Children make a lot of mistakes. Drinks spilled on the floor, food all over their face, bruised knees and elbows – if we weren’t there to fix or prevent their early mistakes, our kids would be in serious trouble!
Should I let my child make mistakes, once they are old enough to know better? Wouldn’t it be easier if I just did it myself? Here are some reasons why letting kids make mistakes is better for their growth and their mental health.
Children learn by doing. Whether it’s learning maths or learning to stack the dishwasher, independently attempting a task means the child will have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. You can always provide some constructive feedback, but letting them have a go on their own fosters a sense of self-efficacy and achievement.
Anxiety and Worry
Children who worry a lot are extremely bothered by making mistakes. This can lead to them avoiding tasks completely. For example, a child afraid of making a mistake in class might never raise their hand to answer the teacher’s question. The best way for children to conquer these fears is to make mistakes and see that the consequence is not as catastrophic as they had feared. Making mistakes at school is fine: it’s an opportunity to learn and grow.
If you or your child need some help with letting go of mistakes, why not give us a call?
David is a Provisional Psychologist who is in his final year of a Master of Clinical Psychology. As part of his studies, David has worked in private clinics, and in inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. He has published research in the area of anxiety disorders. David previously worked as a musician and music teacher and enjoys spending time with his family and playing music.
David is able to see the following areas at a heavily reduced fee:
• Anxiety Disorders
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
• Work and Study Stress
• Relationship Difficulties