about strategies to avoid making the same mistake again. Whether it’s better preparation, paying closer attention, being more mindful of what they say or do there are often many ways to prevent the same mistake happening again.

By adopting this mindset and doing some of the things listed above, children can turn mistakes into valuable learning experiences. This will allow them to become more resilient, better problem-solvers, and ultimately more confident in their abilities. Remind your children that mistakes are not failures,  they are opportunities for growth.

If your child has difficulty with moving forward after making mistakes please do get in touch as life coaching for kids could be the way forward.