Making Kids Learn From Their Mistakes

Learning from mistakes is a very essential part of life for both kids and adults, it helps in their development. Most of the adults are familiar with this concept. Yet, as parents, people have failed to teach their children that there is an optimistic side of getting things wrong.

We all are aware of the nature of today’s society, kids are growing in a society that pressures them to be perfect- be it getting scholarships, or getting admissions in the top universities. Parents correct or complete their kid’s homework to save them from the scolding and improve their grades, they often end up arguing with the teachers who try to point out mistakes of their child. Suppose, the kids come last in an online baby photo competition, instead of scolding them, a parent should focus on the areas of development and praise their kids for their efforts.

Learning is enriched through errors, from homework, developing friendships, online art competitions for kids or playing a sport. Learning from the mistakes is part of how we challenge ourselves to learn to do things differently. It motivates us to take up innovative approaches to solve problems. Throughout life, learning from mistakes helps develop wisdom and good judgment.

For example, if we drill children over and over again with the same arithmetic problem, they will ultimately remember the answer. And if they are lucky, they will keep in mind the answer even while answering a standardized test.

This approach to learning believes that if students are allowed to make mistakes, they will not learn the correct information. However, recent research shows this to be an incorrect assumption. In fact, studies have found that learning from mistakes enhances rather than distracts from learning.

Carol Dweck a professor at Stanford, studies the significance of testing children to learn from mistakes. Her researches have evidently shown that admiring children for their intellect could truly make them less likely to persist in the face of challenge.  Carol and her colleagues followed hundreds of 5th-grade children in New York City schools.  One group was commended for its intellect while the other group was praised for its attempt.

When the 5th graders were challenged with an extremely difficult test designed for 8th graders, a surprising result came out.  The students who had been praised for their effort worked very hard, although they made a lot of mistakes.  The kids, who were praised for being smart became discouraged and saw their mistakes as a sign of failure.  Intelligence of the kids praised for their efforts, increased by 30% while incase of the, who were kids praised for their intelligence dropped by 20%.

Giving meaningful praise motivates children who are willing to learn from their mistakes. Praises should be focused on developing their character strengths, which would aid them in understanding their internal abilities. This is an opportunity to develop a child’s resilience.

Learning from mistakes and failures is not a cakewalk. All the kids need encouragement to learn and succeed. Optimistic words from parents, teachers and elders during their times of difficulty helps kids in their mental development. And also the kids strive hard by putting extra efforts without feeling the pressure of performance.

Below are listed some tips to help children learn from their mistakes.

  • Admit that you don’t anticipate them to be perfect.
  • Let them know that your love is unconditional, not considering of their mistakes or lapses in judgment.
  • Don’t save kids from their mistakes. Instead, focus on finding the solution.
  • Provide personal examples of your committed mistakes, its repercussions, and how you learned from them.
  • Support kids to take responsibility for their mistakes and not blame others.
  • Avoid pointing out a child’s past mistakes. Instead, focus on the one which is faced by them currently.
  • Praise kids for their abilities to admit their mistakes.
  • Praise kids for their efforts and courage to overcome setbacks.
  • Mentor the kids on how to apologize when their mistakes have hurt others.

Description: Mistakes are a part of life, instead of getting demoralized, drive your way through with some learning. Kids Vault offers tips on the same. Have a look!

Sahil Arora

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