Celebrating Our Children’s Mistakes

Celebrating Our Children’s Mistakes

By Gonan Premfors

One summer afternoon while at a barbecue party at our friends’ home, I overheard the coach of a boys’ sports team for 8 to 10 year olds and a few women having a chat. Based on the conversation, I quickly gathered that the coach and the women were all parents who had boys on the same team.

The coach was explaining how during the last practice session, he had attempted to promote his son to team captain. However, much to his surprise, his son had reacted nervously and declined to accept the role.

This piqued my curiosity, so I activated my deep listening skills in order to better understand the situation. I attempted to perceive the situation from the boy’s point of view. To gather more information, I asked the coach, “What do you do when kids make a mistake during practice or during a game?” He immediately answered, “I shout at them.”

As soon as he said it, I saw a light bulb go off in his head as he realized the probable source of his son’s reluctance to assume the captain’s mantel. After pausing thoughtfully, he said, “Well, I guess I will have to change that.”

Barbecue conversations aside, what this situation highlights is that if children are penalized for making mistakes, they will attempt to avoid making them! If children never take risks, then they may never become sports stars or for that matter stars in any aspect of their lives!

Being afraid of making mistakes leads to a life of quietly playing it safe. Unfortunately, playing it safe often leads to mediocrity. In most cases, mediocrity will fail to win any games in life, let alone tournaments! Therefore, we should teach our children to celebrate their mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning.

Those are my thoughts from the sidelines! What do you think?

Gonan Premfors

Gonan is the originator of the philosophies behind Gozamm, the home of the Parentology, Trust and Open Heart workshops. An industry thought-leader and a perennial innovator, Gonan is setting trends in the realms of families and business worldwide. Her eclectic background; being born in Turkey, married to a Swede, having lived in the Middle East for 25 years and now living in California, she truly brings a new dynamic perspective to an important field. -- view all articles