A Psychologist’s Tip to Parenthood: Let your children make mistakes

Just recently a young woman came to see me. A smart woman, with an excellent education and knowledge of several languages, she is a middle manager in a small company. She came because she is aware of her potential but cannot move forward at all, which is why she feels completely unhappy. It takes a small step to get ahead – to go for a job interview. The girl never made it to the interview. Why? Because, on the eve of the meeting, she is paralysed by fear – fear of making a mistake. The right to make a mistake was taken away from her as a child…

Or another example – is a teenage girl, who has a high intellect, and deep knowledge. By the way, she can allow herself to hire someone to write a paper instead of her, because she doesn’t want to spend so much time for writing. Besides, the service can help with any type of academic papers of any level of complexity. So this girl has read hundreds of books, the names of which not every adult knows. She studies quite underwhelming at school, because every time shas to answer the teacher, she cannot speak for fear of making a mistake. The child gradually loses confidence and devalues herself. There are many such stories. They
are all sad. So what is a child’s right to be wrong? Why does a child need this right?

It is the fear of making a mistake that is the main obstacle to moving forward, to doing something. And this concerns not only one’s professional achievements but also the ability to communicate, communicate with other people, live a full life, to feel free and open to new experiences, undertakings, achievements, and acquaintances. A person avoids anything new, feeling confident only in what he or she has done many times. Every mistake is perceived as a personal tragedy and a failure!

Procrastination (putting things off for later) or the tendency not to complete things is also caused by fear of making mistakes or facing criticism. It also includes perfectionism – the pursuit of perfectionism (taking up only what is guaranteed to be perfect).
Do you know why “excellent students” often turn out to be less successful in life, as opposed to “weak students”, precisely because of the fear of making a mistake? The last ones have stopped, or maybe not even started, being afraid of failing back in their school days. They can take risks, to do what they want and like, excluding themselves from the race for primacy or excellence.

The origins of fear, of course, go back to childhood. Children are not born with a gene for fear of failure. Genetically, a child only has a propensity for singing or mathematics, everything else is formed in the child’s environment.

How is the fear of making a mistake formed?

  1. Parents react to any missteps of their children with displeasure or reproach.
    The child concludes: “I made a mistake, it means I am bad”.
  2. The child is punished, scolded, or shouted at for mistakes. The child
    experiences fear of punishment.
  3. The parent or teacher ridicules the child’s mistakes.
  4. The child suffers a public fiasco (forgets words while standing on stage,
    makes a mistake while standing at the board and the other children start
    laughing). The child develops a fear of shame.
  5. The father is anxious. The child learns a lesson – the world is a dangerous
    place. It is scary to make a mistake!
  6. The father is authoritarian and always knows what is best. Such a child will
    grow up looking back at others for fear of a negative evaluation. Children
    brought up in this style do not take the initiative.
  7. The father demonstrates an extreme degree of frustration over the child’s
    mistakes: “I don’t know how I did it”. In such a case, the child has every
    chance of feeling like a mistake!
  8. The father himself is afraid and ashamed of his own mistakes.

What to do? How do you raise a child without taking away his “right to make a mistake”, thus allowing him to develop into a confident, whole person?

  1. First of all, let the child make mistakes, realizing that an error is part of life,
    of experience.
  2. Accept the fact that a mistake is always an area of growth and an additional
  3. Do not scold or ridicule your child if he/she makes a mistake.
  4. Never draw a parallel between a mistake and the child’s personality!
    “Making a mistake does not mean you are bad!”
  5. Allow the child to be upset if he/she is upset by the mistake. Don’t devalue
    your child’s feelings. What seems like nothing to you may be very
    meaningful to the child.
  6. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t hide your mistakes. The best example is an
    adult who will acknowledge their mistake and take action to correct it.
  7. Teach your child to acknowledge their mistakes and to take responsibility
    for them without being overwhelmed by guilt at the same time. The mistake
    is a fait accompli. Help your child to correct the mistake, if possible. Work
    on the mistakes together.
  8. Encourage and support the child’s initiative.
  9. Remember that expectations don’t always match results. Teach your child
    not to be discouraged and to think together about what you can do to bring it
    closer to what it wants.
  10. Help your child to set the right goals and work together to find ways of
    realizing them. Pay attention to the child and praise for the intermediate
    result. For example, if your child’s goal is to learn English, you can help to
    learn the irregular verbs well! Or another variant is if your child needs help
    with academic papers, you can feel free to go the best essay writing service
    to get perfect online services. Such platforms provide professional
    writers and top-quality results.

There are times in life when a child especially needs support from adults. Psychologists say that many children have difficulties adapting to a new place, and often their grades drop. The reason for this is the psychological trauma they have gone through, and the difference in requirements in the schools. Children lose confidence in their abilities and skills. It is in this kind of situation that a child needs the support of its parents!

Parents, remember that every time you forbid your child to make a mistake in one
way or another, you forbid it to develop!


Founder and Editor, Clare Deane, shares her passion for all the amazing things happening in Liverpool. With a love of the local Liverpool music scene, dining out a couple of times a week and immersing herself in to all things arts and culture she's in a pretty good place to create some Liverpool Noise.

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