How do we teach children to tolerate making mistakes?
Making mistakes can be frustrating at all ages. It is important to teach children that everyone makes mistakes! It is part of the learning process and it is okay. The best part of making mistakes is that they serve as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Teach children that making mistakes is okay. Teach them to recognize and accept when they made a mistake. Provide coping strategies for tolerating mistakes (i.e., close your eyes, deep breath, count to 5, etc.).
Some children tend to think that one mistake makes them bad or their work bad. By teaching that mistakes are not a big deal, we are teaching them that making a mistake does not ruin their hard work. Try teaching and reinforcing the response of “it’s okay, no big deal” when making or recognizing a mistake.
Since most mistakes are no big deal, they can easily be corrected. When doing homework, it is easy to erase and correct mistakes. Demonstrate this by making mistakes of your own with a pencil or dry erase marker.
Ask for help:
It is okay to ask for and accept help when you don’t know how to do something correctly. We teach this by having the child try independently then ask for help when they are unable to complete the task or make mistakes after attempting the task.
Teaching it at home:
Identify instances where you made a mistake. Explain to your child how you tolerated and/or corrected that mistake. Encourage them to identify an instance where they made a mistake and ask “what should we do?”
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