My children keep making mistakes. Yep I said it. And not just a variety of mistakes. Normally it is the same mistake again and again. And teens are pros at this, it seems. While I was generally perusing Twitter, I came across this video by Annie Fox, M. ED “Why You Should Encourage Your Children to Make Mistakes“. I thought hey this is up my alley right now. So I listened and I was shocked.
At first, when she said “Don’t ask – Don’t you know better?” when the repeat offenders give you that look of ignorance. I thought what? If they keep making the same mistake, it would almost seem like they don’t care. But then she said “it is because the learning has taken hold” and it was an AHA moment. I don’t know why it hasn’t but it hasn’t. For some reason that made sense. And maybe a few of the reasons it hasn’t below make sense, too now that I think about it.
You see mistakes are learning opportunities and I know everyone learns at a different pace. And there as many reasons I am sure as there are kiddos. A few that come to mind are: 1 – mental maturity, 2 – physical maturity, and 3 – personality.
First, is their mental maturity. If the object lesson they need to learn is beyond their mental capabilities, then it will take a while. If I have learned anything on this parenting adventure, it is that brains develop at different rates and stop developing sometimes for some sad reasons. It might even be necessary to step in and remove them from the situation that causes these mistakes to take place for safety reasons at least for now.
Next is their physical maturity. This can follow along with brain development but also just because they are a chronological age does not necessarily mean they are that age mentally. Boys are just slower here to develop, not because I think they are lesser beings, but physiologically they develop slower. Everyone seems to catch up around age 25.
Lastly, personality is a huge player. I have one kiddo who we dubbed Mr. Curiosity right out of the chute. Nothing ventured, nothing gained was his motto. And I have the ER frequent flyer card to prove it. Thankfully as he got older, he has learned that stitches hurt and so does degloving a finger when a huge lug bolt is tried on for size! But he still puts his body in motion before his mind is in gear and the mistakes do continue. However, the stakes have gotten higher! I have always told me kiddos and they quote me “I would rather you make your mistakes while you are still here so the learning is not so costly.”
Eventually, I am believing for all sanity sake, that the mistakes will become fewer and farther between as they grow up. For now, I am holding my thoughts (and tongue) so I can view this as the learning opportunity it is and not shame them into being too afraid to try!