Mistakes are Opportunities for Self-Esteem in Kids

Thursday Aug 31st, 2017


Raising confident children means building up their self-esteem, especially when they make mistakes. Here are 5 ideas for minimizing mistakes and maximizing encouragement at those critical moments:

  • Don’t get overly emotional or reactive. By modeling the right reactions to mistakes, you teach your child how to deal with mistakes in an emotionally mature way.
  • Show your child what to do differently next time. Learning what NOT to do is only part of the experience. But many kids don’t know what to do differently even if it seems obvious; you have to help them see it, too.
  • Separate the mistake from your feelings for them. Tell them you love them, but point out what they did wrong.
  • Give them another chance. When your daughter spills her milk for the third time in a week, make sure she knows what to do, help her find a successful strategy for not spilling, then let her try again using the new strategy. But don’t hover. Allow her the independence to try.
  • When the mistake occurs, ask your child what they noticed. “What did you learn from what just happened?” or “What would happen if you did…” This will help your child come up with his or her own solutions.


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