Don't Dwell on Your Children's Mistakes

It's not smart to dwell on your children's mistakes, much less use humiliation and teasing. Dialogue and empathy will always be the way to go.
Don't Dwell on Your Children's Mistakes

Last update: 18 May, 2023

Motherhood and fatherhood are professions that are perfected day by day. Therefore, it’s important to know how to react with emotional intelligence to stressful situations in order to provide a positive education. So, if your child makes mistakes, focus on helping to fix them. But don’t dwell on your children’s mistakes or make them feel bad.

Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, hurtful words and lectures can be used to make children understand their mistakes. However, these techniques are far from being effective, and, on the contrary, end up hurting children’s feelings, generating emotional wounds in them that can affect their self-esteem and security.

Don’t dwell on your children’s mistakes, but do accompany them

Nobody’s perfect in the world, not even adults, who are supposed to have the reasoning and social skills to know how to behave. That’s why it’s important to know how to react as parents and educators when children make mistakes. Whether our children learn from their mistakes or feel ashamed and don’t understand what they did wrong will depend on how we react.

A mother talking to her child kindly about her mistakes.
Knowing how to correct children with affection and discipline is key to establishing unbreakable limits.

Due to the above, it’s crucial that we know how to be good models for our little ones by acting wisely–even if your children’s mistakes disappoint or sadden you. There’s no point in dwelling on your children’s mistakes. It’s better to use this event as a way to improve as people and transmit valuable lessons.

To achieve this task, the first step is to fill yourself with respect and empathy for your little ones. This is often very difficult for some parents depending on what their children have done. However, remember that violence only generates more violence. And it’s of little use to intimidate children with words of disappointment and reproach when you don’t listen to them or provide a sincere dialogue.

Don’t dwell on what happened, but do help your child to improve

Criticism, judgments, and humiliations aren’t the best tools for children to understand their mistakes. And although sometimes it’s inevitable to show our disapproval of some of our children’s behaviors, it’s better to avoid embarrassment and being defensive in order to listen to what our children have to say.

A mother correcting her child affectionately.
It’s better to avoid labels and words that alienate us from the affection of children and better to dialogue with love and firmness.

In that order of ideas, using phrases like: “I’m very ashamed”, “You’re a bad child” or “don’t you feel sorry for what you did? only serve to generate hostility and an environment that’s not suitable for teaching life lessons. Because when children aren’t listened to and are judged a priori, they may feel this disapproval and choose to lie or distance themselves as a means of evasion.

And although it’s normal to feel disappointment or sadness about the attitudes of children, the important thing is to act with love and respect so that they’re not repeated. Don’t create a hostile and discouraging climate that only generates a wall of resentment between the two. As parents, we must prioritize dialogue, patience, and forgiveness to create future good adults.

If your child makes a mistake, teach them the consequences of their lack of limits

Children don’t yet have all the knowledge and learning they need to know how to manage their feelings in an intelligent way. Because of this, when you notice a behavior that’s wrong in them, it’s essential that you have empathy and consideration when explaining it to them.

All our decisions come with good or bad consequences. And, because of this, it’s very important to establish limits and rules at home so that children know how they should act. So, respectfully, you should ask yourself the possible causes of this behavior and talk calmly to reflect on the situation.

For example, if you noticed that your child made fun of a classmate, use positive listening and dialogue to understand their reasons. Ask How you would feel if someone made fun of the way you look, or Why do you hurt another child’s feelings with your words? These types of questions give them the chance to empathize with others and put themselves in their shoes, and also allow them to be aware of their mistakes and know that they can’t overstep certain boundaries.

Don’t dwell on your children’s mistakes, but do focus on improving

Words said without thinking may seem very accurate when correcting little ones for their mistakes. However, they’re nothing more than unintelligent emotional reactions to the surprise of the moment. So, focus on being a teacher and guide so that your children can understand their faults and know how to make amends.

For example, using the previous example, if your child made fun of a classmate, it’s essential that you first teach them to identify where the disrespect came from, and second, you must motivate him to apologize to the other child and commit to not hurting the feelings of others again.

In conclusion, using effective communication with children is a very beneficial tool to approach them with empathy and respect at all times. In this way, when they’ve made a mistake for some reason, we can speak to them with authority so that they take responsibility for their actions. This is so that in the future, they’ll be more empathetic, responsible, and humble adults.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.