Making mistakes can be detrimental to children when they don’t know how to handle them. It can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment which, in turn, can create an underlying belief system of unworthiness – destroying self-esteem and self-confidence.
As parents, we have an opportunity to teach our kids how to manage mistakes so they can learn how to take responsibility for them, learn from them, and let them go. This enables them to move forward in life feeling empowered instead of feeling ashamed.
The Adventures in Wisdom skill book on managing mistakes teaches a five-step process called the “Five I’s of Managing Mistakes”. These steps include:
- “I did it” – First kids learn to take responsibility for the mistake and not to blame others or make excuses.
- “I am sorry” – They learn to apologize to whomever the mistake has impacted (and the importance of forgiving themselves as well).
- “I will fix it” – Third kids learn to fix the mistake if possible. For example, if an item was broken, they may be able to replace it.
- “I learn from it” – Fourth kids learn that when they take time to learn from the mistake, the experience becomes and opportunity to grow instead of a reason for self-beat up.
- “I let it go” – Finally kids learn how to let it go. This is the most important step because it enables kids to release the negative energy, focus on the positive (the lesson), and move forward empowered.
Teaching kids how to manage mistakes and letting them deal with the natural consequences of their mistakes is one of the greatest gifts parents can give their kids because it teaches them responsibility, compassion, and resilience. It also supports them in developing powerful self-esteem and self-confidence as they learn they can handle anything that comes their way.
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Adventure well my friend!
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