Letting kids make mistakes…

I’m struggling with this one today.  One way for kids to learn is by making mistakes.  We can’t always be doing things for them or guiding them through life.  When they’re young, it might be not holding their hands all the time so they learn to walk independently, letting them try to figure out how to pronounce words phonetically, etc.   Unfortunately, as they grow older, it seems that the mistakes and lessons they have to learn get bigger and bigger, and start affecting other people.

Like what happened today…

T had a dance performance at assembly this morning.  She was required to be at school early for a rehearsal.  I know how slow she can be in the morning, so I made sure I woke her up at the right time, and used my normal technique of informing her throughout the morning that she should be doing X now to get to school on time.   There’s a fine gray line between actually doing it for her, and letting her do it herself but letting her know the (time) impact.  I’ve been trying the latter approach lately.

But today, she was running late.  I could see it coming all morning.  But I decided to let her continue but told her throughout the morning how late she was going to be.  She didn’t really hurry up until I told her that we’ve probably now missed the whole assembly and she got upset because she wanted to do her dance.   In the end, we arrived at assembly after it started and the rest of her dance team were already on stage ready to go!!   She missed the rehearsal, she was unprepared and everyone was waiting for her..  argghghhhhhhh!!!!

It makes me wonder whether I did the right thing – making her learn about letting others down and missing commitments (like the rehearsal).  Maybe I should have intervened this morning to get her to school on time?  But then at what age should this stop?


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