HOW TO TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT MISTAKES
Show your kids that you make mistakes. Adults are not perfect.
It is so important to let your children view your imperfections. You are teaching them to take risks and try- even if they don’t know what the outcome will be. You are showing them that life is not perfect, nor is it supposed to be. Guess what?
They don’t care if the cookies you made for them are a little burned. They are just psyched you made them cookies! Plus, you are teaching them that it’s the thought that counts. An act of kindness does not need to be perfect. Not at all.
Pretend you made it just in time to the school play. Phew! You are there for your kid’s solo. They see you and a smile spills across their face. Do you think they care that your makeup is smudged or that your hair is in a messy mom-bun? Nope. They care that you showed up for them.
So you decided your little one would love a beautiful sensory bin to play with after school. You hop on Pinterest and get to work… only yours turns out a little, um, different than the picture. Guess what? Your kid will love playing with that soapy foam whether it is in Insta-worthy rainbow swirls or one big blob of color. They will still have a really fun time.
It’s lunch time in the school cafeteria. Do you really think your kid cares if his or her lunch is ready to be featured in the next big food blog? NO! They care that you packed them food that they actually like and want to eat. They care that you provided them with lunch money. They care that their tummy is full and that they have energy for the afternoon. Not one thought about your beautifully arranged cucumber slices
LANGUAGE PROMPTS FOR TALKING ABOUT MISTAKES AND IMPERFECTIONS:
Starting when my children were very small, I always pointed out my mistakes in a positive way:
“Oops! I meant to grab the wipes from upstairs but I forgot. Oh well, moms can forget!”
“We’ve arrived to the park and I left our snacks at home! I wish I had remembered. I’ll have to ask a friend to share with us this time.”
When you make a mistake or they do, try saying: “Is it okay to make mistakes? Is it okay to try something and not have it work out the way you thought it would?” Opening this conversation from a very young age is KEY. It shows children that no one is perfect and that making mistakes is VALUABLE.
When the children were a bit older, we started having conversations about mistakes we made during the day and how we solved the problem.
“Guess what everyone, I took the dog to the groomer today for her appointment, but when I got there I found out that the appointment was yesterday and I missed it. I was frustrated and so was the groomer. I apologized for wasting her time and rescheduled for next week. Did you make any mistakes today?“
I really want my kids to know that I am not perfect and that they aren’t either. A happy life takes a village and I love to point out when I see children helping someone else. I also share how others help me. Keep the conversation open and REAL.
How do you speak to your children about mistakes and imperfections? Do you avoid this topic or embrace it?
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