Making mistakes

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes, understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” (Arianna Huffington)

Great quote!  I think that mothers, as a whole, are very hard on ourselves, and are too quick to label ourselves ‘failures’.  Unfortunately, this attitude about making mistakes can get passed on to our children and cause them to shy away from even trying, for fear of failing.

The reality is that mistakes are the only way to learn, so they should, in fact, be applauded.  We should let our children make mistakes and applaud their effort, even if the result was not what they intended.  We do our children a grave disservice if we chastise them for making a mistake…pretty soon, they will choose to do nothing, rather than take a chance.

One of my favorite examples of persistence is Thomas Edison, who tried 1000 times before successfully inventing the light bulb (or so the urban legend goes).  When asked by reporters, “Mr. Edison, how does it feel to fail 999 times?” he replied, “My young man, I have not failed 999 times.  I have just found 999 ways how not to create a light bulb.”  Just think, had he been afraid to make mistakes, we might all still be in the dark!


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