Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fixing Kids Mistakes - To Help or Not To Help?

I've talked about it before, but I'm back to it.  I've been thinking lately about my kids' mistakes. As a parent you want to protect your kids, to help them along as much as possible. But I am finding that fixing their every mistake is only hurting them in the end.

My job as a parent isn't to catch my child every time they fall, it's to make sure when they fall, they know what to do, how to respond and how to get back up again.

This is my latest parenting technique I need to work on.

What will my son learn from more? Me bringing him his boots (that he forgot) so he can play outside at recess or letting him sit inside alone for recess?  Me nagging at him "Don't forget...don't forget...don't forget!" or letting him forget and feel the natural consequences of that irresponsibility?

Through the reading of my favorite parenting book, Parenting With Love and Logic, I am realizing that letting my kids deal with their own mistakes is what is best for them.

The price tag on mistakes right now is low. But one day they will be high. I want to teach them how to handle failures and mistakes now, while the price tag is small and we are here to remind them to put their hands out in front of them so they don't land face first.

I don't want to remain a rescuer/helicopter parent. It's not healthy for me or for them.

What do you think about fixing kids mistakes?

*Note: Amazon affiliate link included*


  1. As you know first hand I am a "fixer", and even though I have grown children I feel I still must "fix" everything. I think it is natural for a parent to want to do that, no one wants to see their child disappointed, hurt, etc. but really understand that letting them fix their little problems as  little ones would help them learn to cope better. Hard one to do, but understand it! 

  2. Yes, it is definitely the hardest thing to do! I think it's even harder for us nurturing Moms than it is for Dads.

  3. I completely agree with you. I'm at the older end of this with my girls. They are 16 and 17. At 17 my oldest is very responsible in her actions and beliefs. Aside from the typical "school doesn't matter" frustrations she's a really good kid. My youngest is in the process of getting back up from a big mistake. But it works. I'm very glad I let them fall a few times.

  4. Thanks so much! It's so reassuring to hear from parents who see success in their older kids! Gives me hope!

  5.  Wow! Sometimes the perfect answer appears just when I need it. Today, for me, it's your blog!

    I JUST got done reading the book, Parenting Teens with Love and Logic, and LOVED it.  One of the main positive changes for me: It's been such a relief to NOT feel responsible for my son's high school grade point average which goes up and down faster than a roller coaster. He, too, feels better being responsible for them, and having me be a consultant about school work rather than a daily monitor and trying to control his time.

    Then, just last night, my kids were loudly goofing around, obviously on the way to someone getting hurt, and not getting tasks or homework done.  Instead of shouting and pointing out the time,  I calmly said something like, "Your noise is wearing me out and I probably won't have energy to start the laundry." (They want clean jeans and underwear for an upcoming scout camping weekend.) It was amazing how quickly they stopped!

    My other household issue has been sibling rivalry between my 12-year old twins.  And yes, I am also a SAHM to 3 BOYS!  (Love your posts about Mom of Boys!)  But the Love and Logic teen book didn't mention any sibling examples, so today I googled Love Logic Sibling Rivalry, and your blog post of Oct. 18 popped up.  PERFECT!

    I'll have to get the Parenting with Love and Logic book to cover all the areas I need help with.

    Thank you for your insight, your humor, and your obvious adoration for your family!

  6. Sandy - you just made my day! It makes the work I put into this blog so worth it when I hear how it helps people! THANK YOU! Good luck with the sibling rivalry, it's a tough one to tackle but you can do it!


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