As adults we are aware of accepting and learning from our mistakes so that we do not run the risk of repeating them. However, we do often take for granted this knowledge. Therefore as a school we are beginning the journey to encourage children to understand and accept that mis-takes are an important part of learning. We are studying the pedagogy behind learning from mis-takes and learning how to provide a physical and emotional environment that embraces, supports and encourages children to take risks in a safe and supportive way. Even as adults we need to develop the wisdom and sense to make good decisions and choices. Good judgment will only develop if you truly learn from your mistakes. Unfortunately, for many people, it takes a few repeats of the same mistake to learn the lesson. Good or bad - experiences are what help us learn lessons and form a better sense of judgment. Bad judgment seems to stick with us longer as a lesson learned because we really do not want to keep repeating it. Wisdom is the knowledge you can gain from making mistakes.
Celebrate mistakes! The fear of making mistakes and the associated shame that can come with it, can stop children from giving something a go in the first place. We all make mistakes, so try to embrace these mistakes and use them as learning opportunities, rather than feeling embarrassed about them. If we are not making mistakes then we are not stretching ourselves.
Mis-Takes not mistakes Encourage children to be resilient and not give up, even when they find something difficult or frustrating: We now know that the brain adapts to new information and practise by creating new connections, so help your child to believe that challenge is a positive thing because it means they are growing their brains! This can help them to be comfortable with the times where they struggle and can help them to see this as a sign of learning. It is so easy to judge ourselves by our mis-takes rather than judge our potential by our mistakes.
Use inspirational role models Think about your child’s favourite athlete, musician or teacher and talk about their journey to success. We call this unravelling the talent myth. If someone has done well, we have a tendency to think they were born that way. We need to show our children that this is not the case. Rather than focusing on somebody’s ‘natural talents’, focus on their early efforts, strong work ethic, and the mistakes and learning that led them to where they are now.
Every mistake is an opportunity to grow. Every mistake is an act of bravery.