Correction, correction

Ever feel like all you do is correct your kids? I do. I know that’s part of my job as a parent, to help them learn by correcting them when they go astray. But sometimes, I feel like all I do is tell them how to do it right because they’ve done it wrong and they are frustrated with the results of their actions.

This makes me sad. 😦

Can I let you in on a little secret? Sometimes I don’t correct them, even if the error is horrible. And sometimes, when we’re in public, people look at me like I should be correcting my child.

An example of this is when my four-year-old looks at a paper cut on her finger and says, “Mommy, there’s “bleed” on my finger.” Nine times out of ten I correct her and tell her it’s called blood and “bleed” is what we do when we cut ourselves and see our blood. But sometimes I think she’s not listening to me anyway. I’ve corrected her so many times and she still makes this mistake. So maybe now it’s time to let her make the mistake until she realizes it on her own.

Everyone learns from mistakes. Or at least we could and we should. And it’s easier to learn from the mistakes of others. But a good deal of the time, we don’t get it unless the mistake is ours.

I’ve seen the spark of “getting it” in my daughter’s eyes. She is so pleased with her discovery and the recognition that what she is saying is incorrect that she rarely, if ever, makes that mistake again. And, if she does, she corrects herself immediately and has a good laugh about it. But if I correct her and correct her again when she repeats the mistake, she does eventually “get it”, but she doesn’t get to feel that she was the one who conquered her mistake. And sometimes I think the constant drone of Mommy’s voice drowns the spark of confidence and it doesn’t get to turn into a fire for learning and achieving.

So, teach my children I will, correct my children a few times I will , and then I will sit back and let them correct themselves. I believe they will enjoy learning and will appreciate their achievements if they are left to learn and achieve on their own with only good guidance from me. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Correction, correction

  1. mooremom523

    I completely agree with your approach. Many times as parents people spend too much time correcting and not enough time appreciating all the things our child does right. When I was little I always wrote my Js backwards. It began to concern my mom (a great mom I might add) and she asked my kindergarten teacher about it who proudly said “don’t worry about forward or backwards…she knows the shape and one day she will flip it the right way”… Instead of constantly telling me my name wasn’t right my mom waited and sure enough things flipped around in the end.

    1. Nancy Post author

      That’s the key, isn’t it? Appreciate the things our children do right and they will grow with the confidence to correct their own mistakes. Thanks for commenting. You have given me a bit of confidence in my approach. 🙂


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