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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

Making Mistakes Part 2

Posted Sunday, April 29, 2012, at 4:36 PM

Last time we talked about ways parents can help their children when they make mistakes. Here is more information on this topic.

* Help your children learn from their mistakes. Help them find a solution to the problem or avoid the problem in the future. Ask your children, "What went wrong? What could you have done differently?" This kind of questioning encourages problem-solving and critical thinking skills in your child and can be initiated early on in the child's life.

* Encourage your children to turn their mistakes into successes. For example, the costume for a school play that didn't turn out right can still be used for dress-up playing at home.

Around the age of 8 or 9, children develop the mental ability to evaluate their creations against a standard. For some children, this is a point at which they become very critical of their mistakes. Children growing up in homes where parents have very high expectations for their children's performance often feel that they can never make any mistakes in order for Mom and Dad to love them. While parents would not agree, it is still a very true belief to the child. Having high expectations of your children is fine--just focus more on your children's efforts rather than the outcome. In turn, this will encourage your child to try new things and master new skills. When children have less fear of failing, they are more interested in trying new adventures in which they can succeed!

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Shannon is a licensed professional counselor and a national certified counselor and owner and clinical director of Tender Hearts Child Therapy Center in Cape Girardeau. He and several therapists at the center specialize in treating child and adolescent mental health issues in Southeast Missouri and work with parents using family therapy to develop parenting/discipline skills to deal with misbehavior and defiance. In his blog Shannon provides education on children's mental health topics and uses a question-and-answer forum for local parents to ask questions related to his field. For more information or to reach Shannon, visit www.tenderheartschildtherapycenter.com