The Importance of Making Mistakes
By: Dr. Andrea Seldomridge
I have never liked making mistakes. This was always most prevalent for me in school. When I was in 1st grade, we had a spelling quiz each week. If you got a perfect score, you did not have to retake it. I have been told that most times I did not get a perfect score, I would cry. In 4th grade, I got my first D on an exam. I distinctly remember when my teacher told me and I could not stop crying as I was so frustrated with myself. However, there were other areas of my life that I was more than okay making mistakes in! Specifically, anything sports related. Playing kickball in P.E. class, I rarely kicked the ball far enough. I even remember when other kids would be upset with me that I was not a better teammate. But you know, it did not bother me! I just had fun and placed no pressure on myself to be perfect!
I think for a lot of people, we have certain areas in our life in which we are hard on ourselves, whereas in others we can give ourselves more grace. I was always “good” at school, so when I messed up, I had a harder time handling it. Whereas with sports, I was proud of myself if I just got through the game. The only way I became better at handling the fact that I would make mistakes academically was just by making more mistakes. I had to get used to the fact that mistakes happen, even if I thought they should not.
Childhood really is a great time for making mistakes! As adults, we at times want to shield kids from the negative results some of their mistakes might lead to. However, making mistakes is fundamental in development and there are some mistakes that might be worth letting them make to reach those developmental milestones. Here are a few reasons why it is important for kids to make mistakes.
Childhood is a great age to practice making mistakes, especially as the consequences of those mistakes often have smaller consequences than maybe some mistakes one could make in adulthood. Allowing your child to make mistakes while being able to receive your feedback and support can increase their self-confidence to try again.
At Thrive, we take a positive, client centered approach to therapy that is focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy via video sessions, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
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