Learning from our faults is a vital part of growing up and indeed our entire lives. Everyone makes mistakes, not just children. However, as grandparents and parents, it is our duty to help our children improve and learn from their blunders.
Our intention is to instill good values and principles in them that is why knowing how we can help our grandchildren learn from their mistakes is vital for their personal development. Adopting the wrong approach may very well lead to counterproductive results.
Here is a list of tried and tested methods to help you give support and guidance:
Differentiate between the important mistakes and the unimportant ones.
Mistakes can vary in significance — from stealing, lying, cheating or being rude to one’s parents to trivial matters such as forgetting to do things, not tidying up behind themselves or not helping with clearing up after eating or not doing their homework. Thus, do not shout at the child for every mistake they make. Determine what mistakes are of more and less value. For example, stealing is more important to correct than not eating all their veggies. If you do not tell them that stealing is wrong then it will mold who they become in the future. Whereas not eating all their veggies does not do that much harm in comparison.
Avoid reacting rather responding
Avoid instantly reacting to their mistakes -rather respond appropriately. Reacting can lead them to develop a negative approach, while responding can create a comfortable and positive situation for them to talk about their mistake, seek right understanding, and find a solution for it.
Think before you speak
Be clear on what you would like to convey to the child and address the child with love. Speak to them in the same manner you would like to hear from them in return. Above all, you should not speak to a child in an authoritative tone as this will just antagonize them.
Allow them to accept their mistake
Ask the child whether or not he/she has thought about what he/she has done and if it felt right? They instinctively know when they do something wrong. Therefore, you should first give them a chance to verbally accept that they have indeed done something wrong. If you start to criticize them, then this makes the situation worse and they will become rebellious and indignant.
Give them some space and time
There can be times when children may not realize their mistakes right away and can get defensive about what they have done. During such situations, you have to deal with them with a lot of patience and care. Give them their space, time and freedom to understand their mistake and learn from it rather than continuously prompting about it.
Lend an ear
At times, a child can be scared or find it difficult to own up and approach you when they feel they have done something wrong. Under such situations, it becomes important to lend them an ear, comfort them with your love and trust, ask them to share their thoughts freely and have a healthy discussion over it. This will help them obtain some right understanding on the matter. It will also prevent them from making bigger mistakes in an attempt to hide the previous ones, out of fear. In addition, it will help them gradually build up positive confidence in you, which will allow them to be more open next time.
*Portions of article reprinted from: https://medium.com/@dadabhagwan/7-ways-to-help-your-child-become-the-best-versions-of-themselves-2d64700407a2