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‘The best way to learn is to make mistakes.” 5 ways to teach this lesson to our kids

We all make mistakes, and it’s important to help our kids learn from them.

Helping our kids learn from their mistakes is a hard thing to do. It is made more difficult when we as parents don’t handle our children’s mistakes in a healthy way.

Studio 5 Parenting Contributor Heather Johnson said it is one of the most important skills we hope our children learn. Why? Because they will make mistakes their entire life! Just like we do. And the best way for them to learn is for us to model what to do when we make mistakes.

To contact Heather for counseling, email , or visit



5 Ways to Help Children Learn From Their Mistakes

Question Our View

We must check our view of mistakes at the door. Do we view our children’s mistakes as reflections of us? Do we view them as making more work for us? Or do we see mistakes as a part of life. That everyone makes them. And do we see them as opportunities to grow?

Check Our Response

How do we respond to our children’s mistakes? Do we criticize, shout, shame, punish, remind, preach to them, tell them what they should have done different or that we never did that.

Do we stonewall? That seems to be a go-to. And yet research shows that ignoring our children could be the most damaging response we can have to them.

Know How They Learn

Each of our children learn differently. Knowing how they learn is an important step in helping them learn from their mistakes and not waste them. Research continues to show us that children don’t really start to understand and learn from negative feedback until they are 12. Children under 12 only respond to positive feedback. When they get hit with negative feedback, they interpret it as not being loved. Some children need lots of time between the mistake and the discussion, some enjoy role play and come like to draw things out. Know how your kids learn.

Problem Solve Together

One of the most important ways we learn from mistakes is by problem solving how the mistake was made and then what can be done differently moving forward so the mistake doesn’t happen again. That is where the growth comes into play. They need our wisdom and experience, and they also need to figure things out themselves.

Teach Them to Ask for Help.

This is a lost art. Society tells us we are weak when we ask for help. That is not true. We need to model this for our kids and make sure that when they ask for help our responses are safe and inviting.

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