One of the best parts of parenting is having the opportunity to watch your child learn and grow. You get to celebrate such milestones as their first tooth, first word, and first steps. As your child gets older, you get to experience their wonderful imaginations as they pretend that they’re battling dragons or sailing on a ship. It’s easy to let your child take the initiative and do their own thing when there’s a positive outcome, but what do you do when your child makes a mistake?
As much as you want to protect your child from the mistakes they might make, you need to take a step back and allow your children to make their own decisions, even if it’s the wrong one. As parents it is our responsibility to protect our children from harm, but that doesn’t mean shielding them from the possibility of defeat.
So yes I do and will let my child make mistakes from choosing the wrong friend to choosing to drop an interest they may regret later. It is all part of helping them develop emotional intelligence and valuable life skills such as the following:
They’ll Become More Independent
If you swoop in every time you see your child about to do something wrong, then your child will begin to look to you all the time, growing dependent on your decisions. However, when you allow your child makes their own mistakes, you’re encouraging them to be independent. Making their own decisions, even if it’s not the right one, helps your child learn what they want and how to make it happen.
Their Self-Esteem Will Grow
Although it might not seem like it, allowing your child to make mistakes will actually help them develop their self-esteem. When you call all of the shots, or respond overly negatively to their mistakes, your child will unconsciously start to doubt their own abilities, causing them to have lower self-esteem. By allowing them to make their own decisions, even if it results in a mistake, your child will know that they are capable. This will help develop their self-esteem.
Next Time Will Be Better
When letting your child make mistakes, you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that next time will be better. Each time your child makes a mistake, they learn something from it. This means that the next time they attempt the same thing, they should be able to do it better, eventually making fewer and fewer mistakes.
Making mistakes isn’t the end of the world for your child. Mistakes are actually an important part of your child’s growth and development.
Do you let your child make mistakes? Share some of your thoughts and advice.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!