Building Resilience in kids- let their mess be a learning lesson
When I was a little girl- I was always afraid to make a mistake. I didn’t raise my hand in school, for fear that the answer I had was not the correct one. I grew up to be a mom who strove for perfection and then caught myself expecting the same of my son.
There was an ah-ha moment, when I asked my son about a grade on a test, and why it wasn’t higher, that I realized that I was expecting perfection from him. From that point on, I worked to let him know that his best was good enough. I expect that he will try his best, that he will work to learn and grow, but at his own pace, in his own ways.
We live in a society where if a kid makes a mistake, someone is there to fix it- we don’t want kids to feel disappointment or failure. But, what if, those moments are meant to teach our kids? Not everyone wins all the time. Not everyone is the best at everything. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes a project doesn’t come out right, a test is hard and a team win doesn’t happen.
What if we could use those moments for learning?
If you want to raise a resilient kid, you have got to let them make their own mistakes. In my book, Letting Go of Perfection, I talk about embracing the mess. When we learn to embrace that mess, we grow, we learn, we become stronger.
We need to let kids learn to problem solve. If we solve all of their problems for them, what happens when they are in high school, or college, or living on their own? They will not have the necessary life skills they need to live a happy and balanced life.
So, today, when you see your kid make a mess or mistake, think about how you can approach it. Are you going to clean it up, make it better, or fix it yourself….or are you going to be the support they need and help them to fix it on their own.
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