When Children Make Mistakes

“There are no mistakes, only lessons.”

(Chinese Proverb)
Children make mistakes because of poor decisions, accidents, and just plain not thinking and messing up. They are just learning how to follow rules, control their feelings, and think through their actions. Making mistakes is one of the ways they learn.
Children don’t like to make mistakes. They don’t like the consequences. They don’t like how they feel about themselves. They don’t like how others feels about them. When they make mistakes, they want to make it right.
How can they make it right? By making amends. Just saying they are sorry is not enough.
Making amends can make the victims of their mistakes feel better, and it can make them feel better all at one time. By making amends, they can get back in the good graces of the people they care about. They can repair their view of themselves. They can see themselves as good people again – ones who will try not to make mistakes again.
Children will need help learning how to make amends. Below are two examples.
  1. If a child hurts another child, he can get ice or a bandage for the injury or offer to play the victim’s favorite game to make him feel better.
  2. If a child breaks something, she can help fix it, pay to have it fixed, or offer the owner something nice to substitute for it. No matter what the child is able to offer (a drawing, cookie, stuffed animal), it helps the child feel better and the victim to feel cared about.


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